Designer Spotlight: Foosology
Foosology is the work of Amye Charfoos, a Chicago-based designer focused mostly on residential design with a commercial project or two woven in to give her a great variety of work. Priding herself on making a connection with clients and designing each project for their specific needs, Amye builds each space with a mix of form, function and working with the nuances that come with big-city living. Visit her website at www.foosology.com.
Sources for inspiration:
I love scouring the web and magazines for inspiration and seeing what else is out there. Images and installations is where I find my greatest source of inspiration. I’m forever saving articles and photos to file away for future inspiration Remodelista.com is my daily fix. It’s the only daily email I look forward to reading. Houzz is a great resource too. Google images never fails me in my random searches.
Most memorable project:
My most memorable project was one of my first jobs I landed after opening my own firm. My clients knew I was young and starting out but they believed in me and my design process. They purchased a 2nd home here in Chicago, a fantastic condo in the Trump Tower, just after the building officially opened. Working in a high rise poses very different challenges than a stand alone home. Dealing with both the vertical life and architectural limitations of high rises definitely impacted and directed much of the design. Concrete ceilings limit lighting options and locations. Floor to ceiling windows require hefty window treatments for both privacy and to protect from sun damage. Elevators sizes, building requirements….it all just adds to the process!
Rewards of the job:
I pride myself on truly listening to my clients and their own specific needs. I believe my role as a designer is to help guide my clients to make the best design decisions that fit their home or project. The most rewarding part of my job is creating a final product that my client enjoy for years. When my clients are happy, I am happy and that means repeat clients and referrals, the ultimate compliment.
My clients are focused on equal parts design and function. There is a definite sense of practicality that influences the design, more so today than in the past. People want to enjoy and actually use the spaces I design. So, that direction certainly affects the types of fabrics I use, comfort level of furniture, flow of space, etc. In the city there are inherent space limitations. So, function is very important. I think manufacturers are relaying these needs into their products. It seems they are listening to designers and clients and coming up with better products to fill the needs of today.
A Foosology-designed space in Chicago, featuring the Model 2097 Chandelier by Flos.
What is your style and how does that play into your work?
My style really depends on my client and their direction. However, at the root of it all is a focus on classic looks, layered with art and accessories to personalize a space. I usually focus on neutrals for the larger pieces and elements in a room, like sofas and even wall color. It’s important to have longevity in those grounding design elements. I take greater risks in accent pieces like chairs, art, pillows, rugs, etc. Working this way allows my clients and me to add and swap in new pieces of art or accessories over time for something fresh and new.
What type of space do you most like to design?
Good question. I love construction. So, any project that requires renovating and building always peaks my interest. I have the utmost respect for all the trades I work with. I am amazed how they turn my design visions into a reality.
Do you have any role models in design?
My mom. She is also an interior designer and has been in the business for a very long time. Although our styles are different, I learned my best principles from her. She has an impecable eye. We always have fun discussing our projects and sharing ideas. It’s great to bounce ideas off one another. She is also very organized and has great business practices. So, she taught me key business principals early on. Having both a great design aesthetic and an organized business are equally important to for success as an interior designer.
You have a completely blank slate (i.e. a room). Where do you start?
Either a rug or piece of art. I always need an object for inspiration as my starting point.
What design “mistakes” make you cringe?
I cringe when people use bold paint colors as a way to infuse color into a project. Often the paint selections have too much color. For me the paint should blend and not be the statement or focal point of a room.
What does your own home look like?
Mostly contemporary, clean and organized. In every room I have a few vintage pieces and hand-me-downs that I have picked up over time. I really love these “one-of-a-kind” pieces the most. They have a story and history that makes them stand out from the crowd.
If you could give one piece of advice in design, it would be _________?
Have an overall game-plan in mind before starting a room. You always need direction. There are so many wonderful options out there. Design can be tempting and overwhelming, but if you commit to a theme it will help guide your decisions.