l thought I would do something a bit different on my blog by interviewing my very first client! Nicola, who is an HR Director for tech companies was my very first client who gave me an opportunity to design her beautiful sunny 1920’s Marina-style home in Potrero Hill. Continue reading to see what design problem she needed help with and why she hired an interior designer to transform her home!
Nicola, why did you decide to hire an interior designer?
I hired an interior designer because I knew I didn’t have the expertise to design my new home myself which had a completely different interior architecture than the loft I used to live in. I started going through magazines and looking at designs which I enjoyed. But, after spending hours looking for sofas, I realized I could be shopping all day long and still wouldn’t get it right so I thought why not get an interior designer with the experience to help me? Plus, I just didn’t have the time. Between work, my son, friends, and social activities, I didn’t want to make a mistake by trying to do it myself. Plus, I didn’t know where to start and had no clue on how to put everything together so that my new home reflected me.
Where did you start looking?
I started by first asking family and friends. I also looked on Yelp, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and by doing a search online. My friend is actually an interior designer, I but didn’t want to work with friends. I’ve worked with friends in the past and it never went well. I didn’t want to lose a friendship if something happened.
Why did you choose me?
I interviewed about 3-5 interior designers and I ended up choosing you because I knew you were a fresh and young interior designer who had your own business and was able to think creatively outside the box. I thought you were extremely professional and what blew me away was that you asked me to complete a design questionnaire asking me about my style, budget, materials, colors, etc.. I was impressed with that because no other designers I talked to had a design questionnaire they asked me to fill out right away. I was also impressed with the initial consultation not only because of the questionnaire, but you were also very clear about the design process. I had no clue about the process or that even floor plans were important at all or that it was needed to design rooms. It’s the design process and the fact that you were very technical and that helped me make the decision to hire you.
What was the design problem you had?
I used to live in a loft in the Mission, and when I bought a 1920’s marina style house, it had a completely different interior architecture than the loft I used to live in. Plus, the furniture from the loft didn’t fit in my new home. The aesthetic was very masculine with dark espresso wood, sharp edges, and lots of reds, oranges, and blacks. When I moved into my new house, I wanted to design it for myself and I wanted to make it my own. I knew I wanted it more feminine, soft, with curves, and I wanted to put my signature style/signature stamp on it. I knew I didn’t have the expertise to do it, especially when it comes to interior design. With fashion, no problem, but with interior design, I was completely lost and didn’t know where to start. How was I going to make my new home reflect my personality?
How did I solve your design problem?
You created each room to reflect my personality. You took into account the colors, flow, furnishings, and accessories that represent me and created a feminine and soft design that I truly wanted. When you put together the design concept, measured each room, drafted the floor plans, and created the visual mood boards, that blew me away because I had no idea what the process was. It was so helpful for me when you put pictures of each item together on the mood board so I could visually see how everything would come together in each of the rooms. Plus, it was easy for me to select and buy things with the shopping list you provided. The end result came out even better than what I expected and each room is absolutely a reflection of ME.
How do you feel about your home now years later?
I absolutely LOVE it! It is SO ME. Everyone who comes into my home, compliment it. They say they love my home because it’s so me and they can see my personality in every single room. In fact, during a past get-together with girlfriends, one of my good friends said that the minute she walked into my house, she loved it and she wanted to move in with me! It reminded her of a “Sex and the City” inspired design which was a huge compliment for me because I love “Sex and the City”. Some words my friends used to describe my home were sunny, pretty, cozy, romantic, warm, friendly, and positive energy which basically described my personality and who I am. In fact my home was selected for Airbnb Plus. Airbnb Plus is a very selective program that recognizes homes known for quality and design and hosts known for great reviews and attention to detail. I feel like my home is truly an extension of who I am and years later, I still love it and I can’t imagine being anywhere else.