Q and A with Gray Oak

As we've navigated this first year of business...technically first 6 months...we've started to hear some of the same questions about our design process and interior design in general. Today we thought it could be helpful, and maybe even fun, to answer some of these questions about how Sonia, Michele and I get our design on. Here we go...

Question - "Do all three of you work on projects together?" 

Answer - YES! We do! We think this is one of the biggest benefits that set us apart from other design teams: clients get three unique, creative perspectives packaged in one, cohesive vision. To streamline our process, there's always a project lead who is the primary point of contact for a client and takes the reigns on major decisions. But, it is very much a collaboration.  


Question - "How do you decorate a house in a style that's not your style?"

Answer - It's not as tricky as you might think. In fact, decorating out of our own design style is usually when we have the most fun. Between Michele, Sonia and I, we have three different personal styles, but we also all love good design in whatever form it takes. A good parallel is fashion. I think we've all admired the clothes of someone else at one time or another, even if we knew it was something we wouldn't wear ourselves. It's the same for interior design. You decorate your home in a certain style because it suits your space and budget and, simply, makes you feel comfortable. But, that doesn't mean you don't walk into a friend's home, which is decorated completely different, and genuinely admire their style...maybe even covet their kitchen island pendants. We love tapping into our clients' aesthetic and creating the style and function that means "home" to them.


Question - "Should I wait to get an interior designer until my kids are older?"

Answer - Nope. We are all moms to young kiddos. Between the 3 of us, our oldest is 8 and our youngest will be born early 2018! Being part of young, busy families, we deeply understand and appreciate the importance of practicality in design. We'd venture to say that designing for families is where we shine. We think about who is going to use the space, whether their hands will be covered in goo or their walking skills are still on the upswing. The goal isn't to have a magazine-worthy home at all hours of the day, the goal is to have a beautiful home that works for the way your family uses it and can be gorgeously pulled together/put away for guests and hosting and special occasions. In other words, we don't follow the "kids can't go in this room ever" style of decorating. 


Question - "How do you choose paint colors?"

Answer - We do a lot of research, we stay on top of trends and we get samples! Whether we get large pre-painted swatches or actually paint little patches on a wall, we try the color in the room before we commit. The amount of natural and artificial light in a room has a huge impact on how a color will read and sometimes one color can appear totally different in two different rooms. With that being said, we have also become well-versed in some staple neutrals that look great in just about any home. 


Question - We get a lot of technical questions about furniture height and curtain length and crown molding shape. Yes, most of these questions are from our moms, looking for some free advice, but we think a lot of people have these type questions and wonder how they play into interior design. 

Answer - Part of interior design is understanding and implementing the little, technical elements of design that make a world of difference in the practical use of a room. Having a seriously gorgeous rug under your dining room table doesn't outweigh the annoyance of pulling your dining chair out and having 2 legs on the rug and 2 legs off the rug and being off balance and spilling your soup. A proportionally sized rug is functionally important and it also looks great. When we design a space we prioritize beauty, of course, but we do so within the context of what functionally works for the space (ceiling height, window size, etc.). 

And that's that...for now. If you have any burning questions about our design process or interior design in general, fire away! Thanks for reading.

- Leah