House of Funk

House of Funk designer spotlight

In this edition, Hubbardton Forge is putting the spotlight on a beautiful project by House of Funk out of Montclair, NJ. The firm’s founder and principal designer Sandra Funk gave us the lowdown on the HOF name and some insight into the design you can get a look at in the accompanying pictures.

Sandra Levy, founder of House of Funk

Photo Credit: Lisa Kollberg

HF: House of Funk is a fun name–how’d it come about?
Funk is my maiden name, something I wanted to hold on to. We started out as SFL, LLC, then Funk Design Studio. I started a separate brand under SFL, LLC that was to live under another DBA as House of Funk. It was originally supposed to be a product line. We hit pause on that—we had a snafu with a supplier on the first round a few years ago. So I put House of Funk on hold. The website, logo, brand, cart to checkout…all of those things were already developed and the website brand portion was ready to roll.

A year later, I was logging onto HOF — this beautiful website that I wasn’t sharing with the world — in a very sad nostalgic way, because it was this little baby that we had developed and loved but weren’t sharing. People were asking me what happened with the product line and I was talking about it to my close friends and saying, “we’re on hold, we’re on hold,” but I kept thinking, “I’ve got to do it at some point because House of Funk needs to be shared…this website is gorgeous, the logo,” etcetera. And one day I woke up and it was like DUH, I can launch House of Funk, I just have to make my current business House of Funk instead of Funk Design Studio. I was feeling this dramatic pull to the HOF brand and logo, all of it, really. I had both Funk Design Studio and House of Funk, but I was much more drawn to HOF. It felt bold and sassy and fun and crisp, and it existed already.

Authenticity is built into my brand, and I come back to it over and over again. Like I said, I was drifting towards the HOF website…it just felt right. It’s that gut feeling, that intuition.

HF: Is there a style you’re known for?
My projects are known for their soul, grit, and age. I gravitate towards clean-lined traditional European influences and approachable elegance.

HF: How do clients find out about you?
SF:Local referrals and our social media channels are top sources for new business.

HF: You’re in a well-developed area. Does that result in most of your jobs being remodels rather than new builds?
SF: Yes! We are in a wonderful market: NYC redecorating projects and northern NJ renovations in turn-of-the-century homes.

HF: What is your favorite part of the job?
SF: Getting the layout right—re-purposing space for its very best function. A very close second is coming up with the design direction that pushes WAY past the clients’ imagination, while totally reflecting their personal style and desires. This is a very intuitive process involving listening to the soul of the architecture (or developing that soul in a new build or a property with a yet-developed soul).

HF: What made you choose Hubbardton Forge lighting for the traditional colonial you shared with us?
SF: Developing soul in this new build came from the materials and selections. Your lighting was a huge factor in that: the finishes, structure, and glow! In addition, the aged beams and hand-applied plaster brought depth and grit to what could have been drywall and miles of pre-primed moldings.

HF: What were the “must-have” requests from the clients on this project?
SF: The couple originally reached out to me while living abroad in Switzerland to help them create the home of their dreams from the ground up. A few Skype calls and lots of emails set the tone: European elegance with clean lines, and super family friendly. We drafted plans and began our journey of creating a soulful, rustic, and elegant suburban abode suited to a young family.

HF: What was the biggest challenge in this design?
Bringing soul to a new build and convincing the builder that no moldings could turn out beautifully!

HF: What’s your favorite thing about it?
Building a home from the ground up with like-minded individuals is an experience of a lifetime, one that I was lucky enough to be a part of. Both the homeowners and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

HF: What’s the one style trend that you wish would make a comeback?
SF: We are finally out of the “safe” moment of the post-9/11 world where we didn’t want to experiment or take risks. Designs are starting to get richer, more interesting, and much more detailed. Richer in color and more interesting all around. I’m excited for more depth and personality in design.

HF: What trend would you be happy to see go away?
SF: Unnecessary Lucite and wacky, whimsical mid-century pieces gone too far are two design trends I’d be happy to see go away.

Living room designed by House of Funk featuring Hubbardton Forge lighting

Location images, photo credit: Mark Weinberg