source Kara Smith & SFA Design
I very much enjoyed sitting down and chatting with Interior designer, hospitality designer and product designer Kara Smith. In about 30 seconds it was obvious that Kara had a clear-cut vision of what she wanted in the design industry. There was never any hesitation when she talked about her style, her ideas and what lies ahead. Kara has been the driving force in the business world since she started walking down her own path at the age of 13. She is well-traveled, well-versed, well read and does everything with her own personal style. I thank God I had a few cups of coffee before we started this interview. From start to finish she kept me on my toes.
Her design portfolio looks like images that you would find in Vogue Magazine. The lines are clean and her color choices feed directly into that luxury lifestyle that I love so much. Who wouldn’t want their home to look like the cover of Vogue magazine?
What is next for Kara Smith? That’s a loaded question because I’m sure there are about 100 things on her plate. One thing I am looking forward to seeing is her new luxury couture line that promises to be something special. With her design chops and are well traveled style. How can it miss?
So please enjoy my interview with designer Kara Smith.
What manufacturer would you love to partner with and why?
Our firm prides itself in that we don’t have a signature look. There isn’t one furniture company, or manufacturer that I necessarily collaborate with more than others. I love to select furniture pieces from different places, and tailor each look and design to reflect the client’s aesthetic and goals. I’ve collaborated with a range of incredible, high-end manufacturers to craft truly unique and custom pieces for our clients.
How does your event planning background tie into your interior design work?
It’s actually an industry with a lot of similarities. It really taught me about collaborating with a client for something personal and then executing and enhancing their dream. A wedding is just as personal as a home.
How important is travel to your design process?
Growing up, I was fortunate to travel around the world with my family, and it left an impression on me. The diverse, yet extraordinary places that I visited, each with their own unique art, textiles, aesthetics, and culture, inspired me to pursue a career in a creative field. Today, travel is an absolutely critical part of my design process.
What design book(s) do you have on your book shelf?
I prefer books on cities, cultures, models and artists. I find that I can pull inspiration that is a bit fresher from these types of books.
If you had three magazines to take on a trip which would they be?
What design event is your favorite and why?
Maison & Objet is not just a design fair, but an innovative and diverse lifestyle show. It’s a unique platform to network, get inspired, and learn about international brands in design, furniture, accessories, and textiles. I love the event because it’s at the intersection of business and creativity.
How do you make the jump from interior design to hospitality design and back?
For me, transitioning between a residential to a hospitality project depends on the relationship that I have with the client, whether it be a 20,000 square foot estate, or a five-star hotel and spa.
How do you like to spend your downtime?
I’m really passionate about art, so in my downtime, I love to discover new museums, galleries and showrooms, it’s how I get inspired with my design. I also love spending time with family, traveling, and trying new restaurants.
How important is eco-friendly to you?
It’s very important. Our firm is always aware of the latest sustainability practices, and we try to use natural and eco-friendly products as much as possible. One particularly project where we highlighted this approach, was our design of the Vetrina Lofts in New York City’s Greenwich Village. We set out to enhance the wellness experience of Delos Living with chic, industrial inspired interiors juxtaposed against natural and holistic elements.
What trend so you see happening in 2017 in the design world?
I think the design world is leaning more towards simplicity as a form of sophistication. In the hospitality sector, I think you can definitely expect to see redesigns to make spaces more functional for the modern traveler. For example, you might see lots of conveniently located outlets, or updates to the bathroom like backlit mirrors with special LED light setting — essentially, state of the art amenities and features that enhance the guest’s experience so it’s more efficient and comfortable.
755A North La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, California 90069
(310) 873 – 6900