Boston-based interior designer Katie Rosenfeld got her start as a residential art consultant, using her own home as an art gallery. Clients had strong reactions to her home and design sensibility, and repeatedly requested her help designing their spaces, as well as filling their walls. It was an organic and natural progression for her to become a designer, and she still draws inspiration from art.
Rosenfeld’s personal aesthetic is a blend of old, new, high, low and everything in between. She uses art, color and pattern with reckless abandon where allowed. Her clients, she says, are real people who live in real houses with families so her priority as a designer is creating a space that works as well as it looks.
Her advice to anyone starting to invest in their home: “Use art as a spring-board for developing your design palette. Use it as a directive; let it dictate the one curve-ball accent color in your scheme. Based in Weston, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, Rosenfeld is also engaged in social media through her blog http://www.bo glestreet.com. For more about Rosenfeld, visit www.katierosenfelddesign.com.
Jessica Geller and Virginia Toledo, the duo behind id 810 design group, describe the aesthetic of their work as enhancing yesterday s classics with today s luxuries. They have built their business by listening to clients and designing spaces that reflect the dreams, and more importantly the needs, of those living there. The balance of thorough planning and a passion for the unexpected give their projects a feeling of modern, unpretentious luxury.
Founded in 2006, id 810 enjoyed a booming economy at the outset, but quickly adapted to the changing times by modifying its business plan and broadening its client base. Geller and Toledo remained successful and are now receiving high praise and recognition for their work.
They are inspired by women they call the great originals:” Elsie De Wolfe, Dorothy Draper and Sister Parish to name a few. They also have advice for women starting their own businesses in the interior design industry. Toledo says, “If you’re starting your own design firm, you need to know that it’s not all about design. The client expectation and management will become most of your day, and time spent being creative is unfortunately limited. Geller says, “You have to develop a thick skin – it’s easy for people to assume they can bully female professionals in any field, so learning how to hold your own and be strong is crucial. For more on id 810, visit www.id810designgroup.com.
Kelly Nelson and Michele Plachter of Nelson-Plachter Design in Philadelphia are passionate about bringing a fresh twist to classic design. While most designers dream in color and work in neutrals, this duo works differently. “In theory we like the idea of designing neutral spaces, but in reality we can never resist adding bold color and graphic design.”
Clean-lined, elegant spaces that incorporate vintage and have a bit of an edge are the signature of their work. That, and lighting.“Lights are like shoes, says Nelson. “Go big or go home!” Many of their design idols, including Suzanne Kasler, Vicente Wolf and Amanda Nisbet, have mastered the mix of vintage and modern with chic, sophisticated results.
Nelson and Plachter have spent years building relationships with local artists and artisans and know first-hand the importance of quality workmanship. Their advice to anyone entering the design field: seek out good people to work with. The right painter, upholsterer and woodworker makes your work look even better. For more on Nelson-Plachter, visit www.npdesign inc.com.
Designer Mona Ross Berman opened her eponymous design firm in Philadelphia in 2004, and has been steadily increasing her client base and expanding into new markets ever since. Her aesthetic as a designer is rooted in the classics, but marked by a fresh and fun twist. She approaches every project as a unique opportunity to explore new ideas and find solutions for her clients.
Communication skills are essential to the client relationship, she says, and women are natural communicators. “Being a good designer requires talent, hard work, and experience but that is just one piece of the puzzle, says Berman. “Design requires a lot of interfacing with clients, vendors and manufacturers. If you are a good communicator you will be significantly better at your job.”
Designers such as Jonathan Adler, David Hicks and Kelly Wearstler have influenced her approach to scale and color. With the recent publication of a project in House Beautiful, among other accolades for her work as a high-end residential designer, Berman is enjoying the national exposure and looking forward to new opportunities for her business. For more, visit www.monarossberman.com.