Gail Shields-Miller is the principal designer behind Shields & Company Interiors, in New York. Gail has an adventurous spirit and joie de vivre, which help fuel her blog and bring her readers everything wild and wonderful. Her gusto is unparalleled and makes for super interesting and fabulous blog posts that help her readers to escape the hum drum of daily lives. So we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Gail Shields-Miller.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
I love to mix styles and love the furnishings to as eclectic as possible. I think a home should not look like it was created all from one place or in one moment. There should be a personality to the place and a depth to the design that not only represents sophistication but comfort.
2) When starting a new project, what is your creative process?
I always survey a space and take my own photos. Then evaluate if any changes to the structure architecturally should be made. Even a small change can make a big difference! Lastly, I insert the ideal furniture layout for the rooms. I always work with computer plans…everything should be measured and exact to avoid problems down the road.
3) Out of the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
I have met too many talented people to select only one. Believe it or not, a great tile installer or a fabulous faux painter can make me go ‘oooh and ahhh!’ And the people that make my custom furnishings for my clients are to be cheered as well. If there is one person that can make or break a design job, I would say it is your construction contractor…a great contractor is worth his weight in gold!
4) When looking for inspiration is there a particular thing you do to get inspired?
Inspiration is all around you. My philosophy is not to wait until you need it but to always be out there looking, scanning, imagining and absorbing from travel, museums, art shows, web sites, magazines and your everyday experience. This way inspiration is always at your finger tips!
5) What has brought you to this point in your career? And what is your advice for people looking to follow in your footsteps?
Hard work! Being a designer is ¾ good business sense and ¼ talent! Develop good relationships with your peers in the industry and participate as much as you can in industry events. Attend as many social events as you can to meet potential clients, and try and get into the public’s eye anyway possible i.e., Show Houses, social media, magazines and newspapers, etc. Lastly, every client is a potential referral for another client…never forget this!