Why do you love one room and not another? What makes a space just perfect for you? While most of us can determine colors or textures we like–or really don’t–an expert interior designer relies on experience, education, and a deep knowledge base to connect with clients and find out what lights them up so their spaces can shine.

When Lori Wiles sits down with new clients to learn about their preferences, she first asks them to create an idea book using websites like Pinterest or Houzz, collecting 10 images of designs they love or hate. With a careful eye, Lori examines tastes in pattern, line, color, texture, depth, light, and spacing. The discovery of personal preference might seem effortless in the hands of an expert but it’s not a simple process. For instance, a couple may have different tastes, or although a person generally loves gray, one shade is an absolute no-go no matter the context. Maybe someone loves a fireplace but can’t say what about it is just right. This is where the designer is necessary.

“I have a love for figuring things out,” Lori says, which allows her to gather information and create a complete picture of what makes a client tick. It’s not enough to say a client likes curved lines, for example. She determines precisely what draws their eye–a Fibonacci curve, a S curve, a closed curve. Do they prefer repetition? Do they respond to patterns? Do they like groups, and if so, what kind–twos, threes, fives? Are stacked elements appealing? Lori works to understand what depth they prefer in finishes and what types of edges and borders surround shapes that appeal. She explores what colors and color combinations excite, what placing of color works (light colors near the top or bottom of rooms? Bright color in small amounts on furnishing or art, or maybe an entire accent wall?). What textures engage in what ways? The list goes on.

And then, after the aesthetic is understood, there is the intangible. A client may love a particular orange on a specific fabric but it goes against their other preferences. Then, as they talk with Lori, the client realizes the color and feel evokes a feeling of comfort because it reminds them of their grandmother’s couch from the 1950s, a part of their childhood filled with love. These elements are as important as other considerations and Lori respects that life experiences profoundly influence a client’s style.

An expert designer creates spaces that honor personal taste and won’t try to convince a client to follow trends that aren’t a good fit. Lori enjoys the challenge of incorporating even the most eclectic style elements in design moves that may surprise but always delight. Every Lori Wiles Design project, whether commercial, a residential remodel, or a new construction, combines functionality, balance, and the emotional satisfaction that only a highly-skilled interior designer can provide.