8 minute read

Designer Spotlight

THE BEST OF THE BEST

IWONA PETROV

Iwona Petrov is co-founder and lead interior designer at yZiGN Interiors, specializing in creating personalized residential interiors infused with global sensitivities.

Iwona and team, including co-founder and CEO Alex Petrov, focus on each client’s well-being and the importance of designing spaces that enhance how clients live and work in their homes. The yZIGN aesthetic is rooted in a broad spectrum of experiences and elevated by a spirit of inclusion and warmth that’s informed, yet approachable.

She understands that homes are reflections of the owners and an evolution of what inspires them. Iwona believes in a multi-layered, sensory approach; how one feels and reacts to a space when entering is her guide. Through an exploration of color, fabrics, furnishings, textures and materials, Iwona incorporates a wealth of experience into every room. She believes that fashion and personal style inspire interiors as she continues to push the boundaries of interior design.

Iwona visualizes and interprets the needs of a diverse range of clients, while also bringing inspiration from her worldly travels. Read more about Iwona and what inspires her.

Tell us about your background: where you were born, grew up and why you went into design?

I was born in Poland with a curious heart and a mother who has exceptional taste in fashion and aesthetics. She was the one who taught me about quality and timeless style. From shoes to draperies, everything had to be just right.

She first introduced me to design by driving me to the fashion house and allowing me to create my prom dress. Working with the dressmaker and being presented with different textures, patterns, and colors was exciting. My mom guided me into the world of imagination and creation, where ideas become a reality. I felt invincible in that dress.

I fell in love with interior design while studying and living in the USA.

Do you travel often and if so, how do your travels influence your designs?

Being exposed to travel early in life also impacted how I reacted to incredible architecture and different cultures and ways of life. Travel is an excellent tool that helped me realize there is always something new to see. Nothing repeats, and nothing feels the same.

Are there certain countries that provide the most inspiration to you, personally and professionally, and why?

Seeing Buckingham Palace at 16, Colosseum at 17, and Versaille at 18 were my early introductions to the beautiful world of people to meet and places to experience. I landed in New York at the age of 20 and have lived in DC for the past 18 years. Life is a beautiful journey, and my work allows me to fulfill the craving to meet new people and cultures and be invited inside people’s homes.

What products are you drawn to often and what countries are they from?

When going back to some of the most amazing places in Europe I’ve seen, it always seems to be the countryside and the local people that made an indelible mark on me and capture my interest.

This is also true in my travels today, where the most inspiration comes from the street musicians, a little local restaurant with exceptional food, and often unique art, or even just drawing on the energy from the people around me. All that creates a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s not what you see, but also how it makes you feel that tells the story.

Anything else you want to add about traveling and how it impacts your designs?

Every time I visit a home and meet a new client, it’s like a unique travel experience. You see an interesting piece of furniture, collectible art pieces, or hear an intriguing personal story. It’s as fascinating as picking up a suitcase and traveling to a new place.

Every design I create is woven from those personal stories, dreams, and fantasies, those pieces that carry memories or meaning. There is no home or design that is alike; just people who long for the expression of telling their stories through design.

It’s a lifetime of learning and expanding new horizons. I’m always curious about what I will see next and what my clients and I will create. For more information about Iwona and yZiGN Interiors, visit www.yzign.com.

FOLLOWING THE ROCKEFELLERS TO WOODSTOCK

VERMONT

You could do a lot worse than to follow the Rockefellers’ choices of great places: from the Tetons to Colonial Williamsburg to Mount Desert to St. John, USVI. It is a distinguished portfolio.

Laurance Rockefeller fell in love with Woodstock, Vermont when he married his college roommate’s sister, Mary French, a member of Woodstock’s distinguished Billings family. The town that Laurance loved remains very much the same.

Set along the Ottauquechee River, Woodstock is at the base of rolling green hills, with churches, white clapboard houses, and the Woodstock Inn surrounding its Green – the hub of activity for the community. My group, LandVest, is lucky that we have offices in an old stone house on the Green. Our meetings are serenaded by music, drifting upwards on a warm afternoon. (We also can run over to the summer market to grab fresh bread or a hunk of local cheese or a bag of fresh greens for salad!)

A covered bridge right off the Green leads to the base of Mount Tom, which is threaded with carriage trails that echo those that the Rockefellers also built in Mt. Desert, Maine. The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Site and Billings Farm Museum give life to an (idealized) version of a Vermont farm, with big-eyed Jersey cows and friendly calves that entertain visitors with an occasional scratchy lick… and ice cream

Gillingham’s General Store, in the center of Woodstock, still sells, well, just about everything. A simple trip in to make a set of extra keys usually turns into at least a little wander of the aisles, with wooden floors creaking, to pick from hardware and penny candy to kombucha and craft beers.

The village offers enough locally owned retail, galleries, and restaurants to engage visitors on a rainy day, but the real focus is the out-of-doors. The community strongly supports conservation and recreation. Local mountain bike trails (thanks to MTB Woodstock), local-sized skiing at Suicide Six with a renowned kids’ racing program, big mountain skiing at Killington and Okemo, and more gravel roads than could be explored in a lifetime of biking are a big part of the community. Horseback riding at Green Mountain Horse Association (where I am proud to serve on the Board) in South Woodstock educates and features competitions in trail, hunter-jumper, dressage, driving, and event-ing throughout the season.

Woodstock is a welcoming community that draws a global audience. Those from the Northeast Metroplex, California, and Texas are no strangers. New community members engage in local non-profits ranging from the arts to human services, and of course, horses, whether that is in education and competition at GMHA or therapeutic riding at High Horses. The larger Upper Valley area, of which Woodstock is a part, takes in the vibrant college town of Hanover, NH, with Dartmouth’s lively arts, education, and world-class health care.

Vermont is known for its agriculture, with its iconic scenes of cows grazing on green pastures. It has been a challenging last several decades for small farmers, with so few of the glorious big barns still housing dairy herds. The Woodstock area is fortunate to have a number of working dairies in operation, with traffic stopping to let the ladies pass.

A mix of new and old agriculture have helped to keep Vermont rural….from Vermont Wagyu in nearby Springfield, to farm-to-table produce pretty much everywhere, lots of local breweries (Long Trail and Harpoon both have restaurants) and distilleries like Vermont Spirits in Quechee. Maple syrup is both a cottage industry and a large-scale operation. Sap lines run down hillsides to shiny tanks, but there are still old school galvanized buckets hanging on ancient maples in the early spring. A favorite enterprise for new Vermont kids is tapping and making their own syrup. It’s a lot of boiling, but very satisfying!

What we really love in Woodstock is its sense of community. Whether out hiking the trails, soaking in a swimming hole, stopping at a summer farmer’s market that pop up throughout the Upper Valley (you can pretty much shop fresh and local somewhere most days), you can catch up with old friends. At the terrific local-focused Brownsville Butcher and Woodstock Farmer’s Market, Barnard General Store and The Village Butcher, you can eat something harvested in the last few days.

We’d love to show you some of our favorite places, please reach out. You can also follow us on Instagram at @landvest. vermont, @rkennedysudduth, and @dia.story.jenks.landvest

Five fun things to do: • Hike up to the top of Garvin Hill in Hartland: an instant gratification short hike through a sugarbush and grazing cows to a huge view at the top. • Eat truffle fries on the porch with a great local brew or cider at Worthy Kitchen. • Swing off the rope swing on the Ottauquechee River along Old River Road. • Surf whichever farmer’s market is open on a summer day. • Catch up with the local gossip around the tables at the

South Woodstock Country Store.