Thursday, November 29, 2012

What Makes a Great Designer?

There are many attributes that any great designer will possess, and I in no way claim to know what all of them are. I think things like attention to detail are very important and of course there's creativity and originality. But one of the things that makes a great designer is their ability to deal with the problems or quirks of a space; they take the quirks and make them into something special. I think that's often why people feel the need to hire a designer; they have a problem space or an odd layout and they just don't know how to make it look good. A good designer will come to the rescue and transform the less than ideal space into something fantastic and that makes for happy clients!

Here's what I'm talking about. See how Nate Berkus treats these strange, small, low-to-the-ground windows in the master bedroom of his NYC apartment. (Images via Architectural Digest.)



So genius, right?

And I love how Lauren Liess treated the one corner of her client's living room. She tucked a little office in the corner and linked it to the main sitting area with a stylish Mies van der Rohe daybed. Very chic. That corner could have been a "problem area" otherwise.

Office, Far Right

I also like how she divided the main sitting area. The sofa sits against the left wall with its own coffee table/ottoman. The two, over-sized armchairs sit against the right wall with their own coffee table. It's a unique move that delivers big style!

And I know I showed you this gallery wall by Suzanne Dimma recently, but it's so good. What could have been a long, bare, boring wall becomes a fabulous gallery with suspended artwork and a long, low bench.


The quirks of a space are what make it unique and when treated or handled well, they keep the space form being ordinary or boring.

So, maybe you've got a large, bare wall staring you in the face or some awkwardly placed/sized windows. Perhaps a long, narrow hallway that just needs something. Think of these apparent downfalls as opportunities to do something unique and special. The pros do it all the time! I'm sure we could analyze any well-designed/decorated space and find the quirks-turned-features.

Now, I'm off to look for the quirks in my home!



  1. Love this post Sarah! Such great ideas. :)

  2. Great post. Probably my fav thing about design - turning ugly into fab.

  3. Amazing. I'm so impressed with how the designer worked with those low windows. I would not have known what to do with them


  4. Fantastic post! I loooove what Nate did with that space in particular, and always love the creativity of Lauren Liess. I think her work is awesome... and Suzanne Dimma's as well. I really enjoyed this little reminder to maximize rather than despair the quirks of a space!


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