interior design

Designing for Yourself and Others

What are the key questions to ask?

by Barbara Schmidt

Photographer Mike Maki; Custom Designed Bath by Interior Designer Barbara Schmidt, studiobstyle

Photographer Mike Maki; Custom Designed Bath by Interior Designer Barbara Schmidt, studiobstyle

Interior design isn’t about what it looks like to the world, it’s how it makes you feel and how it helps you to live your life. A lot of pretty pictures are just that – pretty pictures without a living story. Great interior design is born from architecture, function, flow, scale, texture and color among other elements.

Each project I design is unique to the client and the specifications of the persona who would spend time in that space. No one wants to have cookie cutter design and we develop an entire proprietary outline of each project’s desired outcome.

We ask ourselves what success looks like and how that will help us to reach creative and budget perimeters.

 

Photographer Mike Maki; Custom Designed Master Suite by Interior Designer Barbara Schmidt, studiobstyle

Photographer Mike Maki; Custom Designed Master Suite by Interior Designer Barbara Schmidt, studiobstyle

Here are three of our questions for a quick start to our process:

1)   How would you like to feel in the space?

This is truly the most important outcome of great design. I personally love wide-open spaces because they help me dream. I also love cozy nooks that help you feel tucked in. Within every space I’ve designed there are resting points where you can enjoy your surroundings.

Custom Designed Dining Room; Photographer Tim Nehotte; Interior Designer Barbara Schmidt studiobstyle

Custom Designed Dining Room; Photographer Tim Nehotte; Interior Designer Barbara Schmidt studiobstyle

2)   If you were describing this space to your best friend what would it look like?

This is the question that gets to the honesty of the design outcome without judgment. How someone shares a space with his or her favorite friend is a telling scenario. Spaces are emotional and to me I think that’s where studiobstyle’s success has come from – my passion for designing environments.


Kitchen that needs natural light and more cool tones in the design

Kitchen that needs natural light and more cool tones in the design

3)   What spaces don’t you like and why?

Someone once asked me if I would regret a decision.  This was to see if I could make a decision in reverse. Would I feel regret for the choice I didn’t make? Sometimes this brings more clarity to decision making.

Now I always ask what clients do not like. Some of the answers I’ve received are silly for example not liking shells or butterflies but then sometimes I find them not liking cool tones like blues or grays. This question helps us focus in on what is pleasing to the client’s eye.

Ultimately whether you are designing for yourself or a client it’s good to do some creative research by asking yourself what are the creative goals. In marketing we call this a creative brief and this is the measure of success. A successful space is one that you want to share and don’t ever want to leave.