Boston Design Week Event: Meet the Moderators, Taniya Nayak and Patti Austin

March 18, 2015

Untitled-1Taniya Nayak, left; Patti Austin, right

On March 23, 2015, Cumar Marble & Granite, with the M-Geough Co, is proud to present a special Boston Design Week Event, “Designing the Next Generation: The Give and Take of Mentoring in Luxury Homes.” Taniya Nayak and Patti Austin will lead a panel of design stars as they discuss the importance of mentorship in the field of interior design. Included in this panel will be Meichi Peng, founder and principle of Meichi Peng Interior Design Studio; Andrew Goldstein, retired CEO of Thoughtforms; David J. Hacin, founder and principle of Hacin & Associates; Cheryl Katz, owner and co-founder of C & J Katz Studio; and Sean Clarke, general manager of Clarke Distribution. It’s guaranteed to be a brilliant, uplifting discussion. And Cumar is particularly honored to feature two shining co-moderators for the day in Nayak and Austin. Let’s get to know them a little better.


Taniya Nayak

One of America’s leading interior designers, Taniya Nayak rose to stardom as a design expert on HGTV and the Food Network. In 2005 she founded Taniya Nayak Design LLC, a Boston-based interior design company that specializes in residential and commercial spaces. Nayak’s known for her mile-wide smile, personable demeanor, and easygoing attitude, as well as her genius for marrying rich textures and stunning finishes with functionality. She currently hosts the HGTV series House Hunters on Vacation and Billon Dollar Block, and appears regularly as a featured designer on Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible. In 2012, Taniya launched her first collection of home products, Taniya Nayak Lighting, available exclusively via, and very recently became the brand ambassador for Ellen DeGeneres.

Nayak remains at the leading edge of the interior design industry. She has worked with a striking range of high-end clientele, from television celebrities to famous musicians, and her designs can be found all around Boston too, at Petit Robert Central, 88 Wharf, Lola’s Cantina, Whiskey Republic, and Julep Bar, just to name a few. Taniya’s design wisdom has been featured in print at major outlets like People, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and Ladies Home Journal. She has also appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, NBC’s Today, The View, and Rachael Ray, among others.


Patti Austin

Patti Austin is one of the world’s most beloved jazz and R&B singers. Her most recent project, Avant-Gershwin, which reimagines Gershwin’s classic songs for a contemporary audience, won Austin the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocalist. “You can judge a brilliant piece of music by how you can bend and stretch it,“ said Austin. “I always believed George Gershwin to be avant-garde so I wanted to challenge myself and rework everything melodically and lyrically.”

Mentoring has been crucial to Austin’s life and career. She attributes a significant part of her success to the guidance of her mentors, notably that of her godparents, Quincy Jones and Dinah Washington. That’s why she co-founded the Over My Shoulder Foundation (OMSF): to recognize the vital importance of mentorship in individual lives as well as its positive impact to society as a whole. Austin is currently being mentored by members of Boston’s prestigious design community, foremost among them OMSF co-founder and Cumar designer Dawn Carroll, as she pursues her lifelong dream of becoming a professional interior designer.


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