Ty Pennington

You know how you always want to find the guy that’s both ‘manly’ who can fix stuff, but also has taste and can make statements like ‘That rug really ties the room together,’ or ‘Let’s go shopping for swatches‘? Well ladies, we’ve found your perfect male in the form of Ty Pennington, the interior designer slash television host slash carpenter that melted our hearts last month.

Seriously, is there anything Pennington can’t do? When it comes to building a home from the bottom up, he’s an expert on all stages of the process (and is also quite dreamy…sorry – can we say that?). We sat down with Pennington to talk about his personal design style, health routines, and go-to meals…

What would be your ideal food day?

I think my ideal food day is Tapas Tuesday. Actually, any day where you get to eat lots of small courses with a variety of flavors and ideally with family and friends. I always love it when laughter is on the menu.

What’s your drink?

My drink…tough choice. If it’s a work day, an Arnold Palmer with mint is the way to go. On my day off, it’s a cold Pilsner or a good California syrah or Santa Barbara pinot. My brother is a wine guy, so I learned a bit about good grapes. And if it’s a cocktail party, I love citrus, so anything with grapefruit.

How do you start your day on a good note?

I start my day on a good note with anything and everything fresh. Fresh-squeezed orange juice, fresh fruit on granola, a fresh cup of coffee, and a refreshing dive into the ocean or pool if at all possible. Or I go for a run with a fresh pair of socks.

What do you do for inspiration?

People ask me where I get my inspiration a lot and the answer honestly is everywhere. My camera has become my most useful tool because it can capture the details in nature, like bark or ripples in the sand. It can capture a feeling or smile in someone who touches an emotion. It can be the design of an old gate or the geometric pattern on a manhole cover. What really inspires me is people doing remarkable things – especially when it’s helping one another. The human spirit is a powerful thing – it can literally move mountains.

How would you define your personal aesthetic in terms of interior design? 

I think my design style is what I call ‘Modern Primitive’, which means I like clean, modern lines, but I also like natural imperfections like knots and cracks in wood, or rust as it bleeds down an iron door. It’s the idea of clean and functional but with an older soul. Anyway, ‘Modern Primitive’ is an oxymoron and clearly so am I. Well, more Moron than Oxy.

What’s your process in approaching a home to design or renovate? What are your first priorities? 

When I take on a design or home project, I always have a plan A, B, and C. A seems like it’s possible, B is what they really have available, and C is making due with what you have in the final hours.

Advice to those attempting to seriously renovate their homes… 

Don’t start what you can’t finish, but if you get in over your head, go to porch.com. It’s free and you can find help in seconds down the street.

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