Ep. 25: Taniya Nayak

Interior designer and TV personality Taniya Nayak confesses to us that she probably did some damage to the ozone layer in her youth, but it’s OK because she won first place in a high hair contest. With endearing candor, she opens up about childhood bullies, her struggles with fertility and how she defines success. Plus, while filming, she accidentally found a sex toy in a teenager’s bedroom, ew.

Photo by Michael Giragosian

Photo by Michael Giragosian

Taniya at 3 years old (awwwwww.....!)

Taniya at 3 years old (awwwwww.....!)

What is your earliest memory?

Dance recitals in my pink tutu when I was 5.

What’s the best advice that you’ve ever gotten?

Try not to take anything too personally. No one thinks more about you than you do. 

AND 

Scars give you thicker skin

Ducky's from a Restaurant Impossible episode

Ducky's from a Restaurant Impossible episode

I don’t know what it is about putting a pen to a napkin that’s magic...

How do you record your ideas?

Cocktail napkins (for some reason- this is always when I have my best ideas)

What’s your current favorite tool or material to work with?

Scissors.

What book is on your nightstand and what are you currently reading?

The Secret (on my nightstand) / Reading now: The Girl On The Train

Taniya's condo in Ft. Lauderdale / Photo by Michael Giragosian

Taniya's condo in Ft. Lauderdale / Photo by Michael Giragosian

Why is authenticity in design important?

Just as authenticity is important for humans, it is for design. You can see right through it when it’s not authentic.  

Favorite restaurant in your city?

Fuji

What might we find on your desk right now?

A huge bottle of water with lemon.

A residential design project

A residential design project

Who do you look up to and why?

I’m all about powerful women. I’ve had many role models/mentors in and throughout my life for various reasons. I think that it’s important to take advice with an open mind and an open heart from people you respect and look up to. 

What’s your favorite project that you’ve done and why?

I really love working with my husband on his restaurant projects. They become sort of a love child of ours when they’re done. 

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Tulsa, OK

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Tulsa, OK

The Poynt in Newburyport, MA

The Poynt in Newburyport, MA

Spunky Monkey from a Restaurant Impossible episode

Spunky Monkey from a Restaurant Impossible episode

What are the last five songs you listened to?

Shape of You - Ed Sheeran
Love the Way You Lie - Rihanna/ Eminem
I Took A Pill in Ibiza - Mike Posner
Don’t Mind - Kent Jones
Stir it Up - Bob Marley

Taniya and her mom Leela, Taniya's bulldog Flynn, Taniya and her husband Brian, Taniya and her nephews Vijay and Curren, Taniya and her sister Yoshike in the 90s (mall hair!)

Taniya and her mom Leela, Taniya's bulldog Flynn, Taniya and her husband Brian, Taniya and her nephews Vijay and Curren, Taniya and her sister Yoshike in the 90s (mall hair!)

Get more Taniya at taniyanayak.com and follow her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.


Thank you to our sponsor Parachute Home.
To excel, sometimes you've got to venture bravely outside of your comfort-zone, right? That's why it's so important that when you return to your *actual* comfort zone, it's awesome. That's where Parachute Home comes in, with their dreamy bed sheets, bathrobes and towels... cozy and Clever-approved!


Special thanks to Chris Modl of Yore Studio for editing this episode.
Music in this episode courtesy of El Ten Eleven—hear more on Bandcamp.
Shoutout to Jenny Rask for designing the Clever logo.