What should a homeowner know ahead of a visit to an interior designer?
Usually when a homeowner has an idea of what they want, that helps a lot. Like if they want to build a new house for example. If they begin to align items of what is important to them, like a three car garage, a pool, or a gym, or they want a party patio for their dog. Simple line items really help us a lot to prepare when we are going to meet them for the first time. When we contract, we do something that is actually very interesting: we interview our clients. We have a format where we basically get to know a client, on if they like a white house or if they want a Greek house.
We also ask questions like if they have allergies, if they have elderly people living with them in their house, if they have kids, and how many kids they have. We have very specific questions that we ask because that influences us a lot on what we're going to propose and design because what we do is make daily life for our clients the most comfortable, most livable and most healthy for them.
How has the pandemic affected your interior design work?
We had way more projects last year than after Harvey, for example, which is a surprise. We have so much work that sometimes we're working until midnight, then sometimes waking up at 4 a.m. Everybody realized that they have to stay with the kids. They have to work at home, do exercise at home. As a result we had a lot of requests for game rooms, offices, kids rooms, and also modular spaces.
What this means is that homeowners wonder if they have enough square footage in their house or apartment to have all of those different rooms. Or they can convert. They can be a game room, but then during the office hours or during the morning it can be an office or also a theater, or a game room like we have a lot of models or spaces to request.
What popular interior design trends are you seeing right now?
Brick wash as well as vinyl are getting to be bigger and bigger. Vinyl flooring is becoming more and more affordable, it’s easy to clean, and it’s easy to repair, too, like if you have a crack, then you don’t need to change the whole space. Dekton is a really good countertop that I highly recommend.
Air purifiers are also getting very trendy especially after last year. Cork is also really, really good for sound, and you can put cork in the wall, cork in the floor, you’d be surprised.
Using lichen for accent walls is also getting more popular, though you need to know from which provider exactly to get it. The lichen lasts many, many, years, especially in Houston, where high humidity is better for the lake.