3 Insider Tips for Kicking off Any Interior Design Project, Large or Small

  |  February 16, 2021

Image courtesy of Hapeman Hill

Interior design is something we all interact with on a daily basis, but the art of designing spaces doesn’t always come naturally to everyone. Whether you’re tackling a major home renovation or simply updating the furniture in your living room, creating a space that feels authentic to you can be easier than you think.

“People know what they want things to look and feel like, but they don’t know how to put it together,” says Huguette Hubard, who co-founded Dutchess County-based interior design firm Hapeman Hill with her partner Ian Cartwright. “It’s that opportunity for collaboration that we love to bring out in our clients.” With a mutual love of renovating spaces and hunting for statement pieces, Huguette and Ian turned their backgrounds in high-end fashion and fine art printmaking into a business designing authentic, approachable, and statement-making spaces.

Ian, Huguette, and Emile

Thanks to their work with clients providing complete project management, 3D renderings that illustrate opportunities for a remodel, or advice on just updating a room or two, Huguette and Ian know how to start an interior design project off on the right foot. Below are three of their tips for jumpstarting yours.

1. Discover your design preferences. 

People often assume that certain design choices are a given—like pairing rustic furniture with a country house or only painting small rooms light colors. To create a space that feels like you, put those preconceptions aside and follow your gut.

Huguette and Ian help their clients identify the colors, textures, and shapes they feel intuitively connected to by using mood boards to gather inspirational photos. “We had these clients once who kept moodboarding really dark walls for their apartment,” says Huguette. “They were shocked when we said they should paint their walls black, but they ended up loving it.”

Image courtesy of Hapeman Hill

2. Learn how your preferred colors, textures, and shapes interact.

Once you know your design preferences, then you can explore how they can shape your space. At this stage, Huguette and Ian introduce their clients to the concept of “Families of Form.” Identifying what family of form a piece of furniture belongs to—polished, rough, ornate, for example—will help you make more informed decisions on individual pieces. “When you start mixing pieces from different families of form that’s when you get an interior,” Huguette says.

Image courtesy of Hapeman Hill

3. Embrace the organic process of realizing your design vision. 

With a defined vision for your design project in hand, it’s time to start your search for the pieces that will fill your space. As avid collectors who are always scouring the Hudson Valley for one-of-a-kind pieces, Huguette and Ian acknowledge that this part can take some time–and that’s okay.

They recommend anchoring your design with a piece or two that you love—and don’t forget to think about the space itself. “When we began to renovate our home in Red Hook, we discovered that the supports in the old farmhouse were actually steel beams, and that became the design focus of the house,” says Ian.

Image courtesy of Hapeman Hill

Sourcing a blend of high and low pieces from online retailers and in-person vintage and antique shops can expand your possibilities and help you stay on budget, too. With a keen eye and an open mind, all the pieces will eventually fall into place.

For more information or to schedule your free first consultation with Huguette and Ian, visit Hapemanhill.com or call (917) 374-5862.

About Hapeman Hill

Hapeman Hill is a Dutchess County-based interior design studio founded by Ian Cartwright and Huguette Hubard.

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