*This content originally appeared on Williams-Sonoma Designer Marketplace.*
Every time Powerball hits a record high, everyone starts imagining themselves winning the jackpot, fantasizing about how they would spend those millions. When a winner is declared and they tearfully step up to the podium to receive their oversized check, the first question they’re asked is always the same: “Will you quit your job?”
Interior design being such a particularly passionate profession, we thought it’d be interesting to ask a few of your favorite interior designers how they would answer this query:
If you won an eye-popping lotto prize, how would it affect you professionally? Would you continue to work? Would it inspire you to explore other areas in the interior design industry?
KIM MYLES (HGTV, OWN) If I won the lotto, the first thing I’d do (besides pouring an endless glass of wine that night!) is purchase a big, raw industrial space to trick out. My mantra is “Make Your Way – Your home is not a test, so start having fun already!” So my big happy industrial space would be the embodiment of that belief: an art studio, a design lab, a gallery for my large light and paper installations, a sculpture studio – basically, a giant experimental space for all of the creative ideas and dreams that drive my life and brand. It would be a “no rules” zone where ideas flow free and anything goes when it comes to making eye candy. That kind of money would also allow me to focus a bit less on mass market, commercial viability and more on my personal ideas of what makes decoration beautiful and transformative. I’m not the one who’d quit working and leave it all behind, because I’m a woman who gets paid to do exactly what I love doing on this planet. Big lotto money would just mean that I could drill deeper into my joys, and spread the gospel of creative empowerment farther and wider! (Photo courtesy of Kim Myles.)
MARY McDONALD (Bravo) Considering I have years of contracts ahead of me I could not stop in the next couple of years even if I wanted to! Having said that, I think my creativity has always been my driving force in life even more than my strategic drive for business, so I cannot imagine living a life not creating. Perhaps I would invest in extending my creative reach into my fashion background – shoes and jewelry as well other products under my own label in conjunction with existing licensing, and then maybe even buy a house on the Amalfi coast and a castle somewhere with the extra change!
CHRIS LAMBTON (HGTV) If I won a ton of money, I would continue to work. I would open an organic garden center and have it tied in with local schools, so the students could come and learn to garden, how to be green and eat right. Maybe I’d even have a garden-to-table restaurant attached – that would be so much fun. (Photos by Marcia Prentice.)
TRENT HULTGREN (HGTV) I have definitely spent some time in life thinking about the big win. Yes, I’d want the jet, the beach house and a full-time cook and cleaner. But it would only fuel my deep passion to design on a bigger scale. I love creating homes for clients that make them feel like they live in their dream space. The lotto would only enlarge and expand that passion and vision to create spaces and develop atmospheres in boutique hotels, spas, and bars that would have my personal signature, and along the road bring onboard other creative talents to expand their visions as well. Until then, I’ll keep on enlarging my scope. (Photo courtesy of Trent Hultgren.)
AMY SKLAR (HGTV) If I were ever to win the Lottery, I would definitely continue to design, as I truly love what I do. The financial windfall would simply allow me to throw caution to the wind, give me freedom to design more experimental pieces with materials and/or color combinations that I could previously have only imagined. As a designer, I always feel the most comfortable presenting clients with designs that I can vouch for, designs that I know will hold up, look great, and function well. A gorgeous table that ends up with a peeling veneer is a real drag. I would delight in having the wherewithal to see my creative visions brought to fruition. (Photo courtesy of Amy Sklar.)
Vanessa De Vargas (Turquoise Interior Design, LA) If I were to win a crazy amount of money from the Lotto, I would not buy a bigger house or start my own furniture line or some sort of manufacturing home decor business. No…. I would actually take that money and redesign a few local homeless charities or I build my own in LA. Each of these places would be self-sufficient, with rooftop gardens and schooled craft/tech/computer/kitchen rooms for the people living there. That way they could achieve their own careers by what they are talented at – either making items for the home, learning a trade (like graphic design), or creating amazing baked goods and food to resell. I love giving back, but there are limits to what I can afford to do and how much I can help. In this case, I would have enough money to design everything exactly the way I would like to, so these spaces could generate their own revenue and sustain their programs. If it were a HUGE amount of money, I would like to open one in every major city in the US. These types of projects are the best I have created while working as an interior designer.
DUNCAN HUGHES (Duncan Hughes Interiors, Boston) I love my work way too much to give it up for any amount of money. If I won the lottery, after a minor fashion spending spree, I’d make a hefty donation to one of my favorite charities – The American Humane Association. My clients reap the benefits of the immense inspiration I gain from world travel, so the next thing I’d do is have a long conversation with my travel agent! Finally, I’d use whatever was left over to accelerate the development of a personal line of furniture and lighting! (Photo courtesy of Duncan Hughes.)
JORDAN CAPPELLA (HGTV) Winning a huge amount of money would give me the freedom to explore more of our planet which has always been at the core of my inspiration. After a year of travel, I’d apply everything I had taken in and start more philanthropic ventures to help people that have suffered hardship – Designing beautiful spaces that inspire people to live better lives. (Photo by Yuya Terada.)
ROBIN CALLAN (Room Fu, Austin) I would never give up my design business entirely, because the work is so fulfilling. But that kind of financial security would allow for more work/life balance. Rather than upgrading to a larger home, I’d probably choose to live smaller and more nomadically. I can imagine taking on projects that aren’t necessarily profit-driven, simply for the fun of it. Sometimes the need for financial sustainability drives us to make compromises in the work that we do – eliminating that from the equation would open the door to richer working relationships that are born out of a more thoughtful place.
What about you? How would winning the lottery affect your professional life?