Stefanie Brooks is an award-winning interior designer out of Tacoma, Washington who offers a broad range of design services for both residential and commercial projects. She is known for bringing creativity and enthusiasm to every project to enhance her client's experience.
Photo by: Denise Knudson Photography
We had the opportunity to ask Stephanie five questions about her work and what advice she has to offer to future interior designers.
What is the best piece of advice you can give to students entering the field of Interior Design or Architecture?
Be patient for success, it does not always happen overnight. Listen and learn from other experienced designers, use them like a text book and as mentors. You will never know it all or have all of the answers. Be confident and humble, listen to your clients requests and befriend them as they are your referral base and the key to your long term success.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I honestly can say over the last 14 years it's definitely several components, however I will say for me it's the relationships I have formed between architects, contractors, subcontractors, vendors, suppliers, sales reps, and most importantly the clients. Having individuals trusting and believing in me as a designer and then coming together as a team and seeing the end result of a project is certainly magical.
When you work with homeowners, what is the one thing you always want them to come prepared with?
You learn a lot from an initial phone call or consultation, what colors are they wearing, what are they pointing out about existing home that they do not like, that could be a change in the construction? Most clients do have likes and dislikes and they'll let me know right off the bat, which is helpful. Sometimes they may also be confused about the style of home we are working with, etc. and want to incorporate a style into the shell of a home that will not work, so in that case education is key, too.
Is there a design “rule” that you cannot get on board with or that you feel is meant to be broken?
I don't like any of the so called rules out there (don't have your chair back to a door, don't paint small spaces dark, etc.). It is case by case, space by space - although people do believe those rules and will bring them up on occasion. What can I say? I am a rule breaker (when it comes to design theories).
Tell us about an interesting request you received from one of your clients and how you proceeded.
For the most part I have not had anything too off the wall in terms of interesting requests. The only thing that comes to mind is a recent large custom home that I worked on. The client wanted to put a working phone booth/pay phone in their guest entry. In the architectural plans, there was this odd dead space that had no plan or purpose; therefore, she suggested a pay phone. The contractor was able to track an old pay phone booth down on eBay, and we restored it by painting it, new fun vinyl printed flooring, a bright yellow seat and a cool lit up "telephone" sign on the exterior. It's something to talk about and is different by far.
If you want to learn more about Stefanie or see some of her work, we have provided links to her website and social media pages below: