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Date published: March 03 2018

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I’m a good listener first, a problem-solver second and interior designer third

As an interior designer, it’s my job to create beautiful spaces for clients and offer great design ideas for people’s homes. While working in Makeover TV, I was able to travel across the US and work with people with very real needs and make over a room with very little money and time.

It is tremendously hard work but has been an invaluable experience that afforded an up-close and personal look into how people really live, what they really want, and what their needs are when it comes to the functionality of their homes.

When people ask me how I work, I tell them that I’m a good listener first, a problem-solver second and an interior designer third. One of the first things I do, is to ask the client 20 questions about their lifestyle: Do they have kids? How about pets? Do they entertain family and friends? Where do they watch TV? Where do the kids do homework? Where are they on laptops?

Along with asking what design elements they like, I like to explore what styles, colours or materials they don’t like. I find it’s often a lot easier for them to define that. Personally, I find it  super helpful when someone says things like; ‘I hate chenille fabric’, ‘I don’t like olive green, rust or gold colours’, ‘I don’t like anything super modern.’ That kind of information helps me cut to the chase and craft a winning design that is perfect for them.

Having worked in makeover television programmes, such as Trading Spaces and Design Invasion, it allowed me to flex my creative muscles in multiple design styles, since it is up to me to create a space that the homeowner will have a big, happy reaction to when the room is revealed at the end.

Normally, I find ‘clues’ in the walkthrough before creating the ideal space. The whole house may have been following a beach theme, so I would add a seascape photograph on a wall or a lighthouse on a cocktail table. It was important to decipher the look they were going for and give it to them. It has always been my mission to create a design scheme that helps my clients announce their own personal style, and not one that reflects my ‘Libby Langdon signature style.’

I may ask the client what their favourite vacation has been or whether they have a favourite hotel or resort that they love the look of to help me choose a theme the suits them. The springboard for a design might be a scarf, a piece of jewellery or a special family heirloom; these could be the pin point for a colour combination or a mix of materials.

So, what is the ‘Libby Langdon signature style’? To tell you the truth, it’s less of a look and more of a lifestyle philosophy. I boil it down to my ‘easy, elegant, everyday style.’ The ‘easy’ is approachable and accessible design with dynamic elements that are relaxed and unfussy. By ‘elegant’, I mean that you can have beautiful, chic looks with fabrics and furnishings that are very stylish, yet are userfriendly. And the ‘everyday’, is about design for real life.

Common threads in all the projects I do are comfortable furnishings, accessible looks and functionality. I believe a design can be dynamic and exciting without bold, wacky or radical design elements. Colours pops, great accessories, a good furniture layout and an inviting feel have always been the recipe for success for me. I also find that most of my clients are looking for evergreen spaces. This means trying out current trends by incorporating them as an accent rather than building an entire room around them.

Ultimately, I my want clients to walk into rooms that I’ve designed and feel like their home is giving them a big fat hug. If that happens, I consider the project a total success! 

Author: Libby Langdon

Company: Libby Langdon Interiors

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