Shandra Ward is the principal designer at Signature Designs Interiors & Events, working out of Houston, Texas. She has over 20 years of experience, as both an interior designer and party planner. With her writing appearing in Bread and Butter magazine, Pier 1 and the Examiner we are proud to bring you the Designer Insights of Shandra Ward.
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1) In your own words describe your unique style and creative aesthetic?
My unique style is modern mixed with classic. For me, these two styles mix well together...you can't go wrong. They represent the past and the present. It's stirred not shaken!
2) When starting a new design project, what is your creative process?
When I begin to create for my clients, I start with listening to my clients needs and wants, then study the inspiration behind the project, (e.i., fabric sample, pictures, furniture...). Shortly thereafter, the creativity starts to flow and my office wall is covered with concepts.
3) Out of all the creative people you have worked with, who is it that you respect and admire the most?
I have been fortunate to work with a lot of creative people in the design industry, but the one who stands out the most is Ann "Sole Sister" Johnson. She's a visual artist that has worked in many mediums using non-traditional techniques from painting with her toes (she has all her limbs) to printing on natural leaves and vegetables. She is a true artist that understands the connection between people and design.
4) Is there a building that you find yourself revisiting repeatedly, because of it’s beautiful and inspiring interiors?
The Sistine Chapel one of my favorite inspirations. I've read books on it and was blessed with the opportunity to visit Vatican City and actually see it in person. What I love about this masterpiece is not just the physical appearance and all its glory, but the fact that in 1508, it took Michelangelo four years to complete his masterpiece ceiling and was paid about $4000 for his services...that's a long time to be perched on a scaffold 70 feet in the air with a candle. That is passion for design! :)
5) How did you get into interior design? And what is your advice for design students looking to follow in your footsteps?
When I was a teenager, I would always rearrange the furniture in the house at least once a week. It drove my family crazy, but they were very encouraging. I grew up having art, design, fashion and architecture influences all around me. With a structural engineer and entrepreneur for a father, a crafty mother and a very stylish grandmother, I was continuously exposed to design. It was inevitable. Simple advice for those entering into interior design; absorb your craft. Learn a little bit about the other aspects of design so you can understand design as a whole.