October: Industry Spotlight
Welcome to a special area of our Beyond the Surface Newsletter where we share thoughts and insights from Portland’s housing professionals. Here at Area Floor’s we have the opportunity to partner with some of the best.
Design Like a HGTV star (or KXL radio host)
Designer Spotlight: Angela Todd
You can feel the active energy in a room when Angela Todd is nearby, much like you feel when you are in a space designed by her. She brings a unique combination of creative zeal and takes an organized approach to every project which gives her clients a sense of confidence in their decisions and her design capabilities. She takes pride in building partnerships on mutual trust and open dialogue. She wants her clients to walk into their designed space and think, “This is exactly what I wanted and more.”
We had the opportunity to sit down with Angela Todd and pick her brain on topics that ranged from the mood of the current housing market to the theories of design. We learned a lot, had great fun and got an even better understanding of why she is truly one of Portland’s rising designers. Here are a few of the highlights.
Who is your typical client?
My typical client is between the ages of 35-70 years of age, they generally have a dual income household and are extremely time challenged from
living a lifestyle of juggling career and family. Most of them are middle class and haven’t worked with an interior designer before. They have a general vision of what they want, they know what they like when they see it, but they are overwhelmed by all the choices in the marketplace. Most of all they want to make sure their investment dollars go as far as possible.”
What should everyone know about today’s design clients?
People are excited to start renovating their homes, and a large segment of them have been living in their homes for 10-15 years. Since most remodels only take place every few years, I find what they want most are elements that are timeless. They also show concern about how the project will affect resale value.
How do you decide what vendors, contractors and partnerships to foster?
“It is funny you ask me that. When I met Brandy Marsh from Area Floors it struck me how much our core values aligned. Customer service is paramount to me and also to Area Floors. Contractors and clients don’t select me because I am the most inexpensive designer in town, they choose me because I will give them the personalized, outstanding results they want. Relationships are a key component in great, lasting relationships. As I have worked with Area Floors I have found their staff to go well and beyond my expectations for a surface broker. The vendors and contractors I align with make me look good, support me, and look out for my best interests. And I do the same for them. “
Tell us a quick way to approach a new project?
“I place my client’s personality in visual form.” She explains how style is a basic equation; a combination of the home’s architecture along with the home owners personal taste.
She also approaches a space by asking, “What is the inspiration for this space? “ This inspiration can develop from something within the space, a favorite piece of furniture or even a napkin. “Sometimes a client finds inspiration in a showroom like Area Floors, for example they love the linear quality of an iridescent tile for their kitchen backsplash, or the idea of a pebble floor for their master shower. She says every great project needs a starting point, and all design decisions should relate to that inspiration.”
What is on simple goal of your design work?
“I want my clients to walk into their new space and see themselves. It should flow and bring a smile to their faces.”
“I don’t want people to walk into a room and be shocked, thinking…”this doesn’t belong here”…”this kitchen doesn’t belong in this house”
As we are talking, you realize how much Angela loves to design. In fact she can’t help to have ideas for any space including the coffee spot for our interview. During our conversation she noticed hundreds of design details and managed to redesign the coffee shop around four small paintings hanging on the wall. Our secret plan is to do more interviews at our own homes and see what happens.
What are the secrets for a successful design project?
- There needs to be a true partnership between all parties involved. She believes in listening first.
- Work hand in hand with the customers from selection through construction.
- A designer has to listen to both the contractor and client, and respect that everybody has a specific role in the process. Understanding the roles of each involved party will increase the efficiency of the project.
You can see more of Angela’s work on her blog, in the 2009 Street of Dreams Magazine and on our blog. Her work on this year’s “Luster of the Pearl” at the Encore penthouse was remarkable. She was the only designer in this year’s Street of Dreams to undergo cosmetic remodeling improvements. (The 9 penthouses were already finished prior.) She incorporated tile from Area Floors in the contemporary kitchen and the great room fireplace.
Angela, thanks for the inspiration and the time for our interview.
The Area Floor’s Team
A few Angela Todd highlight’s
- Hosts The Design Angle on KXL 750am each Saturday from 12-2pm
- 2009 Street of Dreams Award “People’s Choice Best Master Suite”
- Vice-President elect of the Interior Design Society
- Active Member of the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland and the Professional Remodelers Organization
- Featured in the Oregonian, Lake Oswego Review, West Linn Tidings and “Explore the Pearl” magazine.
- Television appearances on Better TV and Tualatin Valley Television