Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hip + Urban Girl of the Week: Samantha Pynn

This week we chat with design personality Samantha Pynn (Pure Design, The Party) who will be hosting a brand-new season of Summer Home, a cottage makeover show launching on April 2nd at 8pm ET/5pm PT on HGTV Canada.

How did you end up with a career in interior design?

I was a location scout in commercials and music videos. When I started interning at Style at Home, I was on the writing side – fact checking. But the design team was so lean and in desperate need of help, that by the afternoon of my first day I switched to the design side. I ended up staying.

How would you describe your style?

My personal style is pretty and feminine, but when I design for clients it’s all about their style. At Style at Home a big part of my job was to style interiors, meaning I had to be able to style for uber mod  to super traditional spaces.

So what's it really like seeing yourself on TV? Do you get nervous?

When I first started on TV it was hard to watch myself. You notice all these small details like the way your stand or use your hands, but you get used to it. I was for sure nervous my first few times live on CityLine with Marilyn Denis, mostly because I was such a big fan of Marilyn’s but, nope, I don’t get nervous.

What cheap & cheerful advice would you give to our readers trying to decorate their first place?

Buy vintage furniture. And, paint

Favourite things you like to cook & serve at your Summer Home?

I don’t have a summer home, but if I did, I would make everyone vegetable juice and serve raw chocolate.

What did you study in College/University? Is there anything you would do differently or advise others about? 

I have an English Specialist degree, I thought I was going to be an English prof. then I went to magazine journalism at Ryerson, but was hired at Style at  Home magazine before I completed my first semester. My real training ground came from working at Style at Home. I apprenticed with then Style at Home designer editor David Overholt . I went back to Ryerson for drafting, which was a huge help.

What is your typical day like?

A typical shoot day – wake up 7:00
Make green juice
7:30 make up
8:30 am Shoot
Meet with designers at lunch
And more shooting
7 pm Wrap
7:30 pm Yoga or spin or elliptical machine
8:30 dinner
10:00 read design magazines
11:00 bed

I also squeeze in writing my column for the National Post. As well as checking my email all day. And probably 4 wardrobe changes! When I’m not shooting, my days are all over the place with press events, morning shows, designing and decorating, magazine photo shoots.

What are some of the disadvantages of your job, that maybe we don't think about?

I don’t think about disadvantages. I love what I do. Yes, the hours are long, and there is lots of schlepping involved, but when you love what you do it doesn’t seem like work.

Where are your favourite places to shop for furniture & decor?

Elegant Garage Sale, Teatro Verde, Boj D├ęcor and South Hill Home.
Where would you go on your dream vacation?

Oh dream vacation...I’ve been fortunate enough to go on so many! I’m headed to Italy in September and looking forward to eating gelato and drinking wine.

Who inspires you?

Oh so many people..but my parents are awesome. My dad is a huge motivator. He believes that nothing is that hard, life is good and time is fleeting. He is a pilot and has told me that  “you can fly a thousand hours, or you can fly the same hour a thousand times”. Seriously, imagine growing up with someone like him. My mom is amazing. She is just so full of love and life and fun. And she has so much softness for people. She likes everyone to be happy. 
What would you tell your 20 year-old self?

Who says I’m not 20?! Just kidding. My 20s were so fab – they were all about having fun. But I worked really hard too. I guess I would say do what makes you happy. And just keep doing it – the money will come. And never to think or say “I will do this when I get my....I will do this after....” Don’t wait, just do.

What life advice do you have for hip + urban girls out there trying to figure out what they want to do?

Whatever you want to do start doing it. If you don’t know what you want to do, then try different things and put your heart into whatever you try. If you can’t put your heart into whatever it is that you’re doing, then do something else. I had a million jobs in my 20s. In my teens, I worked at a fruit market, a vet clinic, I was president of my student council, Valedictorian. I was part of the naturalist club that collected potato bugs! In my 20s I was a server and a bartender. I worked in documentaries, on commercials and music videos. I gardened. I painted furniture. I upholstered. I wrote. I volunteered. I practiced yoga (I thought I would be a yoga instructor). I interned at Style at Home magazine. I went on television. I spoke at seminars and home shows. The key to happiness, is to do things, to try things, eventually you’ll figure it out.

Website -
Twitter - @samanthapynn
Sam's Latest Show, Summer

Loved This? Meet more of our Hip + Urban Girls of the Week!

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