Margaret is so truthful that she’s see-through, meaning she will give it to you straight and without exaggeration and have you on the floor laughing as a result.
I got to know Margaret really well over the last year when I hired her as the interior designer on my dining room makeover. She was very effective at managing my changing whims, keeping me on task and ensuring the outcome was on strategy and on budget. I’ve learned so much from her regarding space planning and pinpointing your style so that when you re-do a room it fits with the rest of your home.
Recently, Margaret was featured in The Charlotte Observer giving her thoughts on how to thoughtfully incorporate Pantone color of the year “Tangerine Tango” into your home (if you dare!).
Smarty Mom Quick Facts:
Married to: Jarron for 8 years
Mom to: Caroline (3.5 years old) and Eleanor (6 months old)
Occupation: CEO of The Harkness Household & Owner/Designer, Harkness Interiors
‘Hood: South Charlotte
Let’s get to know Margaret!
1. Tell us about Harkness Interiors and how you got started?
I’ve always been a creative person – making my own jewelry as a kid, taking years of art classes in school, and I’ve always had a passion for ALL kinds of design. I majored in Journalism at UNC thinking that would be a great creative field for me. Turns out it wasn’t! I made a clean break from it when we moved to Atlanta for a few years and worked as an assistant for an interior designer. Random fact – Kenny Rogers was co-owner of the design company. I learned so much during this time and found interiors to be my true passion. We moved to Charlotte and Harkness Interiors was born!
2. Give us some Smarty Tips on how to freshen up a space.
Spray paint! You hate your hand-me-down end tables? Spray paint using satin or high gloss and add new hardware. You will be shocked by the change in appearance of the piece.
3. Now for the important stuff…who is your celebrity crush?
Bradley Cooper!! Tall, dark, and handsome. Yum!
4. What is your favorite design show on tv?
I’m really loving The High Low Project because I feel it’s the most like me. I specialize in affordable design and love a good deal. I’m all about finding the look for less.
5. If you wrote a parenting manual, the title would be…
Three Crying Girls. In honor of my sweet, patient, amazing husband who has come home many a time during that “witching hour” where the baby is fussy and crying, Caroline is overtired and throwing a tantrum, and I’m in the other room crying over a glass of wine. My hubby is SO the glue that holds this family together and anything I’d write about parenting would have to praise that man.
6. First thing that pops into your head when I say “mom”?
Jeans. Seriously. I think it’s because my mom is “Mama” and I’m “Mama” to my girls. Also, you will definitely catch me around town without makeup on, possibly in pjs. But dear Lord don’t ever let me get to mom jeans.
7. Behavioral trait you hope your children don’t inherit from you?
The Gilbert Napping Gene. I need a ton of sleep and LOOOOVE to take naps. Jarron’s side of the family has superwoman energy levels and my side has the need for lots of sleep. Hope my girls get the energy gene!
8. The phrase you’ve said to the kids more than any other at home is…
Be careful! I have a little “Polly Panic” in me when it comes to the girls.
9. Favorite kids’ movie?
The Lion King
10. Household appliance you couldn’t live without?
My microwave. I’m not the greatest cook…..
11. Funniest thing Caroline has ever said to you?
She cracks me up all the time. She was having a quesadilla and avocado the other day and I was explaining about different cuisines. I said that hers was based off a country called Mexico. She said, “Mexico!? When I get bigger I want to go where this yummy food lives!”
9. Favorite CSP article?
“Word War” by Susan Bowman. Because 1) everything out of her mouth cracks me up 2) I use “girl” in a lot of sentences 3) but I also hate incorrect grammar when it’s not done on purpose
13. Guilty pleasure?
Wearing pjs all day, watching tv, and drinking champagne. Preferably all 3 together.