Danielle Hirsch of Mill Valley

When you meet Danielle Hirsch it’s not hard to imagine how she charmed the HGTV producers with her homemade audition tape. Her enthusiasm for color and design and all things pretty is contagious. In addition to demystifying the world of hues to home viewers via the shows Design Remix and Color Splash, she has also been a consultant for Marin homeowners and Bay Area hotels. This summer Hirsch is busy with her new business Danielle Hirsch Painting, as well as updating her daily blog and making sure daughters Madison and Kiele make it to the soccer field or RoCo dance studio on time.

Why Marin?  I am a Jersey girl. When my husband (then boyfriend) started his company On Board Entertainment (focusing on extreme sporting events), most of what he was shooting was happening on the West Coast. We packed up a 25-foot moving truck and drove cross-country. We ended up in Sausalito and fell in love with Marin.

Still in Sausalito?  Nope, now we are in Cascade Canyon in Mill Valley. Our house is literally built around the redwoods; it’s like living in a tree house. In fact, when three had to come down for safety reasons, we sent the large stumps up to Ukiah and had them milled into siding for our remodel. It was probably more expensive to use this wood, but it just seemed like it was the right thing to do.

How did you get the gig with HGTV?  I answered an ad on craigslist. A local production company was looking for a painter who also knew carpentry. A friend of mine filmed a video. It was really, really cheesy, and we took some head shots and submitted them. As it turned out I was the only female they auditioned, I got the job and I became the painter on the show Design Remix.

What were you doing prior to being a designer?  When I first moved here, I was an assistant sales rep for Rusty apparel, and I had a short stint (waiting tables) at Sushi Ran. Now every time I go into Sushi Ran I thank Yoshi for firing me because if he didn’t, my life wouldn’t have taken the turn it did.

Did you have a mentor? Beatrice van der Voort, a faux finisher, took me under her wing and taught me so much about decorative finishes.

Do you have a favorite dining room color?  Orange and shades of peach are said to stimulate your appetite and aid in digestion. And red; it is the most emotionally intense color. It stimulates conversation and gives the impression of hospitality.

What colors will define 2010? Going green has become the way of life rather than a trend. Repurposing items and living sensibly are reflected in earthy elements: rich soil, brilliant fruit and plants, and sumptuous minerals paired with unbiased neutral colors.

Colors for 2011? The color trends gear toward appreciating the old and the new. For instance, rust represents a deep warmth and seeing beauty in the passage of time. Escapism can be reflected in bright red and deep blues, balanced by nature-inspired green. A sense of nature can be attained by looking into the depths and layers of the environment. Texture is important and plays a major role. Colors are soft and faded, windswept and washed, and monochromatically layered. And there’s technology: colors are neutral and grey.

Mimi Towle

Mimi Towle has been the editor of Marin Magazine for over a decade. She lived with her family in Sycamore Park and Strawberry and thoroughly enjoyed raising two daughters in the mayhem of Marin’s youth sports; soccer, swim, volleyball, ballet, hip hop, gymnastics and many many hours spent at Miwok Stables. Her community involvements include volunteering at her daughter’s schools, coaching soccer and volleyball (glorified snack mom), being on the board of both Richardson Bay Audubon Center. Currently residing on a floating home in Sausalito, she enjoys all water activity, including learning how to steer a 6-person canoe for the Tamalpais Outrigger Canoe Club. Born and raised in Hawaii, her fondness for the islands has on occasion made its way into the pages of the magazine.