Photos by Stephen Tamiese
Brittainy Tiffany has taken a rather unusual path to success in the Portland-area interior design world. She started out staging homes for real estate investors back in 2008. “When the real estate market was at its worst, I flourished,” she recalls. “That’s because I worked with investors who were taking distressed properties, rehabbing and flipping them. I had a few clients who were doing 25 to 30 properties a year, so I was able to specialize. By 2015 my team was staging $85 million in real estate.”
Today Tiffany Home Design, based in Wilsonville, stages hundreds of homes a year throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. With the opening of their Wilsonville furniture showroom, where they sell numerous brands of furniture and offer interior design services, this company is continuing its rapid upward evolution. Tiffany has even showcased her work on a few HGTV shows.
How did you transition from staging homes into interior design work?
From day one, I was buying from furniture markets, buying wholesale—the same as a furniture store. As the economy got better, I was staging higher-end homes, and we were getting requests from people who would see our staging and want us to help them with the interior design of their homes. From there I was able to parlay what I had created with staging into an interior design business. I now have an interior design center in Wilsonville. In 2013 and 2015, we participated in the Street of Dreams, and we are participating again this July.
It sounds like a lot of your guiding principles are the same, whether you are staging or doing full- scale interior design. Is that true?
It’s amazing how home staging and interior design overlap. Our aesthetic is not over the top. It’s comfortable and inviting. People often want to buy the home and the furniture we provide. So our concept is to work within any budget. A good example: I’m working on a show on HGTV called “Tiny Luxury.” These are 300-square-foot and under homes. We show that just because something is smaller in scale does not mean it has to lack in luxury.
Speaking of which, you have something special in this year’s street of dreams.
The home we are doing is called Quintessence and it will be the largest earth-advantage, platinum-rated home in the state when it’s completed. We’ve included locally made elements including upholstery and dining room furniture. But it’s not over the top because people want to connect. At $3.4 million, that home is out of reach for most people. But my goal is to make sure there are always some pieces and elements that are attainable, that people can bring back to their homes.
How did you become a designer?
My mother was a single mom and we moved quite often. She always wanted us to be in the best school district. We would move and the first thing we would do is try to make it as comfortable as possible. We would make rentals feel like home and constantly refresh the space and reuse what we had. So when we built our home in 2004, we worked with a designer named Jennifer Adams. She was an up-and-coming Portland designer, and from day one she made sure it was a collaborative effort with me and my husband. Because of her personality and how I felt about design, we hit it off and became friends. Now she has her own furniture line, bedding and television show. She has always inspired me and has been a mentor of mine. [Adams, who is a nationally recognized celebrity designer, now lives in Scottsdale, Ariz.] Having those kinds of people inspire you makes you believe you really can do this.
Any advice for designers just starting out in the field?
Hire the right people and get the right clients. We have fine-tuned the services we offer, and we just focus on those services. Also, we give back to the community. My husband and I have a foundation we started, the Tiffany Autism Foundation. Our 13-year-old son Connor has autism. So we started a foundation and host The White Party. To date, the foundation has raised over $250,000, and it all goes back to organizations working with kids on the autism spectrum. You can find more information about the Tiffany Autism Foundation at tiffanyautismfoundation.org.
Some of Brittainy's Favorite Things
Hicok Nesting Tables: “There’s always a place or two in someone’s home that calls for a small side table or two. These guitar pick-shaped nesting tables are cool and functional... especially when you’re entertaining in the living room.” $399
The Brooks Chair: “I love the combination of the clean, angular lines of the frame with the lived-in feel of the distressed leather cushions. This is a great chair to float in a room to show off the sculptural aspects of it.” $1,399
One-of-a-kind Framed Geodes: “Bringing pieces from nature into a space can really add color, texture and soul to your home. These framed natural geodes already have a place in our Street of Dreams house.” $199
All items available at Tiffany Home Design