I believe this is not the first time you’ve heard about her or seen her name on The Daily Crisp. Yes, it’s Interior Designer Angie Salama, founder of Angie Design Atelier, sharing with us her story and passion behind her work.
Well, I’m sure we, at TDC, have many reasons to love you and be inspired by your passion in different life aspects, but now, let our readers know who you are and a give them a glimpse of your story.
Originally, I’m an architect. I’ve studied Architecture and graduated in 2005. I worked in Alchemy 2006-2011, where I started as a junior designer/architect, until I was a senior project manager, wearing many other hats, according to the work demands. I learned a lot there, then I wanted to take it to the next level, so I took an interior design diploma in London. I also participated in many workshops and courses in Florence, related to interior design and arts, as I think both are interconnected. It’s the incorporation of this knowledge into my practice is what sets it apart.
When did you realize that interior design is your passion?
Since I was a child. I don’t recall exactly when, but I recall when we were role-playing as a kid, I used to be a decorator, telling my friends I’ll style your homes. Wow, you’ve just made me realize how early I developed my passion for interior design! And thus, I chose to study architecture to have a solid base of knowledge to complement my work as an interior designer later on. I didn’t just opt for taking an interior design course, graduating from whatever faculty and that’s it. I thought I’d rather take the long journey because it made me understand the picture as a whole and not just the surface.
What are the reasons behind your decision to move from working in a leading corporate to starting your own atelier?
It happened by coincidence honestly. For me, I approached Alchemy because it’s the best out there, and I was really happy working there. However, due to having a baby, it was about time to leave, as I wanted to allocate all my time and energy to him. Later on, I started working from home on a freelance basis, then I started accepting a few projects, and this was the starting point of Angie Design Atelier.
I previously heard you saying that getting to know your client personally is an essential part of how you work, why is that?
I think a great part of my work involves psychology and energy. I have to get to know my clients personally first, because I’m designing their own home. The better I know the client, the closer the design I do for them is to them. Unlike many interior designers do, who usually go by the book and have a perfect picture in their heads that they want to implement to have a really good final result, I just can’t enforce my vision on the client, we have to share a vision instead. Who cares if your home looks perfect, but your not comfortable within your own walls!
People are often intimidated by the idea of hiring an interior designer; some believe they don’t need it, some think it’d be nice but very costly, and some don’t even understand what an interior designer does. Tell us why one actually hires an interior designer.
An interior designer is not a decorator. This is a misconception that most people have. They think that an interior designer is one with good taste that comes to decorate the house, and thus they think it’s a luxury to hire one. But in fact, we create the place from the scratch, from the plumbing to the electrical planning, etc., and the furniture styling is only the last step we do.
How does one choose the right interior designer for them?
Before approaching an interior designer you should check their work and see if their work suits your taste (not too minimal/extra for your taste for instance). The second step is when you actually meet the interior designer; I’d say you should feel comfortable working with them. Trust is a very important element in such relationship, because what’s point of hiring an interior designer you don’t trust will get you the results you want!!
What distinguishes you as an interior designer?
I work with passion. My philosophy as a designer is fueled by my love for the connection between art and design, which are very therapeutic forces. I believe that our spaces must be designed with a consideration of energy, so I always incorporate Feng Shui (aka Functuay) into my design work.
I take on projects I’m passionate about, and I feel a connection towards, because I know that the best projects we complete as individuals are always the projects we’re passionate about. When I take on a project, I’m all in. I/m pretty flexible when it comes to design space and budget. I also have different packages to suit everyone.
What is the one thing that you find most challenging being an interior designer?
Designing a functional space for a client that is only focusing on aesthetics.
Some people choose pictures from the internet, that are not practical to live with in the first place. Good design is function+form+emotion. They only consider how beautiful the design they want to copy from Instagram and Pinterest is (which is a mixture of form and emotion), but from an expert point of view, it won’t be functional. My challenge is tackling such cases.
On a last note, give our readers some advice, if anyone wants to style their home on their own or do some renovations.
Choose something that suits your lifestyle; for instance, is it a family house, bachelor’s, if they host events, etc. Also, it’s all about the little things, so pay attention to the details, from plants to cushions, accessories, artwork, in order to have a perfect bigger picture.
And what is the one thing that you find fundamental when you’re styling in general?
I always like to incorporate artwork. I can create a whole image of the whole space based on one artwork.
Here you go, folks! A reference you can get back to whenever you’re moving into a new house, renovating your own house, or even redecorating – because, who doesn’t like to up their styling game even a little anyway! So, you know where to go.