Meet the creatives who will bring their talents to every room in this year’s Real Simple Home.

By Real Simple Editors
May 28, 2020
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Summer may be here, but we’re already gearing up for fall and the reveal of the 2020 Real Simple Home in our October issue. This year’s space will be a two-story penthouse in New York City’s Upper West Side.

A variety of designers and tastemakers (including one of our own editors!) have signed on to put their mark on the rooms and bring you plenty of design inspiration. To help you get as excited as we are, take a look at last year’s house in Brooklyn, NY, and meet the designers’ Instagrams, below, for an idea of what you may see in the fall.

1

Joy Cho is the founder and creative director of the lifestyle brand and design studio, Oh Joy!, known for whimsy, color, and unexpected twists on the everyday. Oh Joy! creates a wide range of licensed products including home decor, kids, pet, and furniture collections with brands such as Target, BandAid Brand, Petco, and more. She has authored three books, with three more to come in 2020. For two years in a row, Joy was named one of Time’s 30 Most Influential People on the Internet and has the most-followed account on Pinterest with almost 13 million followers.

2

Horderly has been viewed as a group of magicians creating functional systems where space or clutter is an issue. The Horderly team of the best organizers in the world is expanding across America to assist their clients in living a more streamlined, clutter-free, functional life. It starts with an organized home.

Jamie and Fillip Hord started Horderly in 2015. Jamie grew up type A, organized to a T, and Fillip caught the entrepreneurial bug in grade school. Together, this dynamic duo, and their team, have taken on every organizing challenge presented. From the most cluttered city in America—NYC—to some of the largest homes in Beverly Hills, and just about everywhere in between.

3

From an early age, North Carolina native Roxy Te was no stranger to the world of furniture, having lived in her family’s first furniture factory until she was two. As a young adult, she spent her summers working in the office, and fall and spring attending High Point Market.

Years later, after graduating from Parsons The New School for Design in New York City, Roxy accepted a position as a trainee at Belk Corporate and embarked on what she hoped would be a successful career as a fashion buyer. Despite gaining valuable retail experience, she realized cubicle life wasn’t enough. Committed to starting something of her own, inspired by her family’s story, and empowered by her corporate training, she returned to her roots. In August 2011, Roxy took to e-commerce and launched her very own furniture line, Society Social.

Designed with everyday gatherings and celebrations in mind, Society Social’s colorful collection of furniture has since caught the eye of tastemakers including HGTV, Traditional Home, Architectural Digest, Southern Living, Real Simple (of course), among others. Roxy has also made appearances on national TV and hosted her own pilot Carolina Reno for HGTV.

4

Rebecca Atwood is a designer and artist whose original collection of home goods focuses on the artistic process. Blending traditional textile techniques and hand painting, Rebecca creates products that are both simple and luxurious. The line is deeply rooted in Rebecca’s everyday observations of her life in Brooklyn as well as her personal history—growing up on Cape Cod surrounded by the ocean, antiques and the family restaurant. With a focus on printing, weaving, and embroidery, the products are truly one of a kind. Rebecca’s product line, which spans pillows, bedding, fabric-by-the-yard, wallpaper, throws, one-of-a-kind-quilts, and small accessories, is designed and ethically produced in small editions.

Rebecca is also the author of the best-selling design book, Living With Pattern: Color, Texture, and Print at Home ($35; barnesandnoble.com), where she demystifies how to use pattern, a design concept that often confounds and confuses, demonstrating how to seamlessly mix and layer prints throughout a house. In her highly anticipated second book, Living With Color ($35; barnesandnoble.com), Rebecca explains how to create a color palette, teaching readers to find what resonates with their personal aesthetic and bring the magic of color into their homes.

5

Kate Gray is an interior designer based in Brooklyn, NY. Kate grew up in Newport, RI, and attended the Rhode Island School of Design, majoring in furniture design. In 2018, Kate founded Hamilton Gray Studio, focusing on residential renovations and design projects.

Inspired by the vast array of apartment and home styles, she loves the challenge of making New York spaces more efficient for family living and the ever-changing energy of the design industry. Kate’s background in fine arts and furniture design has bred a love of creating design details and material combinations in her projects. She’s passionate about finding inspiration in nature and vintage designs that add a depth and unique perspective to her work.

6

Originally from New Hampshire, Max moved to Los Angeles after graduating from college in Boston to work in the entertainment industry. Taking a unique turn, he spent the next few years playing bass guitar in a punk rock band signed to a major record label. Years later, he determined a career change was in order and spent the next 10 years designing homes all over the U.S.

In 2016, he moved to Portland to launch his own design firm. Max has designed suburban homes, estates on the historic registry, beach mansions and beach shacks, log cabins, a ski bum hideaway, winery tasting rooms in Oregon and California, a hipster dental office, retail stores, a podcast studio, an airstream trailer, and a food truck for a local burger brand.

Max is currently working on the designs for a converted barn on the property of an apple orchard and refreshing a 140-room hotel built in the 1930s on the central Oregon Coast. Max also has a line of American-made wool rugs and will be a launching a wallpaper collection this year.

7

Dayna Isom Johnson is the trend expert for Etsy and a judge on the Emmy-nominated NBC primetime series Making It. As part of her role at Etsy, Dayna is in constant pursuit of new and unique finds in an effort to unearth the latest and greatest designs, up-and-coming Etsy shops, and showcase sellers with exciting stories. Dayna is responsible for keeping her finger on the pulse of the hottest trends in the market and new products that are bubbling up.

As an early team member at Etsy, Dayna has seen the site grow from its early days to now include more than 2.7 million active sellers. She has expertise across a multitude of categories of handmade and artisanal items, from home decor to fashion and accessories and more, and loves providing tips to shoppers on how to find unique pieces that speak to their personal sense of style.

8

Katie Holdefehr is a senior editor at RealSimple.com, where she’s lucky enough to write about interior design, home organizing tips, and beautiful paint colors every single day. She has previously worked at Apartment Therapy, Martha Stewart Living, and Good Housekeeping.

Her first foray into design was at 14 years old when she was inspired by the popular show Trading Spaces to pull up the wall-to-wall carpeting in her bedroom, revealing the unfinished hardwood floor underneath (much to her parents’ chagrin). Since then, she’s been bending the rules of rental decorating in apartments around NYC and Brooklyn. She's a firm believer in the power of paint, loves maximizing small spaces, and is a fan of all things handmade and nature-made.