Design-Build Personal Profile
Designing for Life, Part Two
the continuation of our informative interview with Marc Thee of Marc-Michaels Interior Design.
By Stephanie Casimiro
FOR OVER 30 YEARS, the Marc-Michaels Interior Design team has provided a wide variety of luxury design services in projects with diverse scopes and budgets. In part one, we talked with Marc Thee, Principal, and Co-Founder, about the background of Marc-Michaels Interior Design, their clientele, and how the process of interior design has evolved over the years. Here is part two of our interview.
In part one, we talked with Marc Thee, Principal, and Co-Founder, about the background of Marc-Michaels Interior Design, their clientele, and how the process of interior design has evolved over the years. Here is part two of our interview.
STEPH: How do you go about exploring and understanding client expectations?
MARC: Well, I ask a lot of questions. And then, I begin to understand how they envision using their spaces. What the objective of the family is. You know what they’re all about.
And, yes, sometimes clients don’t want to give you too much information because they’re afraid they’ll send you in a direction that isn’t them. I promise clients they will not be influenced by me beyond what I think is the right thing to do. But hearing how you would do it yourself really educates me.
We start with mood, and we present images of things we think will move them or pictures from past jobs we’ve worked on for them. We’ll explore images from our website or other designers’ sites and continue the discovery phase of the design process.
STEPH: And I suppose that lifestyles and day-to-day living are an important catalyst in the design process?
MARC: Of course. Let’s take one of the main spaces in the home, the kitchen. That space can be the daytime kitchen, as well as the nighttime kitchen. It’s one space, but they are entirely different depending on the time of day. So we’re interested in how the family interacts with that space, you know, racing out the door with a hot cup of coffee in the morning and perhaps in the evening they are lingering in their kitchen while they enjoy cooking and a glass of wine. Regardless, we want them loving every second of it.
“Lighting is critical everywhere, but especially in rooms that are multi-purpose in how the family interacts with the space. You want to create a moment.”
— Marc Thee
STEPH: And lighting plays a significant role here.
MARC: Lighting is critical everywhere, but especially in rooms that are multi-purpose in how the family interacts with the space. You want to create a moment. Sightlines that absolutely celebrate a moment of architecture, perhaps creating shadow and an outgoing mood. Or brightness that uplifts and celebrates the moment.
You know, a glowing atmosphere that just inspires. I mean, take another critical space where lighting plays a major role, our bathrooms. Perhaps it’s a shower that doesn’t have direct lights but has amazing light wells that are completely indirect, which delivers an entirely different shower experience. Why not create something that people will really get excited about and enjoy new and unique experiences.
STEPH: The majority of the technology in the modern home is hidden from view. But I’m seeing that it’s impacting your design across the entire property. Talk about that.
MARC: I love the technology available today, and there’s an entirely different experience we can now bring to our clients. So I believe in a melody-driven interior design that creates the simplest wonders you can imagine, simply and intuitively.
It’s the ease of music; it’s the ease of lighting. It’s creating the sense that you can have candlelit interiors without having to walk around with a match because candlelight always burns out just before you wish it did. So you have a candlelit mood at the press of a button because it’s so easy to provide a wide range of these experiences.
But let’s shift gears because I think this is important when we talk about technology and design. Everybody’s living younger. If you follow some sort of healthy living regimen, you probably look 10 years younger than you are, which, you know, it’s not that hard to accomplish these days. And since we are designing for 40-year-olds as a main demographic, they will not let you build something that does not have the technology that they want. So you have to embrace technology and incorporate it into any design. The easier and more intuitive it is to use, the better.
STEPH: What’s another technology that you’ve seen evolve?
MARC: I think the Sonos wireless music technology has really revolutionized people’s ease of understanding the technology of sound. And how great it is to fill our house with music. And in general, with audio streaming services, you have an entire library of music at your fingertips. While I don’t know your opinion or anyone’s opinion as far as what the quality of Sonos is compared to other options, it’s an incredibly easy way that I can get great music. So for me, it couldn’t be simpler.
I mean, I can bring professionals in to integrate music into a home, and artistically it will sound excellent and be easy to operate. Or I can suggest a Sonos system that is easy to install and operate and fills the space with music. So that’s thrilling because music is so important.
STEPH: What other collaborations between technology and design are you enjoying?
MARC: I really enjoy all of the showrooms and experience centers that are sprouting up in Florida. Our clients can experience different lighting, temperatures and climate control, different levels of automation and control, engineered window treatments, and so much more. You know, we can really show them all of this amazing stuff and bring it back to design and lifestyle and demonstrate how it makes living in these incredible spaces such a privilege.
We are seeing how interested people are in combining tech and design, and we know that we can deliver a project that has outstanding well thought-out technologies that enhance the daily experience. And our clients are welcoming in this brave new world
STEPH: Final thoughts?
MARC: You feel the support from your colleagues in the design-build community. That’s victory. You feel like you’re not alone. That’s why I feel so empowered. And being able to kind of make people’s day just a little bit lighter. It’s why I do what I do!
Marc-Michaels Interior Design
720 WEST MORSE BOULEVARD
WINTER PARK, FLORIDA 32789