Olga Naiman's approach to design is a combination of both interior design and personal transformation. Referenced as a design therapist by the Washington Post, Olga focuses on removing negative patterning out of a home so her clients can more easily manifest their intentions. “I design for your future self -- the most upgraded version of you,” says Olga.
For over 25 years, Olga’s design career has covered a broad gamut. She’s been an editor for House Beautiful Magazine, a longtime stylist for Domino Magazine as well as an interior designer with her work being featured in Domino Magazine and Vogue. With a degree in Clinical Psychology from Tufts and explorations in healing in transformation work, her evolution into design therapy is unique yet seems inevitable.
AN: How would you describe your taste/style?
ON: I use style as a tool to literally program my home to elicit specific emotional experiences. Some rooms are bold, quirky and playful. Others are soothing, grounding and restorative. I always start with what I want to feel inside the room and use style to support that feeling.
The key is knowing how to choose items, that when merged together, produce certain emotional states. I love mixing eras, colors and themes. I tend towards modern, with statement antique pieces. No matter what era I play with, I deliberately balance the themes, repeating color to make a room cohesive. I also love juxtaposing opposite elements together to add vitality to the space, especially in rooms that I want to activate abundance, like my home office. Great style is wonderful, but using style to amplify the power of your intention is…...extraordinary.
Olga's apartment, as featured in Domino Magazine. Photo Credit: https://www.
AN: What got you interested in secondhand,vintage and antique items?
ON: As a teenager, I loved going to estate sales in people's homes on the weekends. It was like a live treasure hunt. I would often accompany the mother of my best friend, an avid antiquer with a nose for knowing which sales would yield juicy finds. This woman had an incredible eye, and would immediately zero in on the coolest items in the room. Her home was unlike anything I’d seen: modern art merged with sculptural antiques in a confident, bohemian way. She was a master at The Mix. This set me up for a life of treasure hunting in flea markets, auctions, and estate sales. It's not only about purchasing, it's about experience: the pleasure of unearthing gold.
AN: What are the one or two things that always find yourself bidding on?
ON: I have a thing for modern lamps that have compelling shapes, like sculpture. And I can’t stop buying dinnerware to mix together for every dinner party I (hopefully will again) throw.
AN: What's your favorite Auction Ninja Purchase?
ON: I bought a pair of fluted pickled oak Italian plant stands that I am IN LOVE with. I use plants like sculpture, allowing their leafy outrageousness to throw off the austerity of minimalist spaces.
AN: What's Your Absolute Favorite Item ever purchased through an estate sale or online auction?
ON: In the 1990’s one of the first items I bought at an estate sale was a wall sculpture of Ganesh, the Indian god of Beginnings. Because I bought it as a teenager has symbolic meaning. I put it in the focal point of every home office I’ve ever had, to program possibility into the space.
AN: Any tips or advice for AuctionNinja newbies?
ON: If you fall in love with an item, don’t leave it to chance. I always use the AuctionNinja ‘alarm clock’ button to give me warning when that item is up. I literally mark my calendar and sometimes even double alarm it on my cell. One massive regret of 2020 was losing a set of incredible and affordable dinnerware because I didn’t set the alarm on AuctionNinja, assuming I bid high enough to snag it. I was wrong. Those plates have been haunting my dreams ever since.
District of Columbia