Sara Ho of Sara Ho Designs
What led you to start to become an interior designer?
My father is a very talented carpenter and during my childhood he would take me to tour old restored homes in Los Angeles. I fell in love with the beauty of these homes and the way they transported me to another world when I walked through the door. It wasn't until I became an adult and lost most everything in hurricane Katrina that I finally started to see interior design as a career. I saw all the devastation around me, the impact that home renovation had on people that needed a fresh start, and I wanted to be part of that. I wanted to help people create beautiful homes: a place that was their sanctuary and a place that felt like they belonged.
What is your favorite aspect of being an interior designer?
I love creating a space for my client that touches on everything they are looking for, plus incorporates elements that they didn't know they wanted or needed. My main goal with every project is to make my client happy and to solve their problems creatively.
What have you learned the most from your career in interior design?
That it's okay to make suggestions to a client contrary to what they ask for. They hire a designer for their expertise and it's our job to make sure they have thought of everything. It's really fun to see a client get excited about an idea for their space that they never would have thought of. But I also believe in the old chivalry of business: the client is always right. I am designing for them: not for myself--not for my reputation.
What tips and ideas do you have for other’s who would like to be interior designers?
Get a degree. Most people think you can learn it as you go, and you can, but there are so many vital building blocks that you learn in school that are enriched when you are working with your clients. Networking is key in our industry. Go to industry events, get plugged in at your local ASID chapter, and make friends. Vendors are a great resource for designers, so treat them well and consider your relationship with them will be long lasting. This industry is small when it comes to relationships: always consider your impression on others.
What are your favorite features of being an interior designer?
I love problem solving, designing for function and aesthetics, and seeing a happy client.
What is at the heart of your career in interior design that you want your clients to take home?
Interior design is important. Your surroundings effect your mood and the way you interact with the world around you. In my career I have designed many spaces: mostly hotel guest rooms, lobbies, clubs, restaurants, and high end residences. The most important aspect of design is, how do you feel when you walk into a room? Interior designers, we are experience creators, and the experience is tailored specifically for each client--that is the ultimate goal.
All Images Courtesy of Sara Ho
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