As a budding design entrepreneur, I often wonder whether I need to commit to one particular "design style." You know, an aesthetic that is recognizable and attributable only to me.
When I'm asked by potential clients and even curious new acquaintances, "what is your style?" I often respond with, "I can create in any style." And this is true. If you want a traditional look, I can make your space traditional... or minimalist or contemporary or bohemian. My education and experience have provided me with the knowledge of identifying different styles, distilling their distinguishing elements and creating a cohesive environment within that context. Even with that said, I still get the sense, particularly from design magazines and blogs which tend to narrow down a designer's style to 3 adjectives i.e. edgy, contemporary, clean... that, like a favorite cup of coffee that's rich, dark and smooth; I need to have a style. A brand identity...kinda.
(By the way, Businessdictionary.com tells me that "brand identity has been the single most important factor for increasing sales and ensuring growth since the dawn of capitalism." WHOA! Slightly dramatic but... I'm listening.)
This brings me to my first question...can a designer brand an interior space? Even if the materials and selection of furniture were not designed and produced by them? And secondly, but more like question 1b, what does that look like considering that every site/ space is unique? Question 1c, does the designer use a formula? For instance, I worked for a well-known firm in the city and one of the designer's made a comment during a meeting, that a recent completed project was "very firm XYZ" (real name withheld for no reason at all) Which meant that it had a custom-designed ceiling (no ceiling tiles or gypsum board here); herringbone wood flooring and I think some custom cabinetry element with lots of accessories. Not exactly the most unique combination of interior elements, but I guess if you did the same thing over and over and over again, it becomes something of a brand identity? And then one can be sure of increasing sales and growing??
Question 2, how does that work for the client? Do they prefer the predictability of a set style or would they prefer the organic style that emerges from the idea of place and the existing architecture.
Question 3, Is there a balance that can be struck?
Let me do some research and I'll let you know what I decide :)