Upholstery Chart

How handy is this?  I'm sure any upholsterer would cringe at the idea of using this too literally, but it's definitely something I'm keeping in my back pocket for rough estimates.  Like those moments when a client suddenly asks how many yards to recover their sofa and you give them a nice, long blank stare?  May or may not have done that before.


Designer Profile: Interview with Barbara Franceski

This Designer Profile Series began as a little pipe dream in February and has quickly grown into interviews with fourteen top Interior Designers as a more personal look into their well-recognized careers. Their insight and advice has fed my desire to learn what it really takes to "make it", not just creatively but professionally, in the design industry and I've selfishly (I admit it) used this blog as reason to converse with some of those I most admire.  But fifteen just feels like a good number to end it on...

I've decided to end the series with one of Washington's finest designers, Barbara Franceski, whose sophisticated interiors are at once fresh, modern and timeless.  Since a young age, Barbara's artistic inclinations led her toward a career in interior design and her extensive travels have offered continuous inspiration.  As an NCIDQ-certified designer, Barbara and her namesake design firm have been recognized with numerous awards from the Washington design community. She is certainly a remarkable designer to watch and I'm so pleased to have her for the final interview here on The Beautiful Shelter.  Thank you Barbara!

Can you tell us about your first job in the design field?
Right out of college, I served as project manager assistant at a Knoll systems furniture dealer. I logged many hours on commercial and government installations and reconfigurations, did lots of space analysis and planning, specifying, and tracking. I went everywhere around DC--from the basement of the Pentagon to the Marine Corps Base in Quantico to law offices and federal government agencies. It sounds fun as a first job, but I quickly realized that the contract side of interior design wasn’t my thing. However, I will always be thankful for the experience, especially for the large amount of space planning I had to do which serves me well even today.

What is your design philosophy?
I always set out to create elegant, dynamic interiors. How I get there on each project may differ, but I pay attention first and foremost to the space and its architecture, the surroundings, and my client. A great deal of thought goes into my interiors. I don’t simply place a floor lamp next to a reading chair and declare mission accomplished! I care about the placement and shape of the chair, and the lines of the lamp in relation to the chair, plus how they both relate to what’s going on in the bigger context of the room and even the house. I tend to blend the classical with the contemporary, and have a good time playing with textures, patterns and colors. The end result is a smart, eye-appealing, eminently livable home.

What is your most memorable travel destination?
Positano on the Amalfi Coast of Italy is one of my favorite places in the world. Beyond gorgeous scenery, new adventures to be had around every corner, incredible food and drink, and a palpable sense of ease that makes you want to stay forever.

What are your “best practices” for accessorizing a room?
Art and accessories are what make a space complete. A room can have good bones, beautiful furniture, and still come off absolutely flat. It’s this last layer of personality that sets your home apart and quite frankly, makes you feel at home. That being said, I am somewhat of a minimalist when it comes to accessories. Every inch of wall space or table top does not need to be covered. Remember that the space around an object is just as important as the object itself. And, the ability to combine, edit and refine is essential.

What has been the greatest lesson since opening your business?
It’s two-fold. First is to be true to who I am. With that in motion, my value as “trusted advisor” to my clients is priceless.

Photography Credit: Angie Seckinger and Gunnar Westerlind

Thank you again Barbara!


Designer Profile: Interview with Andrea Monath Schumacher

I'm back from a short blogging hiatus with something that's sure to make up for lost time! 

I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Monath Schumacher, the remarkably talented Interior Designer whose work you've likely spotted in House Beautiful or Colorado Homes magazines.  Following her education at Colorado State and Harvard University, Andrea formed O Interior Design firm, where she has designed luxurious and personal interiors that are absolute design perfection.  Read on as she shares her unlikely introduction to interior design, a memorable African retreat and the foundation for her success.

Thank you Andrea for taking part in this series!

When did you know you were destined for a career in design? 

At 16 years old I got a backstage tour from a set designer at a rock n’ roll concert.  I was absolutely blown away by the innovation that went into creating that stage.  It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in set design.  Three years after that formative night I was fortunate enough to land a gig on the set of Days of our Lives, and I later worked with Columbia Pictures.   My time in set design inspired me and gave me the experience to confidently move into the world of residential and commercial interior design.   

What’s inspiring you right now? 

I am inspired by everyday items: a picture frame, a piece of clothing, a vintage photograph or my grandmother’s jewelry.  Even words or a piece of music can be inspiring.  The great designers of the 20th century, such as Albert Hadley and Dorothy Draper, are endlessly influencing me.  Today’s newest fabric introductions amaze me with their bold use of color, texture and pattern. 

What is your most memorable travel destination? 

I will never forget my trip to Botswana and South Africa.  Not only was the scenery and wildlife spectacular, but I was blown away by the design of the tented camps that we stayed in.  The level of luxury found in the midst of the African bush at Mombo Pool and King’s Camp was unreal (images attached)These tents seamlessly blended in with the landscape surrounding them, and utilized colors and textures from nature to influence their design schemes. 

Do you have a favorite project to date? 

My absolute favorite project to date is with Fluff Beauty Bar out here in DenverFluff is the hip alternative to a traditional full-service salon (it offers a full wine bar) and the owners wanted a glam and swanky space.  The concept allowed for endless creativity, which I truly thrive on.  We played with various shades and textures of whites, silvers and pale blues.  White glass Murano chandeliers, antiqued mirrors and globe-shaped fireplaces were just a few of the surprise elements we used to set this salon apart.   

What has been the greatest lesson since opening your business?
The greatest lesson since opening my business has been that the most important part of my inner success, my inner happiness, is fostering good relationships.  It's about the people, and the fact that I can positively impact their lives.  Your surroundings effect your mental and physical state and I am proud to be a part of that.   

  (I desperately want this powder room...)

Thank you again Andrea!


Designer Profile: Interview with Shirry Dolgin

With a modern and inviting portfolio, a Cum Laude degree in Interior Design and an L.A.-based design firm, there is so much to admire about Shirry Dolgin!  After discovering her work on Elle Decor's website, I'm so happy to introduce her as the next designer in this series.  It's always fun to hear about how someone so young attains this level of success, so thank you Shirry for taking part in this!

Becoming a Designer
I started working in the interior design industry as a second career option for me. This may sound funny since I am only 29, but the truth is that I spent all of my youth studying the performing arts. I was always attracted and influenced by everything in design including interiors, products, fashion, art, and architecture….but I never thought I would have a career like I do. I worked very hard in design school and also worked with several design companies before opening A.S.D. Interiors in 2004.

Inspiration is an abstract concept because it can come in the form of people I meet, books I read, art I see, fashion etc. The truth is that I am constantly looking for it and since my radar is open to receiving it, I find inspiration all over the place. Often times I find inspiration going to new coffee shops, clothing stores, or book stores and exploring new places that I haven't seen before....and travel is always a huge inspiration.

My design philosophy has many layers to it. I design my interiors to enhance people’s lives, make rooms contemporary and comfortable, and invest every dollar my client is spending wisely. I also try to make the process as easy and as simple as possible for my client while solving problems and coming up with wise solutions.

I mentioned travel before and it is something I have been fortunate enough to experience starting at an early age. My mother in particular made it a point to have all of us travel nationally and internationally as she believed it would broaden our understanding of the world. And it did! I truly believe it’s the most valuable thing you can do for yourself in a lifetime.

I absolutely love traveling to big cities. I would have to say that my favorite travel destination is Tel Aviv, Israel. I always say that it feels like a mix between Manhattan and Paris! I love it not only because I get to visit my family, but I find that there is so much great energy and momentum from the people and culture there.

In House
As far as choosing a favorite room to design, I think it’s a tossup between the master bedroom and family room. I love doing master bedrooms because of the intimacy and sexiness of a master bedroom. Often times people ask for their master bedroom to feel like a hotel, and I have a lot of fun with that! Second is the family room because it’s usually the most public room in the house. I enjoy the challenge of trying to show a personality in that room which is cool and contemporary but also fun for entertaining!

Your Success
There are a lot of great project, both commercial and residential, that I am currently working on. In conjunction with them, I am writing a new online design book as well as launching a video series on my blog which will help homeowners spend their money wisely when designing their homes!
Related Posts with Thumbnails