What’s the most enjoyable aspect of your profession/industry?
I love helping people and solving problems. I think that design is this perfect marriage of aesthetics and math and you have to love both in order to design well.
In your opinion what are the trends going to be in 2019 - or what trends are you already seeing?
In commercial design, we’re seeing a lot of “resi-mmercial” design, meaning residential making its way into commercial spaces. We’re seeing a lot of influence from what makes a home comforting and translating that into commercial spaces, whether it’s a lobby, an office, or break room. The new office is looking to hire and retain talent and those looking for jobs, in Springfield, Chicago, or anywhere, want to make sure that a place where they spend most of their time, will be a comfortable environment.
Where do you like to use reclaimed wood in a home or commercial space? And why?
I’ve used Sangamon Reclaimed in a variety of spaces, most recently my mother-in-law’s bathroom for just some simple shelving. I’ve also collaborated with them on a 12’L table for a break room. I think whether it’s a small space or a large one, having something unique and custom really makes a space interesting and they’ve always helped me achieve that.
You worked with SR to deliver a table for Dot Foods - why was buying locally so important in this case?
This is a great story! One of my favorite clients, Dot Foods, wanted a custom table for their break room, but not just any table. So I reached out to Sangamon Reclaimed and they found some reclaimed wood from a schoolhouse in Brown County. Dot Foods is in Mt. Sterling, IL, and most of their employees are from that area. Having something locally made and sourced for their employees was just a lovely way to bring in their community into the space.
Favorite public building in Springfield?
I’d have to say the Dana Thomas House, and not just in Springfield, but probably of all of Frank Lloyd Wright’s work. He was a visionary and I love that building and what it means to have one of Wright’s greatest works just down the street!
What impact do you think Sangamon Reclaimed has made on the furniture business in Springfield - and has it been an asset to the industry locally?
I’ve known Brian since high school and to see the impact he’s made on this community is just beautiful. I love how he’s decided to make his passion project work for our community and to see how they’ve grown in such a short amount of time. They’ve really invested in people and creativity there and I think it shows how innovative they are.
What’s the most important question a person should ask before purchasing a piece of furniture?
“What’s the investment I’m putting into this?” With the Amazon and Staples era of furniture ordering, we see some of our clients making fast, cheap choices on furniture for speed of delivery. Unfortunately, that means you’ll see that piece not only deteriorate quickly, but that it could be made with harmful chemicals that can have a lasting effect. Furniture can take time and money, but by doing more research, I think clients can educate themselves on what they’re getting, not just how quickly they’re getting it.
Favorite project in 2018?
Now that I’m a project manager, I help manage projects from beginning to end. That includes Dot Foods, where we are renovating their existing building. It’s one of my favorite projects because of how they treat their employees and in one large aspect, that’s the space where they spend their time.