For interior designers, the way they dress often mirrors their own personal style. We talk to two professionals who know what works for them when they’re on the clock — and off.
Comfortable and casual is the on-the-go uniform
As a co-founder of Morrissey Home, a family-run business, interior designer Shayne Morrissey juggles a lot. He admits that he has to be comfortable when he’s on the run. As company CEO and the principal designer, his day can take him anywhere. “Some days are full: market in Dallas, client meetings, job site visits. With so much going on, I keep my look simple, but classic and practical. What works for me is a pair of jeans, a button-down, white sneakers and a good tote bag. In the fall, I’ll switch to boots. I’m all about making it easy.” Weekends are a different story, as he’ll break out more fashion-forward looks for dinner or a night out. Morrissey applies the same principles to his design aesthetic, which leans toward a timeless look with a few surprises. “Some of my clients who are empty nesters now want a more ‘dressed up’ home because they haven’t been able to really enjoy their space for such a long time. Those who are just starting families are looking for durability and lasting materials.” Just as small touches can make an outfit, the same applies to interiors. “When I am designing a casual interior, there are ways to elevate the look, such as adding an Hermès throw to a sectional covered in a performance fabric. It’s the same with my wardrobe. Just a simple touch of a belt or sunglasses can make my go-to look a little more special.” Morrissey Home, morrisseyhome.co ⏤by Meda Kessler
Cool, confident and always in kitten heels
Fort Worth interior designer Kay Genua takes a selfie every Monday, Wednesday and Friday for her popular blog, emailed to subscribers three days a week. In her signature stance, her smile is wide, her back is arched, and she kicks up a leg behind her. It’s a stand for style she began taking in 2015. “I wanted to write about my outfit of the day, and I couldn’t figure out another way to show my shoes,” she says. “When a friend said she liked my sassy kick, I thought, ‘OK, that will be my trademark.’ ” The designer shoes always have a kitten heel, another of Genua’s trademarks; in fact, a salesperson at Neiman Marcus flags her whenever a new pair arrives. “They are the perfect height for work,” she says. And this energetic design team of one is always dressed for work. Even during the pandemic shutdown, she dolled up and went to her Fort Worth office every day. Pearls on view in Zoom meetings were remarked upon by others more casually attired. Asked to describe her personal style, Genua says, “I don’t ever go with trendy. I have a look. I developed it years ago. It’s ladylike, and it’s me. I buy what I like. And I keep my clothes forever, only purging when I need some room.” The kitten heels are just right for the dresses she prefers to wear: sleeveless and A-line or slightly flowy. “I am more creative when I am unconstricted,” she says. “I might slip off my shoes and work barefoot when I am accessorizing a home, to be more unencumbered.” But as soon as possible, the heels go back on. “I am known for being well put together, and that includes when I am shopping showrooms. I never go to work in exercise clothing.” She does admit to owning one pair of “cute” tennis shoes she dons if she’s moving a client into a home. “But I will still have on jewelry. It’s who I am. If you don’t look sassy,” she says, “you can’t make someone’s house look sassy.” Kay Genua Designs, 5132 Camp Bowie Blvd., Fort Worth, 817-763-0787, kaygenuadesigns.com ⏤by Babs Rodriguez