Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters are a dynamic duo of designers from Atlanta. The two met while working on a business project, quickly decided to keep in touch, and ended up joining their creative forces to launch what has become Forbes + Masters, a design firm that has gained national attention. We chatted with the two entrepreneurs about their favorite areas of the industry, their individual aesthetics, and what they love about the eclectic style they have become known for.

What were the respective paths that led each of you to interior design? How did you know you wanted to become creators?

Tavia Forbes: Growing up in New York, I have always been surrounded by design, especially since my father was a cabinetmaker craftsman. Taking my love for design and the project management skills I learned from my father, I started a business of organizing events and flowers. It would end up getting me started in interior design.

Masters Monet: I was drawn to design from an early age. I spent hours rearranging the teddy bears in my room and eventually started helping loved ones with their homes. After graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design, I worked in a corporate design setting before starting my own business.

Tavia Forbes (left) and Monet Masters are the women behind their namesake design company, Forbes + Masters. Image: Andrew Michael Phillips

What do you value most about your job? What were the highlights of your career so far?

Tavia: One of our greatest accomplishments is when we were named “Rising Star (s)” with Architectural Digest. To be featured in such a large post, it was almost like we had done it a certain way. It was additional validation that [the] the work we were doing was good and other people saw it. Another big milestone for us was when we were introduced to Gasoline; this achievement held such cultural significance for us. Gasoline was a magazine we both grew up with, and seeing us in it was honestly so surreal.

Can you describe your own aesthetic? How to integrate it into your projects and at home?

Tavia: I appreciate a monochromatic space. Although I love being surrounded by design all day, every day is important for me to have a house where I can reset myself. It allows me to fuel my creative energies in our clients.

Monet: I appreciate a clean design while adding a lot of dimension with the textiles. It is also important so that my personal space is balanced, providing a space where I can find my zen. i like to take my moment when it comes to my house, giving it that perfectly collected look and feel.

What do you think makes the eclectic style so special?

Monet: The eclectic style lets you think outside the box and doesn’t limit you to the constraints of a certain design style. This allows us to keep a unique space and highlight the the individualism of our clients and ourselves.

Colorful jewel toned bedroom design by Forbes + Masters

Warm colors and distinct textures combine well in this cozy and inviting bedroom design. Image: Ilya Zobanov

Lounge area with natural lighting designed by Forbes + Masters

A pristine white backdrop invites you to infuse the space with touches of color and patterns. Image: Ilya Zobanov

Modern living room design by Forbes + Masters

“The eclectic styling lets you think outside the box and doesn’t constrain you to the constraints of a certain design style,” says Monet Masters of the pair’s signature eclectic style. Image: Ilya Zobanov

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Where do you find your inspiration?

Tavia: I look to the past to shape the here and now. I like to discover different historical periods – especially art, which has taken precedence – and apply these concepts in an updated approach.

Monet: I find inspiration in the present juxtaposition between the fluidity of nature and the finesse of modernity. It is important for me to create spaces that mobilize positive energy for our customers, create an oasis for them in a way.

Who is your dream client?

Monet: As cliché as it may be, our dream client would be the one who trusts us completely and basically let us run wild with our vision. And of course, an unlimited budget never hurts!

Modern neutral living room design by Forbes + Masters

A variety of shapes, colors, patterns and textures all permeate this space with intriguing and inviting elements. Image: Ilya Zobanov

What advice would you give to future designers?

Monet: Take the first step, whatever it is for you. Whether it’s contacting an established designer or to start your own business, you have to believe in your vision and run with it.

Thanks for the inspiration, Tavia and Monet! Learn more about this dynamic designer duo at Forbes + Masters.

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