Recipe for Design

After conquering tv news, Cathy Hobbs took the design world by storm, lending her talents not only to residential clients, but also to the real estate market. Here, the busy designer (and former HGTV’s Design Star finalist) takes a moment to chat with us about her latest ventures.

Long Island Pulse: Interior design wasn’t your first career. Tell us how you decided to make the switch.
Cathy Hobbs:
I was in television news for twenty years and during those early years as a fledgling reporter I was trying to furnish an apartment on a super tight budget. I lived at thrift stores, made my own art and sewed pillows and curtains. My friends took notice of my talents and encouraged me to head back to school. As a part-time student, it took me seven years to complete the interior design program at FIT [Fashion Institute of Technology], but it was well worth it.

LIP: How did those early DIY years influence your design approach today?
My design philosophy is that I want it to be approachable. I don’t want to just appeal to those that can afford the high-end looks. I want to work with everyone, regardless of their budget. That’s a huge part of what went into creating Design Recipes, my online business. It’s all about easy-to-follow, step-by-step “recipes” that are approachable.

LIP: You are also a certified home staging instructor. Can you explain a little bit about what that means?
I actually just completed a Certified Staging Professional workshop ( at Hofstra University. After graduating from FIT, I was hired to stage a few model apartments for a local broker and that part of my business took off during the construction boom of the early 2000s. Home staging really gives sellers (residential and commercial) a way to put your best face forward, especially during a time when the market is a bit shaky. For designers interested in lending their talents in this field, you gain such a competitive edge when you have a certification. As with many things in life, it’s always best to have as many tools in your bag as possible!

Design Tip: There is nothing more colorful and festive than incorporating fresh fruits or vegetables into your décor. From large green, yellow or red peppers to artichokes, lemons and limes, jars filled with these colorful items can make a real statement.

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.