Friday, February 10, 2012

Designer Profiles: Monica Olson

When did you become interested in interior design? 
I've always been interested in design but what inspired me to pursue a career was the experience of building (with ex-husband) our dream home. There were so many elements to consider- floorplan, material selections and coordinating all those elements along with the various trades to ultimately create a very special home that reflected our lifestyle.

What would you say is your design style? Your niche?
I can't say that I have one particular design style- I appreciate most but lean towards a more electic and sophisticated approach without a lot of fuss.

What inspired you to be a part of the ASID Dream Home?
I've always been fascinated with Design Home Tours and have not had the opportunity until now to participate. Love the idea of all the talent represented by such a diverse group of professional designers.

How are you incorporating universal design into your room? My partner and I are incorporating many elements that aide in ease of accessibility to a Master Bath. These include a damless shower with the ability to roll a wheelchair into the space and a bench for everyday use. Grab bars are strategically placed in the shower and toilet alcove. The toilet alcove is large enough to accomodate a walker or wheelchair and we've incorporated a bi-level vanity to assist those who may require handicap accessibility.

.Where do you look for inspiration, whether it be design or style?
There is an abundance of sources that inspire- from traveling abroad to the surrounding environment in my home town. I took a trip to Italy this past summer and was inspired by the history & architecture of the cities I visited. Inspiration for texture and color can be found in a piece of clothing or something as simple as a piece of driftwood. I love the juxtaposition of old and new, creating spaces that are so much more interesting.

We all run into problems doing design work. Can you tell me about a headache you had and how you resolved it?
As all designers know, it's unusual to have a job go perfectly throughout the entire design process- the goal is to be honest with your client regarding any complications and search for solutions. I recently ran into a snafu with a custom hood- the client had envisioned it a bit differently than it turned out and we were able to modify it in a way which she actually liked better than her original concept and did not require us to rebuild the entire hood (which would have been very costly).

Who is your style icon?
There is so much talent in the design field, but I have to admit my favorite is John Saladino. Other designers which I connect with are Thad Hayes, Victoria Hagan, Juan Montoya and Candace Olson, needless to say a very eclectic group!

Any advice to aspiring designers?
Work with a practicing designer for some time before you embark on your own- there is so much to learn and this field is constantly evolving which makes it such a fascinating career choice.

You can find and contact Monica here:

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