When designer Betsy Shiverick’s beautiful Palm Beach home was featured in Veranda, I fell in love with her aesthetic and wanted to see more of her portfolio. Betsy is a kindred spirit who likes to make rooms look “old and lived in” from the start. Her style is classical, elegant, and warm, with antiques making up 90% of her furniture. “If you don’t like ‘brown’ furniture, I’m not your girl!” she says.
Betsy started Betsy Shiverick Interiors in 2003 after a 21 year stint on Wall Street as a currency trader. Immediately upon retiring, she enrolled in the New York School of Interior Design and hung out her shingle. As a newbie, she initially found projects hard to come by, but luckily she had her own houses to do, redo, and experiment with. “To my husband’s chagrin, I have an almost insatiable appetite to create simple, beautiful and comfortable surroundings. Our four children are grown and out of the house, but the dogs and cats have free roam,” said Betsy. “I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Betsy’s specialty is sourcing and arranging. She begins and ends with high quality architectural elements and materials, and she scours the globe for antiques of distinction and purpose. “Each piece I buy is specifically curated for its place. Add old columns, doors, reliefs, moldings and flooring… the details make a difference,” she says.
Today we will tour Betsy’s Palm Beach home as featured in Veranda with additional photography from her portfolio, and we will step inside her historic 1854 home in Southport. I am also delighted to welcome Betsy for a Q&A… welcome Betsy!
Q: After spending two decades in the world of finance, what inspired you to begin a new career in interior design?
A: My creative side needed an outlet.
Q: What are the key ingredients within a Betsy Shiverick designed home?
A: Interesting architectural details, paneled walls, faded Oriental rugs, color, pattern, textiles, down filled sofas, needlepoint pillows, bamboo furniture, potted trees, non fussy antiques, touches of Chinoiserie.
Q: When and how did your passion for antiques begin? And how do you go about sourcing them for your clients?
A: I grew up appreciating antiques. At the New York School of Interior Design, I took a class on 17th, 18th,19th, and 20th century furniture. I really enjoyed learning about and being able to identify the different styles. I buy a lot of antiques at auctions, 1st dibs, and at the shops on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach.
Q: I know you share my passion for “brown furniture”… Do you think it is making a comeback?
A: Certain “youthful” pieces of brown furniture are making a comeback. Armoires are struggling.
Q: Are there any particular wallpapers, fabrics, linens, materials, etc. you particularly enjoy incorporating within your designs?
A: I like mural type wallpaper, hand painted panels, and Chinese screens for walls. Monogrammed bed linens from Leontine Linens are a must. Ottoman style textiles from Turkey and antique linen tablecloths are great for covering white sofa cushions.
Q: What is the first thing you do when you begin a new design project?
A: I look at the exterior of the house to determine what style it is.
Q: Where do you find inspiration, and which interior designer (past or present) has most influenced your aesthetic?
A: I read a lot of interior design books and magazines. I like Renzo Mongiardino and Studio Peregalli. I love the simplicity of Furlow Gatewood. I like what Michelle Nussbaumer does with textiles and color and what Amelia Handegan does with antiques.
Q: What are five luxuries you could not live without?
A: a) sumptuous bed linens
b) custom lampshades
c) a signature antique or two in every room
d) reclaimed floors like antique marble
e) a courtyard, loggia, or outdoor terrace
Q: When you aren’t busy designing homes, what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
A: Cooking, needlepoint, exercise, being with family, walking my dogs
Q: For someone looking to work with an interior designer, what are the most important things to consider?
A: a) is the designer efficient and organized?
b) does the designer have your best interests at heart or theirs?
Absolutely stunning! What is Betsy’s secret? “For me, it’s really not that complicated,” she said. “If you put things you love in a room, it will be beautiful.” I look forward to seeing much more from this talented designer. For additional information and images please visit Betsy Shiverick Interiors, and for ongoing inspiration you can follow @betsy_shiverick on Instagram.