Brian Balthazar takes you home sweet home to meet designer Sabrina Soto.
Sabrina Soto opens up about her unique career as a one of the most famous home designers … and the dreams she’s still working on.
You know those days when you’ve got a million things going on, then your phone rings and you must put on the breaks? When that one person’s name pops up that makes you stop everything just to hear their voice? Sabrina Soto is one of those people. So when CATALINA asked me to interview her, she moved right to the top of my list!
From motherhood to picking perfect colors for a her company’s line of home products, this Latina is on point.
I’ve known Sabrina for a long time now. You can say it’s a work relationship, but, over the years, we’ve become the closest of friends. When we met, Sabrina was hosting her own HGTV show. So we talked a lot about home design and big reveals. Now, we’ve moved on to … well, home design and big reveals, but about our own home design and our personal big reveals, away from the cameras.
On these pages, you’ll meet the queen of home design, and you’ll see her in action. But, just for CATALINA, we took our interview/talk one step further and did it on camera for your viewing pleasure. So, check out our conversation online, and listen to us on the new CATALINA podcast at reVolverpodcasts.com. Tune in to find out more about Sabrina’s new rug line and home products at Bed, Bath & Beyond, what happens when I admit my own home tile dilemma, and she reveals the struggles of “new” motherhood when the nanny calls in sick. For now, here’s a glimpse into Sabrina’s crazy-awesome life:
BRIAN: Let’s talk your start in the design world because you’ve accomplished so much – been on TV, had a product line, have a new product line coming out, individual clients. How did this all start?
SABRINA: My mom was a party planner, interior decorator growing up, so, on the weekends while my sister would be out with her friends doing normal kid stuff, I’d be with my mom shopping for clients. I just always loved crafting. I never, in a million years, thought I’d do it when I was older. So in my 20s, I started doing a lot of TV work and, when I couldn’t get on TV, I’d do design staging. One or the other … then about 15 years ago, I found an ad on Craigslist looking for somebody who had real estate and design experience who also had been on TV. I didn’t even know it was for HGTV, but I replied to the ad, and it was the production company who did my first HGTV show so that’s how I got started on HGTV.
BRIAN: You come from a big family? I’ve met your mom, your sister ... SABRINA: I only have one sister and that’s it. We have a bigger family in New Jersey and in Miami, but here in California, it’s just the three of us.
BRIAN: You’re also a new mom?
SABRINA: I’m not new. I keep calling her a baby, and everyone says to stop. She’s 3 and a half. She’s so fun, so hilarious.
BRIAN: What family traditions do you do now that you did with your family? Or are there new ones?
SABRINA: We kinda have a bigger deal now here for 4th of July because there’s a big parade in my neighborhood. And I also make a big deal on Halloween because she was born a few days after. Growing up, we were always in the kitchen ... my mom, my aunt, my grandmother in the kitchen cooking, gossiping about the family or the neighbors, and I just loved it. When the family gets together in the house, it’s still full of people, lots of sangria, salsa music playing in the background … always a good time.
BRIAN: Talk to me about – you’ve been on several design shows, on Trading Spaces, The Talk – the fact that you’ve been everywhere. Is it because you’re just really fun? Honestly, in just translating your designs, don’t you think that comes through?
SABRINA: Yes. I’m definitely not that “froo froo” high-end designer. I love color, and I think that comes from my Latin upbringing. Cuban people are vivacious, loud and fun. My whole family scream at each other, but that’s the way we speak. So, when I design spaces, I still have parts of it that are playful so that really shows my personality too.
BRIAN: Did you always want to be a designer when you grew up. What did you want to be as a kid?
SABRINA: I always wanted to be on TV. That is still my dream. Even as a kid I have videos of me pretending to host “The Sabrina Soto Show.” I’m in my early 40s now, and that’s still my dream-come-true.
BRIAN: Can I be on it?
SABRINA: You’re the exec producer of the show. (laughs) ■