VMSD - October 2012 - (Page 56)
Interview by Steve Kaufman
This California designer brings an edgy outlook to her hotel and restaurant clients by figuring out their flow.
Flo Design is more than the name of your firm, isn’t it? It’s also part of your approach to work. I’ve always dreamed of having my own design firm where I can get to understand my clients and their “flow” – their way of life, their message, how they want to express themselves. So everyone has a flow? Absolutely. There are sweet, soft moments of interactions with clients, when you really get to know them, that provide the best design solutions. What are they really trying to convey? How can we help their brand through interior design and storytelling? It’s much more than choosing the right lighting and finishes. It’s the branding that goes with it. So much of branding is emotional, but you often have to pry it out of people. You often describe your work in terms of identifying trends. What are some trends you’re seeing in the restaurant and hospitality sector? Design trends are also lifestyle trends. People are working so hard and when they relax they want that unique, eclectic, personal boutique experience. You’re seeing Marriott developing those boutique brands. Kipton’s is another good example – every unit is different, has its own specific branding points and is unique to its location and environment. Do you see connections between hospitality design and retail design? Absolutely. Hospitality design is figuring out a way to showcase the experience. In retail, of course, the product is more identifiable and there’s that particular need to showcase merchandise in a unique and different way. But retail, like hospitality, is also a lot of branding, signature elements, figuring out what the client wants to stand for and the story each one wants to tell with its architecture. Why did you choose hospitality for your design career? I got my degree in interior architecture from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. I found I related to the edgy, crazy, adventurous, life of the party that Las Vegas is. It’s all about pleasure, fun, play, indulgence and, of course, hospitality. How did Las Vegas itself influence your design sensibilities? I saw Las Vegas go through a new era of design. It went from being more family-oriented back to the glitz, glam and luxury, and that was exciting. The nightclub industry there changed a lot, too. It went from casual back to expensive, luxurious and exclusive. You preferred that? I like sophistication and elegance, but also with a hip, young vibe. That’s part of my design palette. x
Grew up: In Portland, Ore., an outdoorsy childhood in which her parents encouraged art and exploration. Early impulses: “I was always into fashion. I loved the way clothes felt, looked, fit, textures and colors.” Recharges her battery by: Spending weekend time with her family: husband Jeff, the business manager of Flo Design, and children Paige, 6, and Griffin, 3.
56 OCTOBER 2012 | vmsd.com
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of VMSD - October 2012
VMSD - October 2012
From the Editor
VMSD Editorial Advisory Board
Guys Just Want to Have Fun
VMSD - October 2012