Photo courtesy Reagan Hayes

Designer tip: Cindy Maughan on orchestrating design elements

For interior designer Cindy Maughan, no detail is too trivial. In fact, she draws much inspiration from the late Andrea Daugherty’s teaching that “design is design is design,” meaning that a good design always resonates from one design principal to another. Color, for example, is equally important as something like texture, and both play a role in creating a truly harmonious interior space.

“The principles of design—like line, shape, direction, size, texture and color—are the building blocks to create a work of environmental art,” says Maughan. “Each element is important and must be involved in even the simplest spaces, which are many times the most difficult to orchestrate.”

Maughan also stays aware of other tastemakers in the design world, taking into account the rise and fall of trends and what they have to say about the modern consumer. She points to Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, as a particular example, who at the 2016 International Home + Housewares Show spoke on a few upcoming design trends.

“We are all familiar with consumers’ constant desire to see something new, yet they still want, in many cases, to have somewhat of a familiar comfort level,” Eiseman said. “The question is: What can we do to tweak our color palettes to make consumers stop and take notice?”

Notes Maughan, “Among the color and design trends Eiseman shared are the rising use of maps—both traditional and contemporary—as a design element; the resurgence of black and white imagery; power-clashing—the use of unexpected color combinations that seem to be discordant but yet they still work; pixilated and digitized patterns; and the popularity of green, both as the color of nature and of health and wellness.”

To learn more about Maughan and her designs, visit