Eye for Design: Rebekah Gainsely, Little Pond Design

Eye for Design: Rebekah Gainsely, Little Pond Design


At some point, you realize that the carrot-orange couch you nabbed from your parents’ den no longer matches your personality—or living room. Whether it’s moving into a new place or just wanting an updated look, everyone is eventually faced with the task of filling and decorating their living space. And while there’s nothing wrong with purchasing entire IKEA showrooms, that futuristic Dutch armoire might not jive with your bedroom’s antique crown molding. It takes more than assembling five-piece furniture sets to accomplish good feng shui. Meet three interior designers who are able to transform people’s homes into livable spaces of art with attention to color, architecture, and the client’s style.

Rebekah Gainsely, Little Pond Design

When learning about how Rebekah Gainsley conceptualizes a design project, it’s somehow not surprising to hear that Malcolm Gladwell theories are a source of inspiration for her “It amazes me how he is able to bring seemingly unrelated observations together,” says Gainsley. Much like Gladwell is able to explain bigger theories by drawing together seemingly random examples, Gainsley is able to create harmony in a room by bringing both vintage and new, inexpensive and pricy pieces together through her own creative insight. “It’s like pairing GAP flip flops with a $600 dress,” says Gainsley. “It’s about finding the right balance.”

Also like Gladwell, Gainsley is interested and inspired by human behavior. Before attending architecture school and starting her own eco-friendly design company, Little Pond, Gainsley received a masters degree in social work and worked for many years helping others. She carried her people skills into her next profession and enjoys collaborating with her clients. “I like to see the things they love, including a grandmother’s favorite broach, a bottle of scotch, or their favorite hotel room,” says Gainsley. “I want to know how they want their space to feel and how these objects make them feel. I’m like an editor. It’s their story, I’m just helping weed out what doesn’t work.”

The best word to describe Gainsley’s designs is “organic,” both literally and figuratively. To conceptualize a project, Gainsley focuses on establishing a relationship with her clients by showing that she understands their style as well as their budget. Once that trust is built, Gainsley pushes the limits. “I call it creative tension,” says Gainsley. “I really like that we push up against each other and the outcome is greater than the individual parts. At the last minute, what they want and where I’m pushing them comes together organically.”

Gainsley’s two-year-old company, Little Pond, offers interior design services as well as an online retail shop of both new and “upcycled” furniture and accessories. Gainsley describes her work as “high fashion meets healthy,” using soy foam fillers, toxic-free paints, and “green fabrics” in conjunction with restoring vintage pieces and shopping at estate sales and resale shops. She stresses that green designs don’t have "to sacrifice style for a sustainable environment.”

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Eye for Design: Rebekah Gainsely, Little Pond Design