503found Designer Profile: Stephanie Hunt
At 503found, we specialize in working with interior designers from OC and beyond. One of those designers is Stephanie Hunt. We love her trademark collected style and her beautifully ebullient personality—and wanted to share a bit more about this talented designer and her exciting international travels.
Stephanie divides her time between homes in Southern California and Park City, Utah, with her husband and two sons, and following her 16-year-old son, Chandler, as he competes internationally as a member of the US Snowboard Team. With an innate wanderlust, a history of international travel and living and a passion for art and design, Stephanie saw an opportunity when her son’s athletic career demanded she be other places than the California coast. She now brings her signature style—culled from discoveries in faraway places – to her own home and to the homes of her clients and friends around the country. She’s also currently developing a blog called FlairHunter, which will chronicle the tales of a traveling treasure hunter who finds flair everywhere. Does Stephanie ever sleep? We don’t know the answer to that question, but we did sit down with her for a few moments recently to talk shop.
Where do you find design inspiration?
My design inspiration comes from being raised by parents and grandparents—on both sides—who were international travelers and passionate art collectors. Members of my dad’s family lived in Paris, and my Mom’s in Oslo, Norway, so we traveled (and lived) internationally growing up. I always joke that I’m a gypsy. I think all of that early exposure to interesting homes with so much style, family and cultural history—gave me an early appreciation or tendency to crave the unexpected. In design, that translates to a fearlessness with art, color, and pattern.
Where are some of your current projects?
I still keep a few select clients who have become lifelong friends in Newport. Even if we’re all 90 and retired, and they call me to help with a new project or a simple pillow, I will always take it on. Recent projects include ski homes in Park City and Deer Valley, design consulting for a clothing store in Salt Lake City, and consulting for homes in New York and Seattle. I’m actually focusing on piece-specific purchases for clients right now, from all of my travels—art and accessories I collect in great places. And, on that note, I’m starting a blog called FlairHunter that will follow and discuss ways to add punch and character to any space!
Why do you love having a home in – and designing in and around – Newport Beach?
Oh my gosh, this issue makes me nostalgic. Life took us to Park City because of our son Chandler, who at age 16 is a competitive, semi-professional snowboarder now on the US Snowboard Team. Although I love our unusual, fast-paced, international adventure, I have never appreciated more the beauty, ease of living, and my friendships in Newport. The vivid colors—flowers, palm trees, blue sky, ocean—add a beauty and energy to pretty much everything. I make a point to spend a few days a month at our place in Corona del Mar, for work, connection with friends and to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s going on in Orange County. There quite simply are not the same quality or quantity of resources with great style anywhere else that I’ve found.
Tell us about one of the most satisfying “finds” you’ve ever made. I can’t narrow it down to one, but I can narrow it down to one feeling. I’ve decided that my favorite “finds” seem to involve the following: At some point schlepping it on planes, through airports, through security and customs, I think “This is too heavy, this was too much money, this is going to break, this is a pain to explain to security.” And then every time I stare at it in my own home or see it in a client’s home, I freak out about how much I love it!!! And am so glad I went to the trouble. Case(s) in point: Enormous glass vintage hand-blown wine jugs from France. Vintage blue and white Paris metal street signs you see mounted on the exterior of buildings (to add to a library book display). A very tall, heavy white porcelain vintage glove mold (try explaining to security why there’s an arm and hand in your luggage!). Big puffy pillow covers and silk fabric from Bangkok. Paintings on blocks in Croatia.
How did you discover 503found?
In the best way—or the best combination of ways! I stumbled in while going to Alta on one of my visits home. I love all things about Cannery Village and Lido, having lived there in the past. And then I discovered that fellow moms I knew and loved were owning and running 503found! So the combination of having it be in a place that I love and frequent and via some of the best moms I’ve met through raising kids in sports and schools…in my mind it can’t be beat. The space is beautiful, funky, fun.
What makes 503found unique?
The collected nature of it, the mix, the eclectic, well-traveled feel. It combines my perfect formula—travel, art, humor, courage, color, interesting form. I want my clients’ homes (and my own) to shout “I’m interesting, not just decorated!” 503found nails that.
Tell us about some of your favorite “finds” at 503found.
I’ve used mid-century cocktail tables from 503found in an unexpected way—in a home theater surrounding bright grass green chenille upholstered theater seating…on top of black and white graphic greek key carpeting! Also, a mid-century glass globe ceiling fixture, possibly more artistic and sculptural than functional (but totally effective!) used over a billiards table. Then there’s the funky cubist, 1960s still-life oil painting that I took out of the frame and have propped against a wall on an entry table. Again, using these unique finds from 503found in an unexpected way. And I’ve got lots of other items from 503found rolling around in my head daily, in a future purchase holding pattern or wish list, for the mountain contemporary home we’re building in Park City!
To follow along Stephanie’s ‘Flair Hunter’ adventures, visit her Instagram @flairhunter
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