While most future designers spend their childhoods rearranging furniture, Melissa Colgan took it a step further. “When my parents said I couldn’t have wallpaper,” she recalls, “I tin-foiled my bedroom.”
After majoring in journalism, Colgan segued into design by way of Martha Stewart’s publishing empire, where she worked on content and styled photo shoots. A subsequent position with Hearst sent her on shoots for Elle Décor, Veranda and others. “Working at Martha Stewart taught me to build spaces, while at Hearst I learned about products and the market,” she recounts.
After 10 years in New York City, a move to DC offered Colgan an opportunity to switch gears. She gained knowledge and confidence working for luminaries Darryl Carter and Lauren Liess, then hung her own shingle in 2018. Current projects include a house in Great Falls and a chic Alexandria makeover. “I mix styles and eras, pairing classic shapes with color, pattern and vibrancy,” she says. “My background makes me a stronger designer with a wider perspective.”