Tamara Matthews-Stephenson

New York, NY, Interior Designer/Lifestyle Expert

There are early adopters when it comes to media-savvy design professionals and then there is Tamara Matthews-Stephenson, who is in a league all her own. The New York City-based residential interior designer, freelance writer and lifestyle expert has been making a name for herself in trendsetting circles from the start—zipping to points around the globe both exotic and posh as she took in each local aesthetic, wrote about what she saw, and curated ideas from these inspirations to include in the interiors she created for clients.

After receiving a baccalaureate degree from Castleton State College with a major in English and then a certificate in interior design from Parsons School of Design, Tamara landed a job with Barbara Southerland Interior Design, a firm with offices in North Carolina and New York City. Tamara acclimated herself to the business side of the professional interior design realm at BSID while coordinating all aspects of high-end residential projects from conception to installation.

By 1999, it was time for her to spread her own wings, which she did beautifully by launching her own interior design firm—busily decorating homes that emanate what many describe as a “sophisticated cottage” style since. We at Global Lighting have watched in fascination as Tamara has utilized her astute sense of color and creative way of pulling a room together time and again. Her designs are well edited with a layered cultivation that may make them feel “ lived in” but each has true classicism as a foundation.

One of the most exciting things about following Tamara’s activities is that she believes entertaining is an extension of a person’s design style. In this respect, she has become the consummate hostess, showing her design talent on the table by frequently producing both small and large soirees. She has organized many sit-down gala events for friends and brands, and has participated in and brought charity events into being.

We’ve watched eagerly as her ability to create parties with style and ease has built a portfolio befitting the tastemaker she is. This parade of successes has included hosting events for global hotel chains, design-industry brands and fundraising organizations. In this role, she has turned her astute eye to transformation—efforts that create gorgeous galas with creative tabletop arrangements, signature cocktails, and delicious food and style.

Before many designers were discussing the myriad design elements that came across their radars online, Tamara was building a massive following for her popular lifestyle blog Nest by Tamara in 2008, using the outlet to share her ideas about interior design, entertaining, travel and cooking.

In addition to managing this vibrant online destination and her design business, she also regularly contributes editorials to a variety of publications on the same subjects, including the “East End Nest” column for Dan’s Papers magazine in the Hamptons. She has also been on assignment and published with NYC&G, Traditional Home, Trad Home, The Daily Front Row, New York Spaces, Today’s Equestrian and Venu.

Most recently, Tamara has founded Root Cellar Designs with fashion designer Susan Young, the duo teaming up to bring a colorful and pattern-forward array of home textiles to market. Given how nimble she is at designing beautiful fabrics, it’s no surprise to us that she chose to write about Karman’s Atelier floor lamp in our Stratos Collection as her Tastemaker review.

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