Karndean Spotlight on a Designer

Spotlight on a Designer: Lisa Gilmore-Sarnowski, Principal Designer at Lisa Gilmore Design

Karndean Designflooring

Lisa Gilmore-Sarnowski is the principal designer of Lisa Gilmore Design, an interior design firm focusing on commercial, hospitality, retail, and luxury residential environments. Her interiors are known for being livable spaces with a glamorous edge. We recently caught up with Lisa to discuss some of the key elements and principles of designing for commercial spaces.

What’s the most important element you look for when stepping into a space? Does this differ between commercial and residential spaces?
Flow of the space – I feel that it is very important for people to know where they need to go and how to get there. And obviously, this applies to both commercial and residential spaces.

What’s the biggest and most common design mistake you see in commercial spaces? 

Definitely finding residential grade materials in commercial spaces is one of the biggest mistakes I come across. People often think they can save a few bucks, because it’s less money up front. But as we all know, it doesn’t last long and they end up having to replace it quickly.

What’s the most important aspect or element in commercial design? 
Determining what the voice of the brand is and how it will translate into the space. There are ways that you can display a brand throughout a space without placing logos everywhere. Through our firm’s brand identity design program, we like to achieve a well-versed and cohesive space that translates your brand beautifully.

Are there any particular trends you are incorporating into your latest projects?

I’m very hesitant when it comes to placing trends in our design. Don’t get me wrong, we see and listen to the trends of design, but they play more of a supporting character rather than lead actor in the space. We may apply current color trends to decorative items that can be easily changed out, but the more permanent aspects have a timeless approach.

What’s the first question you ask a client before undertaking a design project?

An explanation of their personal style, or to explain their brand. We like to work with people who have a story to tell and want to make it better through interior design.

What has been one of your favorite design projects to date?

That is such a challenging question! Our firm is fortunate to have clients with many different styles, so really every project has been different from the other, which keeps it exciting and fresh. One of our most recent projects, a 1920s traditional colonial residence, has been a lot of fun. We framed forty-four, (yes, forty-four!) vintage sketches of men’s fashion from Vanity Fair lined and lined them all up on their family room walls. It looks so fun!

How does flooring affect the way a room or space is defined? 

Flooring affects a room so much! It really grounds the space and creates the vibe right off the bat. If you think about it, it’s usually the largest canvas in your home. So treat it well.

How would you describe Karndean Designflooring to friends or colleagues in your field?
I love introducing Karndean to friends, colleagues and clients. It’s kind of my back pocket secret. I love to tell people how durable it is without sacrificing beauty. I usually tell them all the benefits, water resistance, hard wearing and such. That usually piques their interest!

We’d like to thank Lisa for her insight into the world of interior design. If you’re interested in learning more about her firm or you’d like to see some of their stunning residential and commercial designs, visit Lisa Gilmore Design’s website.

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