WALTHAM, MA- Taniya Nayak is one of the nation’s foremost interior designers. She became a household name as a design expert member on HGTV and Food Network.
Nayak has served as host and designer for a variety of HGTV mainstays like Designed to Sell, Billion Dollar Block, House Hunters on Vacation, and throughout HGTV.com. She can also be seen on Robert Irvine’s Food Network series, Restaurant: Impossible, where she utilizes her design prowess and professional experience to rescue and transform suffering restaurants.
Nayak owns a successful, Boston-based interior design firm, Taniya Nayak Design LLC., where she adds a fresh, clean look to both commercial and residential spaces.
INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it?
Taniya Nayak: As a professional interior designer as well as a television personality I love the reach I have with people to share what I love and hopefully help them create a blissful environment for their homes or restaurants. Nothing is more gratifying than know you have helped someone live better. I am a believer that everything starts at home- it is what shapes your everyday both professionally and personally.
INE: To which charitable, community and professional group do you belong and why?
TN: 1. I am an honorary board member for a Boston based organization called Room To Dream where we design bedrooms for sick children and their siblings. This all leads to my belief that a happy space creates a healthy environment.
- I participate and MC events for No Kid Hungry here in the states which is an organization that is helping to put an end to childhood hunger here in America
- I am involved with and was MC for Akshaya Patra Boston Chapter this year. We all know about Akshaya Patra, an Indian organization that fuels children with food for education.
- I am an active member of Smile Train where I have traveled to both India as well as Mexico City to meet with patients, surgeons, and Smile Train reps to help provide surgeries to children born with Cleft Lip and Cleft Palette.
- My husband and I donate our time and service for Charlottes Run each year for the last 7 years benefiting research to help put an end to Neuroblastoma (pediatric cancer)
- I am a board member for my alma mater Boston Architectural College
INE: What are your hobbies and interests?
TN: I love to dance. I love to travel. I love to exercise. And although it’s my work, I love to design (even as a hobby).
INE: In what way do you feel you have positively influenced or served the local community and your company/organization and professional field?
TN: I feel that having the platform as a public figure, I am able to spread a message whether it is for charitable causes or for general home improvements to a much further reach.
INE: Your rare talent?
TN: Non-stop smiler.
INE: Your favorite books?
TN: To this day one of my all-time favorite books is The Diary of Anne Frank.
I love to read all different types of books but that one always stuck out in my mind as the true story of the courageous young girl fighting her way through traumatic times and events that one could never even imagine. If she could endure that- it’s a reminder that we can try to manage difficult times in our everyday lives and somehow try to stay positive through it all.
INE: Your favorite quotes?
TN: “Be Happy.” and “It’s Not What Happens. It’s How You Handle It.”
INE: Who inspires you the most?
TN: My parents.
The story of their love marriage and their journey to make a great life here in America for all of us is awe-inspiring to me. I often wonder how they did it? How scary it must have been to leave everyone behind and start fresh here in a new country.
My architect father has been a true inspiration to me in my career path as an Interior Designer. As a child he always brought me to job sites and showed me his drawings. To this day he works hard every day running his firm and just recently was awarded his Fellowship for his tremendous work and contribution as an architect. One of the highest honors one can receive in architecture the field.
My Mom- she is the epitome of positivity and happiness. She encourages us to always shine and be kind to others. I feel fortunate to have that balance from my parents in my life.
INE: The one person you would like to meet and why?
TN: I would have said Oprah but I actually did have the honor of meeting her and being on her show several years back. We didn’t really get to have a full conversation so I would love to sit with her and chat over dinner. I want to know what that force was behind her to start off as a news anchor and flourish into a media mogul superstar. I admire her ambition, drive, and especially her contributions in giving back to society. I admire that she is a minority woman that opened new boundaries for women like myself.
INE: Your core value you try to live by?
TN: Gratitude- every time, every day.