Designer Interview: Lance Griffith

Why did you become an interior designer?
I was always interested in art as a child.  My mom was an interior designer for years and actually owned a drapery workroom .  Her workroom was attached to our home and the whole design business was all around me.  I was the kid that was always making and building things so I think I had a natural affinity for creating and problem solving.  I think one of the biggest components of design is problem-solving in an aesthetic manner.

Favorite Design Trends (Past & Present):
I don’t particularly have a specific favorite”design trend,” so to speak.  I don’t really identify aspects of design as a trend. If some design motif, pattern, or color is well-done, it is good design for the time.  The best designs withstand the test of time.  I suppose everything is a trend at some point in time if it is a new way to perceive things or it is a new idea.  Really, though, everything can be traced to some past inspiration or design style.

How would you describe your personal design style?
For me, the perfect interior is one that best reflects the personality of the people who live there.  Any interior should feel as if it evolved, not as if it has been heavily designed.  To that end, those things that are off a bit in scale, period, or color for the space are those pieces that give the home its’ personality.  We actually do just that on purpose sometimes to create a “lived-in” ambiance.   I also like mixing some of a client’s older pieces in with new things.  To me, that just feels better.

Favorite Design Quote:
Walking into a well designed room should give you the same feeling as putting on a comfortable pair of well-made shoes.  The trick is knowing whether the room is a pair of bedroom slippers or a pair of stiletto heels.

Favorite room of your own home and why?
My den/kitchen area is my favorite room in my house because it is where my wife and I spend time with my kids and grandkids.  It is a very comfortable room with a worn Oushak rug, comfortable down-filled upholstery, cypress walls and pieces of European country furniture we have accumulated during our antique buying trips for the store. My wife’s piano is in this room and one of the grandkids is always plunking out some rendition of Do-Re-Mi or Heart and Soul.   It is a room in which anyone can eat and grandkids paint and do artwork on the coffee table.  It gets better the more it is lived in.

Favorite Home Accessories:
I really like a lot of our artwork.  There is nothing unusually valuable in my house but we have collected art from trips abroad and the pieces make me feel good.  I also really like some of our furniture pieces–like the old English schoolhouse table with kids names and their artwork etched in the top that we use as a cocktail table.

Favorite Fabric:
This is a hard question as I like lots of fabrics.  I think my favorite at the moment would be those things in the clear color palettes that are stronger in value.  I am so glad to see color coming back into design.  For too long, everything was gray and taupe with accents of darker gray and taupe.  It is true that design trends and colors tend to echo the economic conditions in the world.  When the economy and consumer confidence are up, colors get brighter and clearer.  When the economy is in the doldrums, colors become dull and lifeless.

Favorite Color:
It is a so true that people are either blue or green people and I am blue for sure.  In particular, I like the blues that range in the cornflower/plumbago blues. They are still blue but are on the more purple side of the blue range rather than the green side of blues.


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