Shaun Smith is one of the many talented designers that worked on the Traditional Home New Orleans Showhouse earlier this year, and we had to chance to reconnect with him to talk about first meetings with clients, interior design, popular kitchen design trends, the impact of social media on the industry and more. Read on to see what he has to say!
THD: The first meeting with a client is undoubtedly very important, what can you learn during the initial conversation?
Shaun Smith: There is a lot to learn about a client during the first conversation. This is when I typically find out whether they know exactly what they want and what they are looking for, or if they are the type of client who says just make it happen, and gives me complete creative freedom.
THD: Are you working on more new projects or renovations?
SS: I’m doing more kitchen and bath design than I ever have before, and that is because we do renovation and more kitchens are being renovated nowadays. The kitchen is the heart of the home and clients are investing in making this space exactly what they want it to be.
THD: How have kitchens changed in the past few years?
SS: I think that social media has really changed the way that the kitchen is used – I even use my kitchen differently. It’s so easy to watch a video on social media on how to create a meal, or a recipe, and I think it’s inspiring more people to head into the kitchen and cook. In the South there’s also been a resurgence of people pulling out their beautiful plates and China, it’s no longer saved for special occasions or the holidays. People are definitely entertaining more often.
THD: Are clients doing anything different in their kitchens?
SS: A lot of people are asking for a butler’s style pantry, especially in smaller kitchens. People are keeping their dining room separate, so it can be set up nicely with beautiful plates, cutlery and crystal, the kitchen can stay messy and they can also hide additional kitchen supplies and appliances within a separate pantry style area. Older trends are re-emerging like they do in fashion design. Young families are also looking to include extra storage for kids drinks and snacks, and the new Thermador under counter refrigeration is an ideal solution that can be installed in the bedroom, closet or pantry.
THD: What’s your take on new trends?
SS: People are definitely looking for color, like the colored knobs on the Thermador Pro Grand® Range. But I like to dissect trends that emerge too quickly and I also believe that there always needs to be a balance between old and new. For example, pairing a classic piece, like stainless steel, with something edgier – whether it’s fabric or furnishings can create a really great combination.