When I first meet a prospective client they usually ask me to describe my style.
This is a fair question, as there are many interior designers who work this way, honing their signature style and working with clients who want some version of that look. For me, this question presents the perfect opportunity to communicate that what matters in my design practice is not my style, but their style. Allow me to explain.
Words can deceive us, as they can mean something different to each of us. If I were to describe my style as “modern,” you might think angular, steel, minimalist when what I mean is pared-down, cozy, light-filled.
Industry terms—like eclectic, traditional, global, coastal, industrial—come in handy when categorizing furniture or writing magazine articles, but beyond that, they can be cause for confusion.
I like to work beyond the terms and get to the heart of what my client wants to feel when they walk inside their home and sink down into their favorite spot.
Developing Your Design Palate
Your personal style is an ongoing process of discovery; it is flexible and fluid. With each new experience, your personal style evolves.
In order to reveal your taste, I ask certain questions. My goal is to help you to improve your palate so that you can articulate your likes and dislikes with comfort and ease.
You may have an idea of the look or style you want for your home, it is also perfectly fine if you have no idea what your style is.
In both scenarios, we take a deconstructive approach, breaking down what you think you like or know so that I can eventually present you with a skillfully reimagined combination of those details in your design.
Let’s say you express your love of “modern” interiors. From that one morsel, I will open up the conversation, asking for adjectives, experiences, and memories that reveal what modern means to you.
A client who spent a decade living in the San Francisco’s Bay area is likely to have a different take on “modern” than one who was born and raised in Florida.
Then I play Devil’s advocate, showing you through examples how modern can mean something else entirely, all the while noting which aspects of that word and style you are particularly attached to and why.
Many of our clients have traveled extensively; this is always a rich source of inspiration.
In these cases we ask about favorite trips or locations, discussing fond memories and associate feelings, sights, and sounds that made indelible impressions.
Our goal is not to recreate the experience, but to extract the elements that will conjure positive feelings and incorporate them in subtle ways that are appropriate for the space.
We will also spend time exploring colors, delving once again into what you like and dislike and why.
Perhaps you are drawn to neutrals because you see them as classics that you will never tire of.
Maybe you despise dark wood because your cranky aunt had a household full of it. Or you might have an affinity for bright or jewel tones because you work in the medical field and spend your work days surrounded by white walls.
Finally, there are digital mood boards.
Whether you come armed with a virtual smorgasbord of inspiration images from your favorite platforms or we review detailed images of rooms together, the idea is always to explore your reactions.
Together we can pinpoint exactly what appeals to you about each image, creating a design mise en place from which to create the perfect dish.
When we get to the Conceptual Design Phase, I will then show you images that resonate with the feeling words we foraged throughout the first part of the process.
Like a chef proudly describing her tasting menu, I explain what I have curated and why I am presenting you with the chosen materials, colors, pieces, and textures. It is a deliciously rewarding part of the process.
Why Work With an Interior Designer?
Style isn’t just about aesthetics. Yes, easeful style may involve soft furnishings and calming tones, but it can also center around your use of the space.
Highly-qualified interior designers are experts in improving the flow, functionality, efficiencies, and comfort level of your home. We know how to bring more light and beauty to a space.
We have been trained to identify quality and our reputations are built upon the level of service we provide.
Whether you’ve worked with an interior designer in the past or this is your first foray into done-for-you design, I can assure you that this experience will be different.
Serving as your trusted advisor and advocate, I will help you to distill your goals while honoring your style to expertly design the home of your dreams.
The Design Experience You’ve Been Looking For
Our design process puts your philosophy and personality first. It allows us to discover how you want to feel when you walk inside your home, rather than focusing solely on what you want to see or what others may expect of your home.
By establishing what speaks to you and why, we develop a font of design ideas that we can come back to throughout the project. Having this as a baseline will also make it infinitely easier to finalize the umpteen decisions that have to be made during your project.
This process as a whole will help you follow your instincts—rather than rules—so that your unique style can develop naturally.
If this sounds like the design experience you’ve been searching for, I invite you to take a look around; explore our portfolio, see the diversity in what we do, and allow your mind to wander as you think of how we can work together to redefine how it feels to come home.
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