Lisa K. Crouch is a National Council for Interior Design Qualification-certified designer of residential and commercial spaces who chairs the scholarship committee of the Dayton Society of Interior Designers and has thrice won awards from the American Society of Interior Designers since 2003. Crouch took some time to answer questions about her experience and expertise in the world of interior design.
Q: How would you describe your signature style?
A: I aim to create spaces with meaning and connection to the people experiencing them daily. With that being said, I still have my preferences. For instance, my signature style would have to lean towards a dramatic, fresh look—I mix finishes and textures and love the use of contrasting elements that provides interest and a ‘wow’! I like an eclectic style that says, ‘I have gathered treasures.’ I love rooms with a masculine look as well as ones with a very feminine look. Either way, if a room can be sexy, my designs are, too.
Q: What challenges are you seeing in the design industry?
A: Online shopping is placing a burden on our local showrooms, design firms and family-operated businesses to the point that these showrooms and businesses could possibly disappear from our local economy. Obviously, the internet is not going away, so the challenge is to find ways to coexist. Although information and choices are abundant online, some information is misleading and incorrect. The biggest complaint I’ve heard from clients and friends is disappointment in the quality of product they have received from online purchases. Designers are trained on product lines and quality and the better ones have seen, sat in and touched the products—we’ve been to the manufacturing plants to see how pieces of furniture and cabinetry are made. ASID members are required to earn a certain number of continuing education units to keep our knowledge current.
Q: What design trends are you most excited about?
A: The trends I’m most excited about are color and animal prints, emerging from the whites and grays of previous years. The colors have an earthy, neutral feel and are showing up in cabinetry. The blues and greens are striking and really add interest and warmth to a space. Even if used sparingly, it can provide great impact. In the kitchen, mixing cabinet colors continues to be in vogue and there is not a single color of metal that is not trending. I have always loved animal prints as an accent and I’m happy to say they are forecasted to stand out. It also goes without saying that the vintage farmhouse style will continue to be strong, even if used in small doses.
Q: What’s your advice to most clients?
A: A well-functioning space is the first critical issue to think about when remodeling or working on a furniture plan—I help clients with this probably more than any other element of design. Getting the layout right comes before the material selections, the colors, the fabrics, the accessories, et cetera and it has a strong impact on the human experience of the space.