Last year I was introduced to the gorgeous design work of Interior Designer, Marlaina Teich, who has been featured in many well known publications such as House Beautiful, House, Newsday.com, and Costco Connection among others. She's been considered one of the "Top Ten designers in Long Island", New York by Distinction Long Island Living and was also featured on NBC and Univision.com. A graduate of the Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design, Teich is also an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers. "Marlaina has been a featured designer in various designer showcases and served as an honorary co-chair for the philanthropic Lighthouse International Posh Interiors event in 2008."
As someone who is inspired by Entrepreneurs and people who are "living the dream", I am honored to bring you the first interview in my new series of inspiring women and men who are pursuing their goals and living the life they've imagined! And who better to kick it off than the accomplished and uber talented designer, Ms. Marlaina Teich!
Candace Rose: How and when did you decide on a career in Interior Design?
Marlaina Teich: "Design has always inspired me and I recognized early on the impact well designed spaces can have on people’s lives. No matter if I am redesigning one room or building a new home from the ground up, I use the same approach -always keeping the client’s needs the main priority. Good design should look effortless; it should be a reflection of your client while keeping in mind the space in which the design is contained."
CR: What inspires you as a designer?
MT: "Everything about Life inspires my designs. Nature, fashion, global images, architecture… Inspiration can come from everything we see whether it’s the endless color combinations of nature or the perfectly carved lines of a classic sports car. How we use these in our designs lets us push barriers keeping us fresh with new ideas. Inspiration also comes from the people we are designing for.
It is my client's lives that inspire my concepts. Design can fill an emotional need in many people. I find that I design intuitively. I spend time with my clients and really listen to them. Developing these relationships allows me to identify the needs of each client so I can put together the best design. The main objective is this – I want my clients to LOVE coming home!"
CR: What has been your favorite project thus far?
MT: "There are favorite parts to every project so to pick just one is too difficult. My favorite projects are inevitably the ones where the relationship with the client was great. I love everything about this business – I have been extremely lucky in working with some of the most wonderful clients. I love being a part of their lives and a part of their design story. The most successful business people know that your relationship with your client is essential to a positive project. You need to interview THEM just as they are interviewing you. Do not take a project if you don't feel you can connect with the client on some level. Believe me – all the money won't compensate you for a disastrous outcome."
CR: What is your interior design style?
MT: "Understated luxury, beautiful, comfortable, stylish, ahead of the curve but never flashy or trendy.
I design for real living, creating spaces for my clients that have an understated luxury yet are comfortable and stylish. I love to wrap a room in color and then use a mix of great textures and finishes to bring excitement to the space. I don’t believe in having too many meaningless objects around just to fill the room. Today’s lifestyles are so busy and messy and full. Coming home should be a vacation from the world, a place to really just BE."
CR: Who inspires you?
MT: "There are so many amazing designers that I admire. Kelly Wearstler and Jamie Drake are two designers whose use of bold color and various textures excites me. I find their style to be so creative and I admire their artistry. Then there is Albert Hadley. His designs were a sophisticated mix of new and old with subtle injections of shine. And Nina Campbell – I have so been inspired by the serenity of her designs."
CR: What is your favorite quote or personal inspiration?
MT: "Decorating is not about making stage sets, it's not about making pretty pictures for the magazines; it's really about creating a quality of life, a beauty that nourishes the soul." – Albert Hadley
"You don't sell a commodity, you sell joy, gaiety, excitement. You aim at people's hearts, not their minds." – Dorothy Draper
CR: What advice do you have for women Entrepreneurs?
MT: "It is so hard not to be distracted by the demands that are really a part of women's lives – families, homes, significant others. You have to be prepared to juggle the different aspects of your life and still stay focused on building your brand."
CR: What do you wish you'd known prior to starting your own business?
MT: "I knew that it would be exciting and rewarding. But there is more to being an independent designer than designing and decorating spaces. One has to actually run a business! There is marketing and margins and budgets and vendor relations and negotiating. It is very important to have an understanding of business practices before starting your own firm."
CR: What are your favorite hobbies?
MT: "I play tennis, love to read and I am the ultimate soccer mom. With three sons I am constantly on the run from one game to the next! Thank goodness for blackberry!"
CR: When away from Designing, what is your favorite activity?
MT: "My all round favorite thing to do is spend time with my family. I have the best husband and three active, gorgeous sons that I am head over heels in love with."
Many thanks to Ms. Marlaina Teich of Marlaina Teich Designs for being so kind and generous with her time! If you're interested in finding more information about Marlaina and her Interior Design business, please follow her links!
2290 Babylon Turnpike Suite A
Merrick, New York 11566 PH 516- 378 – 0228