When I begin working with a new client, I don’t really have any preconceptions about what will work, or what won't. The most important thing is to develop a design vocabulary with the client that reflects their taste, their lifestyle, their passions—not mine. My job is to understand the essence of what they like, then reinterpret and elevate that into a cohesive style, an integrated plan, something that they will understand and appreciate daily.
Often we will start by talking about spaces they have enjoyed, images of places that have made an impression in their mind. Or simply how they live day to day; rituals, small joys of being at home. Or objects or possessions that they love. The tipping point is when we focus on these memories and images of how they want to live, or things they want to live with. If interior architecture is part of a program, I work very closely with architects and other related professionals to make sure these visions and impressions are realized. This is the beginning of the story.
Storytelling, in fact, is part of the equation. Not only should the space reflect the client’s story, but it also should contain pieces that have stories of their own. I look to blend vintage pieces into each room. Such objects have a history—stories of who designed, owned, and made them—which engages one in the piece and lends a layer of richness you do not get with all new furnishings.
This process of curating and collecting can take longer, but letting it all evolve organically creates more depth of meaning, more authenticity. That is why taking time is key.