Scott Schershel and Chip Vogel

Designers Chip Vogel and Scott Schershel are the owners of Interior Spaces.  Specializing in kitchen and bath design, their work has evolved to offer the full package of interior design, exterior renovations and garden design.  They also write “Expert Advice”, a weekly column in the Tampa Bay Times about residential design ideas.  Photographed at their 1925 bungalow and design studio in Hyde Park.

Chip, what three things make a house great?  Proper use of space.  Light, both natural and installed.  Organization–which makes all aspects of life more enjoyable.

Scott, what three things make a garden great?  Texture–combining plant textures creates a tapestry in the garden.  Visual interest, the plants themselves, the shapes of the planting beds, sculptural or hardscape elements, garden structures–preferably all of these combined!  Drawing people into the garden, either physically or just visually.

Name the four best things within walking distance of your house in Hyde Park.  Bayshore Boulevard, CineBistro, tree-lined shady streets, neighbors!

When did you move to Tampa?  How has it become part of your identity?  Chip: We both moved to the Tampa Bay area in 1972.  I moved from Connecticut to start a new life.  My first apartment was in Hyde Park Village where the Pottery Barn now stands.  It had pecky cypress woodwork and two balconies—all for $75 a month.  Scott: I moved to Tampa proper from Sarasota in 1998.  Tampa has a wonderful, tight-knit community that embraces you and is easy to become a part of.  The opportunity for growth and involvement are immense.  The beautiful neighborhoods each have their own personality that  all combine to form a diverse and rich community.

Is there a “Tampa Style”?  What defines it?  “Tampa Style” would depend on the part of town you’re in.  In South Tampa, there are many bungalow homes, which can tend to lead a design by it’s architectural elements.  Many bungalow owners tend towards a polished, traditional design aesthetic. However, with the influx of younger homeowners, the design aesthetic is shifting to a more modern or transitional feel–mixing clean lines and open spaces with classic features. In the newer parts of Tampa, the style ranges from European traditional through glass-and-chrome modern, stopping at every station in between!

Chip, can we have your recipe for a Vodka Gimlet?  We always use fresh squeezed lime.  A jigger of Ketel One vodka, an ounce of fresh lime juice, and a splash of club soda, tonic or filtered water “to loosen”.  A quick shake to make sure it’s well blended!

Chip, ask Scott a hard question.  Why don’t you like my cooking?

Scott, ask Chip a hard question.  Why do you cook what you cook?

How did you choose the names of your Norwich Terriers, Baxter and Bailey?  We toss out names and let them drift around until one seems right for the dog.  You can just tell when it’s the name they’re supposed to have!

What is your favorite object in your house?  Scott: a collected piece of art we call “The Faces”.  The 54 individual canvases were painted by the artist Hans Feyerabend.  We purchased the collection and mounted and framed them ourselves.  We sometimes play a party game where a guest gets to pick out which one of the people in the painting they think looks most like them….then the other guests get to tell that person which one they think looks most like them and why.  It can be very “enlightening”!  Chip: a pair of statuettes, probably made for vintage trophies, I found in an antique store in St. Petersburg years ago.  They are so simple, but the detailing is beautiful!

Let us in on a favorite tucked-away spot for drinks and dinner.  We love the Colonnade on Bayshore.  We always sit in the back bar–it’s a dark and cozy trip back to the 70’s!  We love the old-school cocktails and chatting with the older Bayshore condo ladies.

Chip, what’s up with the clocks?  I love old clocks so started integrating them into my kitchen designs years ago.  They have become somewhat of a trademark!