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The Designer Mystique Q & A

Written by Karen Marley
Imagery by Sandra Kicman

Interior design occupies the slippery spaces between form, function, and personal aesthetics making them feel like a mysterious science. As such, you may find the idea of hiring an interior designer rather intimidating. Many ask themselves ... am I and my modest lifestyle worthy of such attention? 
    “Of course you are!” exclaims Robert Reeder, owner of Robert Reeder Interiors, a highly reputable design firm in Buffalo, New York. Reeder generously indulged us in a deeper conversation about the designer mystique.

Q: How valuable is it to know the curriculum vitae (CV) of your designer?
A: Not only are good designers proud of their CVs but your familiarity with them expands your knowledge of the service you’re receiving. This enables you to maximize the value and deepen the relationship with your designer. Great designers treasure these relationships. 
Q: What should a client look for in a designer?
A: A designer’s life should be immersed in design. For example, my father ran a painting and decorating company. My world was colored with paint chips, wallpaper books, furnishings, finishes, and inlay repair. My mother was always fashion conscious with lovely taste in clothing and jewelry.This was the story-board of my childhood.
    These types of immersive life experiences nurture the ability to see the world and its possibilities very creatively. Recognizing the influence of design in every aspect of a lifestyle becomes infused into our DNA.
Q: What kind of role does education play?
A: Education translates a designer’s worldview into a refined practice. You want the wealth of diverse experience that can only be gained in the field. The richness of these varied experiences feeds creativity and expands the mind.
Q: What’s your educational experience?
A: My education was both formal and experiential. I attended the prestigious New York School of Interior Design then was fortunate enough to have interned with a prestigious design firm in New York City called Parish-Hadley. Back in Buffalo I met Florence
Cooper of Florence Cooper Interiors who hired me as a design assistant.
    Everything about Florence Cooper exuded phenomenal style. She had an exceptional reputation that extended to New York City and beyond. I absorbed her perceptions and unique approach to life. We provided the highest quality of design for our clients but that never meant the most expensive. I continue to carry that philosophy today.
Q: What’s your approach to working with a client?
A: I don’t select the expected. Rather, I create excitement – a pop of pattern, color, art, or a great piece of furniture. The goal is to reflect a client’s tastes, interests, and love for his or her home.
    Growing up with design has changed my perception of time. As a result, I can select pieces capable of being repurposed and useful over the long term thus providing sustained value. And I’m always on the lookout on behalf of my clients, attending the southern markets for unique items that will delight them. 
    Interior design is a fabulous industry. It‘s a privilege to design homes with customized, enhanced spaces where clients can enjoy their lives! 


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