Andrea Maaseide is the founder and principle designer of Studio 320 Interior Design, a residential design firm serving home owners across Northern Virginia since 2014. Andrea is a passionate designer who, after a successful career practicing law, took a leap of faith to go back to school and pursue her passion for interior design. She has not looked back since, using her passion to help homeowners realize their vision in a mix of classic and eclectic layouts.
Andrea is a great partner of J Brooks Designer floors and is with us today to give us a sense of how she approaches interior design and how she views the industry today.
Brad: Andrea, working in the D.C. Metro area we are surrounded by diversity and culture. There are so many wonderful people interested in making their homes uniquely their own. And, with so many options, what brings clients to work with interior designers such as yourself? Do you find similar needs or concerns when clients come to you for assistance?
Andrea: Open channels of communication contribute to the success of my business. I listen carefully to my clients and I've also learned to see beyond their "vision" bringing ideas to the table that they never imagined, but that meet the needs and desires they've shared with me. Every client is so unique, but generally clients are coming to us to make their home their haven and to create spaces that function well for their family - especially in these Pandemic times.
Brad: You are right, we are experiencing fundamental changes to the way we live and work right now. We have adjusted our business practices to keep our clients as safe as possible. How has your business processes changed because of COVID? Do you think there will be enduring effects to the industry?
Andrea: At the start of COVID, we had to adjust our business to a more virtual and hands off platform. Though we find ourselves back on project sites more now and even have clients coming into the office (everyone wears face coverings), I think the enduring effect to the industry is that virtual meetings will continue to be considered "normal" and design opportunities will not be constrained by geography, as we've all come to realize that we can collaborate with our clients even more (e.g. clients can do their own measure checks) to create lasting designs far from our home base.
Brad: I agree that technology will continue to be leveraged as much as possible to open our ability to engage with our clients. And, it is an interesting thought that this improved connectivity may expand who designers, such as yourself, can work with and where. We have seen it ourselves, having recently worked with a designer in South Africa to design a custom carpet for their client here in Virginia!
So, COVID effects aside, how has your approach to design evolved since you came into the industry?
Andrea: My approach has evolved with the evolution of the industry itself. Every year, more and more products are rolled out that attend to the functional and aesthetic needs of my clients. Textiles that incorporate stain resistance, but have a great look, soft hand and don't feel or look commercial would be a prime example.
Brad: Do you see major changes in what clients want or expect from you? Is this influenced by print media, social media, etc?
Andrea: I think client's are influenced by trends, but at the end of the day most clients still come to us looking for a a design that will stand the test of time. They want beautiful and classic foundation pieces with elements that are on trend, but don't break the bank and can be easily changed out over time.
Brad: We can relate to that statement. There are a lot of new and exciting flooring options, but often it is classic patterns and textures in enduring materials that meet our clients needs. Obviously being a flooring provider we focus on how we can meet the needs of designers and home owners such as yourself. How do you choose and incorporate flooring into your design?
Andrea: I begin with evaluating the client's lifestyle and needs and the space where the flooring will go: Is it a family with young children, for example? Will there be heavy traffic in the space? Is the space below ground? What kind of durability is required? From there, I love to start my designs with flooring, especially area rugs and carpet. I envision the mood I want to create in the space and search for flooring accordingly. Jose of J Brooks is a great resource in being able to discuss durability of flooring options with me and always sends me in the right direction. We incorporate a lot of cut and bound carpets sourced from J Brooks in our spaces. The colors and textures in these pieces inspire the overall palette and provide the foundation for the mood of the entire space.
Brad: I like how you describe the use of custom area rugs to set the overall mood of the space. I agree that flooring can be the foundation of home design. Understanding the usage and needs of the space is critical in allowing harmony between function and aesthetics. And, I am glad to hear that we at J Brooks can be a part of your process in meeting your clients' visions!
It is always a pleasure talking to our interior design partners and getting a sense of how they approach their work. Andrea and her team at Studio 320 do amazing work across Northern Virginia and are available to help any interested clients in the area. You can find more about her work on her website or by reaching out at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: Taking Andrea's work and transforming it into magazine ready photos takes the help of her incredibly talented style and photography team at Stylish Productions. For all our design partners, take a look at Robert and Charlotte's work on instagram: @stylishproductions (@radifera @charlottesafavi)