This month our Local Love feature is on Uma Stewart Interiors & Lifestyle, an interior design firm in South Orange.
Uma Stewart Interiors & Lifestyle
On Instagram: @umastewart
Uma Stewart Interiors & Lifestyle, located in South Orange, is a full service interior design firm that designs beautiful, luxurious spaces that are also warm and welcoming. Uma, who studied design at Parsons and NYU, wants the spaces they design to be the cure for busy routines and demanding workplaces. These spaces need to accommodate their client’s lifestyle while encouraging down time and fun.
Uma did not originally plan for a career in interior design. Her mom was an interior designer, but Uma did not want to follow in her mom’s footsteps. So instead, she tried a variety of different career paths such as communications research and political organizing. But no career ever seemed quite right. One day, after being hit by a car while walking in Manhattan, Uma landed unhurt but resolved to make a change in her life. It was then that she knew interior design was truly her life’s ambition. By this point, Uma’s mom had retired and sold her business, so Uma set out to build her new business her way.
Uma’s style is inspired by art, and a well-read, well-traveled outlook on life. She is known for her ability to balance bold statements with understated sophistication, and clients rely on her eye and taste to create interiors and experiences that are approachable and beautiful. She likes rooms to feel collected and layered. Uma says, “While modern living dictates how we live in our spaces, it is important for our spaces to feel current even if they need to appeal to our sense of tradition.”
The spaces that Uma designs have a thoughtful touch running through them. She believes that a well designed room should also be striking and a little bit bold. To achieve this, she incorporates the “stuff” of life, such as books and art, which gives each space a distinct sense of personality. Working with her clients on their projects is where her heart is, and the lifestyle aspects of her designs are what differentiate her from other interior designers.
Uma believes that beautiful rooms result from a strong commitment between client and designer. Her design studio approaches interior design with five key principles in mind. The first is the Wow Factor. Each space has to have the feeling of being something beyond ordinary. The second is that the space must be Family Friendly and nurture the entire family. The third principle is Custom. Each space is uniquely designed for the client. The fourth principle is Boutique Service to provide a seamless experience. And finally the fifth principle: A Worldly Perspective. Uma gives spaces a personally curated feel with books, art and accessories.
Designing built-ins for her clients and reworking their fireplace surrounds is one of the many things Uma loves about her work. She says, “Many people are hesitant to enhance the architecture of their homes, but these changes often help make a space feel done and updated.”
Uma talked with me about some of the current design trends. She said Mid-Century modern and it’s current reinterpretation combined with the forward thinking styles from the 1950’s are keeping the style so very relevant today. It combines a streamlined and minimalistic approach that is antithetical to our full, distracted lives.
Another trend she noted is the shift to lighter woods, woods that are less golden and more beige and gray. For kitchens, she sees a movement away from white cabinetry. And color pallets are shifting to warmer paint choices.
An interesting trend she has noticed is the desire for a “location home,” such as a mountain house look, the California boho look, or the Northeast look which mixes traditional with modern for a contemporary vibe.
Uma has been designing interiors for over a decade. Her design work and showroom have been featured in many venues such as House Beautiful, Urban Agenda, NBC’s Open House NYC, RealSimple.com, New Jersey Monthly, New Jersey Jewish News, and Millburn Short Hills Magazine. Luxe Magazine has named her one of 10 National Game Changers for 2018. And DécorAid named Uma Stewart Interiors one of the top 10 Interior Design firms in New Jersey.
Check out her website and Instagram for pictures of beautiful WOW spaces that are warm and welcoming enough to call home.
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