HGTV Star Tiffany Brooks on Making Your Décor Personal

It is not every day that a boss will make a bet with his/her employee that could change one’s life and launch a whole new career, but that is exactly what happened to HGTV’s “Design Star” season 8 winner Tiffany Brooks. An employee at a property management firm, Brooks was given the task of staging a two bedroom model apartment what would also be entered into a design contest.  “My boss made a bet with me that if the model won that I had to go into interior design/decorating full-time. And the bet was if the model didn’t win, I could have a week off as payment for working so hard, over 40 hours on this model home. So long and behold the model won and I went into interior design about five months later.”

Brooks launched her company You and Your Décor in 2007 which is based in Chicago and services middle to higher-end clients looking for something different, funky and unlike anything that their neighbors would have.

On any given day while working on a project, you can find her or a member of her team downtown at the merchandise mart or the fabric show house bringing the look and feel together.  Depending on the client’s budget as well as the décor theme in mind, Brooks has her trusty favorites to help get the job done that include The Find, West Elm, Home Goods, Target and Ikea just to name a few.

With no prior experience but an incredible sense of style, you would think that Brooks has been doing this all her life. Friends and family were early admirers of the work she put into her own home and it is also what caught the attention of the casting agency for HGTV’s “Design Star.”

After auditioning twice in Chicago, she was asked to submit a home video and here is where she really got creative. “The last time I touched my house was when we built it in 2003. So my house was way outdated. I took the video person on the tour of my house pointing out how busted some areas were and I guess after I showed them the tape, they [the casting agency] invited me out to New York.”  The casting crew was in stitches over her video and as a result, she was one of 30 and then one of the final ten who would go on to season 8 of the show.

DIY (do it yourself) junkies watched as Brooks beat out all nine of her fellow contestants to become the host of her first show which has ended called “Most Embarrassing Rooms in America” which set out to find the country’s ugliest rooms for a chance to win a makeover.  “I am about to start working on HGTV’s ‘Smart Homes’ and that is going to air in the spring.”

Anxious to see Brooks in her creative element, the process of on the show of working with clients or on a project may not differ from the 12-steps she walks clients through. From gathering inspiration to fabrics, accent pieces and lighting, there is more to this than buying things that you like and feel will make a home.  “A lot of people venture out and try to do it themselves, but they are left with a room that is often disjointed and they feel that it is just not coming together and they can’t figure out why. And I understand the thought process of if you love something buy it, often if you do that enough, you’ll be in a room with a whole bunch of things that you love with no organized plan on how to install or execute it.”

Although mentors such as Sheila Bridges have led the way for designers of color, Brooks still feels that the industry is not as diverse as one would think. “I definitely feel that is a gap that does need to be filled,” says Brooks referring to the number of Blacks who are actually being recognized for their abilities. Hopefully her presence as well as Bridges will continue to encourage more to become more visible.

No project is too big or small for Brooks because freedom to be creative is what matters most. Brooks calls her style “classic with a twist” and helps clients discovery their own throughout the process of working together because at the end of the day, it is all about you and your décor.

For more information on services or to schedule a consultation, call 847.596.7484 or visit www.youandyourdecor.com.

Be sure to check your local cable guide for Brooks’ upcoming show on HGTV this spring.

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Sheree has been penning stories since the fifth grade. Her stories took a delicious and adventurous turn as an adult when she became a foodie.