Where are you from originally?
“Michigan! Just outside of Ann Arbor, a little town called Pinckney. I moved to Florida in 1998 for a change of pace.”
How did you get started in interior design?
“Well, my background is in architecture, and when I left Michigan, I came down here to work in an architecture office that didn’t work out the way I was hoping. So, I decided to go back to school for interior design, and I graduated from The Art Institute of Fort. Lauderdale in 2000.”
What’s your favorite design style?
“In the 1930s, there was a design movement called Bauhaus at the International Design School, so it was the beginning of what we now call Modern Architecture. White walls, flat roofs, ribbon windows, using natural materials as decoration like slabs of stone and how they are book-matched to create a pattern. All those things in the 1930s were progressive, and it was also the same period that the Bauhaus movement was starting to do mass production of decorative objects. So all this creativity came together under one school called the Bauhaus, and you had all these designers and architects working together. The design I loved, but the idea of having all of these people come together to help one another create the best design is what has always inspired me to go in that direction of design.”
Where do you gain inspiration from?
“Um…good question! it could be anything… Nowadays, I could see a pattern and a piece of fabric, or I could be motivated by the way the light hits the street. There are just things that will strike me on every project that is the genesis for the design. So I just let my mind be open and pay attention to what the client’s needs are and what the program statement is for that design, but allow myself to be inspired by something that will help me push it to the next level.”
What is your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
“I always say that every project I’ve ever worked on is my favorite project until the next project. I think that part of being a good designer is you’re fully in the moment with the project you’re on. You’re loving it and doing everything you can to make it the best project ever. Then, the next project comes along, and you’re back, but with a different set of parameters, inspirations, and boundaries you want to explore, and that’s what makes every project the best!”
What advice do you give your clients when working with them?
“Budget is always a concern with a client, and I never want my client to be embarrassed about what they want to spend on their house. I just ask the client to be open to spending a little bit more on one piece and a lot less on another to compensate for it. The goal is to have an appropriate look for what we are doing and not fixate on the cost of one item versus another. The overall goal is to meet their budget, and we might have ups and downs to do that, but it helps us to create a more diverse interior and meet their budget goals. Additional advice would be to come with pictures you like, as well as pictures you don’t like.”
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Make sure that anything you can touch is of the highest quality because you can sense cheap with your fingertips.”
If you were designing your dream home, what’s one thing you must have in it?
“Glass walls. Lots of windows! I love having the outside come in.”
When you’re not working, what are you doing?
“Well, there is that little 7-pound bundle of joy. (Laughs) Besides that, if I’m not working and have free time, I love baking, photography, and traveling!”
Written By: Caitlin Kader