Get to Know: Interior Designer Hayley Watters
Up next in our occasional series profiling local interior designers, Hayley Watters explains why quality interior design doesn’t need to break the bank.
Name: Hayley Watters
Business: Hayley Watters Design
Designer Who Inspires Me: Athena Calderone
For interior designer Hayley Watters, one of the secrets to a successful interior design project isn’t breaking the bank to purchase new things for a home 一 it’s helping clients realize the potential of materials they already have.
“I feel like a lot of people think they need to invest a lot of money into design, but they really don’t,” she says. “Sometimes they have all the right elements in their home, they just need someone to help pull it together.”
The owner of Hayley Watters Design, a full-service interior design business, Watters grew up in Pittsburgh and after high school moved to Seattle, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in interior architecture and design from Bellevue College. After working in commercial design, she moved back to Pittsburgh in 2019.
During the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Watters says she discovered a love for helping friends design their homes.
“I lost my job and then started helping friends with their own residential design,” she says. “After a while I just was like, ‘Oh, I can do this by myself.’”
Today, the designer has more than 30 active interior design projects.
“Design is so much like storytelling. It’s problem solving. It’s clients saying, ‘This space isn’t working for me, how can you help me?’” she says. “I like to figure out what they would keep in the room. If it’s an heirloom piece of furniture or vintage item that they love, I love repurposing things and recovering things or painting things.”
While it’s important to Watters to reuse what you can, she also suggests investing in long-lasting quality furniture that complements what you already have.
“I feel like that’s an important thing to do because so often people just throw things away when they’re completely fine,” she says. “They just need to be re-loved or repurposed.”
Watters designed her own home on the North Side to reflect her minimalist style using neutral colors that leaves the spotlight on the Victorian’s timeless furniture and casework.
“I have a lot of inherited pieces from my family. It’s kind of like new-meets-old,” she says. “I’m a chameleon when it comes to my clients’ needs and styles, but personally, I’m definitely minimalist.”
Watters adds that one of the best ways to make a house a home is to communicate with a client so that their character is reflected in the space.
“Ultimately, they’re going to be living there, so you want to make sure their home reflects their personality,” she says.