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Establishing a "Signature" Style
Finding Your Formula for Success
By Karen Snyder
When launching a new career in interior design or rebranding, designers face a monumental decision. Should you design according to a signature style that will brand you and be recognized throughout your career ? Once that decision is made, can it be changed? We reached out for input from two interior designers - Natasha Lima-Younts of Designer Society of America, and Melissa Galt of Melissa Galt Interiors. Both women have found great success along their design pathways.
When Natasha Lima-Younts entered the industry, she decided it was best to design for clients branding her company as a “Boutique Firm” focusing on individuals and creating their unique “Signature” style. The common threads in her designs were natural fabrics and incorporating nature. “Thankfully, or I should say through much hard work, I established a lucrative career,” she says. In fact, “I was better known for accomplishing the ‘impossible’ and catering to the eccentrics. Maybe not a reputation to brag about!”
Designer Melissa Galt also never had a signature style in her design work. “Not having a signature style doesn’t mean that I don’t have “Hallmarks to how I work,” says Melissa. “While I began design with the ambition to be able to work in every style, I quickly found that there are those styles I enjoy producing and those I prefer to refer. I am best at contemporary, modern, mission style, and transitional.
One of my hallmarks is to start a project based on a piece of art, this may include a rug which I term “art for the floor.” Good design tells the story of the client, says Melissa.
Natasha believes that a “Signature Style” certainly has many advantages. Will a signature style prevent a designer from experiencing a challenging client? “Absolutely not, but why not simplify your life in general and free up some of your precious time? A signature style can take can take years to establish and you run the risk of others not sharing your vision.
Branding that signature style may hold the key to freeing up some valuable time. Why not be known as the go-to design company for a particular look? The mention or thought of your name will conjure a specific design style aesthetic. Just think of Lilly Pulitzer who is synonymous with pink and green, Joanna Gains with shiplap, Ralph Lauren with plaid, India Hicks British Island casual, Jonathan Adler with an edgy retro style―you get the picture.
At the end of the day, as designers you must choose your own path. Fortunately, there are multiple paths that allow for the lines to be blurred. From developing particular “Hallmarks” to subtlety reinforcing a style or brand to all out declaration of a “Signature Style”, you are well equipped to leave your mark on the industry in whatever manner you choose. Wishing you great success on your path!
___________________________ Branding & Interior Design
Thank you for your contribution to the article Melissa!
Melissa Galt is the Go-To Interior Design Coach for Success