About Domenique Mora

What is your earliest memory of wanting to work in your field?
I was captivated by creative design at an early age by my father who studied at Le Arti Orafe, a prestigious jewelry school in Florence, Italy. My father made his living designing exquisite pieces of jewelry. Through-out the years it became clear that my passion for Interior Architectural Design reflected an inherent understanding of the relationships between color, texture, and shape. As a designer, my approach is centered in the integration of interiors into the architecture within which they exist, creating a lasting feeling that cradles and expresses the very essence of the individual. I believe that a truly great design starts with one's passions and is not just recognized purely by its beauty.

What excites you about design and why?
I love the connection between interior design, graphics, photography, landscaped design, and architecture in the way that brings spaces to life, when these design disciplines are executed in concert with one another. I love the experience of travel, and amazing spaces around the world. There is glamour and a pulse about Interior design that creates creative energy. It’s the blend of luxury, travel, fashion, branding and place-making that is new in every project, and is always on the leading edge, it never loses its’ appeal. My passion is to be an integral part of creating this for my clients.

How do you approach projects?  
I approach every project with a focus on aesthetics and functionality, bringing a sensitivity of texture, color, flexibility and scale to every project. My approach is centered in the artful integration of interiors into the architecture within which they exist, creating a lasting feeling that cradles and expresses the very essence of the individual. Each project is handled with a unique perspective and is tailored specifically to my client's style and expectations.

What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
Discover - Define - Develop - Deliver 

What education and or training do you have that relates to your work?
My education is in Interior Architectural Design, I am always training and educating myself, just as life forces us into continuous growth, the Interior Architectural Design professions life also demands constant career attention and advancement. Keeping progressive along with collaboration has become critical as there is no longer an “I” in the equation. Whether it is a contractor, architect, landscaper, graphic artist or interior designer, the only goal is to exceed the client’s expectations in every parameter of each project. It is important not only to co-exist on a project but also to achieve the same common goal of a great project. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your service?  If so, please share the details here.
My pricing system is straightforward. I calculate my design fee as a flat rate or on an hourly basis depending on the project and the client.

What types of customers have you worked with?
It varies, I have worked in hospitality, commercial and residential designs. Every client and project is completely different, I research the client as well as the project.

Describe a project you are fond of ? 
Good design does not have to be a large space and a large budget to be profound. I like the challenge of working with small spaces and creating functional substance and seamless simplicity, I am proud of my last project where I created lighting effects that came through the airy space over a ribbon of custom made birch wood desks, partitions, and shelves. That wove a spell on substance, even in its raw state the room was powerful and beautiful. 

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Interview your designer as if you were hiring them to work at your company. This allows the client to filter some of those issues that might come up. Ask about the challenges and solutions that were a part of that project. You will get a better sense of how an Interior Architectural Designer works, how they approach each problem, and how they apply creative solutions to address those problems as they come up on the project. 

What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
From working in the field, I understand that there is a perception in the community at large that Interior Architectural Design is about creativity and coming up with a fabulous design concept, which is what designers ultimately do in the end. Interior Architectural design really involves a lot of technical problem solving skills, so really it is finding a blend between that and creativity to achieve a successful design solution that is going to have long-term value for the client.

What do you wish you were better at design-wise and why?
Knowing that when I am the busiest that is exactly when I should be out marketing for the next project. 

What is your experience with working in outdoor spaces?
I am inspired daily by outdoor spaces and outdoor spaces of earlier mid-century decades. I love expanding my client’s living spaces from inside their home to their outdoor space. Every outdoor space I have designed has been different and each outdoor space has limitations. I first consider the space available to them and then I design the most creative experience of comfort.

How often do you shop at flea markets or antique stores and for what?
I often go to flee markets, antique shops and estate sales. I am in seventh heaven when I find hidden treasures. I feel that they have a lot to offer those in the market for period pieces and inspiration.

What are your favorite design style and why? 
Art Deco and Modernism's combination of utility, form and function. For me Art Deco elicits nostalgia blended with a harmony of various styles and new sensibilities from an era since gone. Deco is my favorite period of design because of its decorative contrast of timeless values with Modernism's innovation. I greatly admire Emile-Jacques Ruhlmann’s exotic woods, sensual lines and technical perfection. I like designs that offer a sense of luxury while not being ostentatious. Design styles that exude an understated elegance that could never become clichéd. The aesthetic is inherently glamorous, and true glamour is one of the most alluring and timeless qualities a designer could ever aim for.

What are your three of your favorite design styles and why?

Art Deco and Modernism’s combination of innovative, utility, form, and function elicits nostalgia blended with a harmony of various styles and new sensibilities from an era since gone.    I absolutely love linear Deco perfection of Émile-Jacques Ruhlmanns use of sexy exotic woods, the delicately patterned screens, tables, boxes, and vases by Jean Dunand, and Pitsou Kedem's striking Minimalism.

Hollywood Regency (Regency Moderne) I immediately think back to Greta Garbo and Jean Harlow dressed in beautiful, luxurious, clinging gowns and Humphrey Bogart wearing a white dinner jacket, on the set of a black and white film circa 1935, only in vibrant color. Strikingly Impressive in appearance, I am seduced by Hollywood Regency’s sleek lines, exotic accents, bold blends of design styles, mixed with Modernism’s glitz and glamour of an entire decade.

Retro I love the prolific modernity of the Sixties and Seventies playful décor and limitless horizons.

How would you describe your collaborative skills? Do you consider yourself a leader, a follower, or somewhere in between, and why? 
Great partnerships make for great projects. I consider myself a leader. Yet, I thrive when collaborating and making connections with all the team members involved in a design project, from the client to the designers to the architects and engineers. Coming together to create a common design language and bringing the client’s vision to life is my greatest passion. 

When it comes to managing your time, what are you great at? 
I am good at minimizing distractions, concentrating on results, delegating and scheduling effectively.

When it comes to managing your time, what are you terrible at? 
I am terrible at giving my brain some time to rest and recharge. I can work for hours 8-12 hours straight and forget to give myself a break. Taking breaks, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep is vital to having a productive day. 

What do you like most about yourself? What do you like least? 
I admit to being a bit of a perfectionist. I like that I take a great deal of pride in my work and that i am committed to producing the highest-quality work I can. Sometimes if I'm not careful, I can go a bit overboard. I've learned that it's not always possible or even practical to try and perfect my work; I should decide what's important and ignore the rest to be productive. It's a question of trade-offs. I learned to pay a lot of attention to pacing my work, so that I don't get too caught up in perfecting every detail.

How do you handle confrontation? 
I handle confrontation assertively. I don’t yell, become nasty, or roll over and give up. I politely, state my case and feelings. 

What are your three must-haves? 
Great piece of art that means something to me, a piece of jewelry I will cherish forever, and a terrific Art Deco period piece. 

How would you describe your time management skills? 
I regularly use scheduling software, which helps me effectively plan for the day, week, month, or year. It also has a to-do-list feature and an alarm option, which is helpful for meeting timely deadlines. In general, though, I'm very goal oriented and self-disciplined. 

What do you like to do for fun? 
Fun is exploring this amazing world. Whether that is visiting a museum, taking pictures, discovering a great restaurant, river rafting, going shopping, traveling or watching episodes of my favorite TV shows from when I was a kid. Living my entire life youthful certainly would be wonderful and fun. 

What is your greatest personal accomplishment? 
In a nutshell, self-awareness and change is my greatest personal accomplishment.

What is your unique design point of view? What perspective do you have on design that sets you apart from others?
I seek to create what no one else has created. I also believe one should always courageously update their look and design style to satisfy his or her own curiosity about life's wondrous possibilities in countless incarnations. 

What is your guilty pleasure?
A scoop of caramel truffle Ice cream.

What is your unique design tip that you would like others to know? 
Often, period rooms have excessive weight, the outcome is saturation of one period in one wood tone with all traditional style approaches. Instead, bring in a lighter more playful approach to a diversity of styles and periods. Give curtains an easier approach, a more modern-feeling. Crumpled silk curtains striped in gold, silver and ocher tones, casually gathered over a rod. Contrast a richly colored upholstered sofa reflecting the era’s penchant for curves. Add sculpted pieces that play up the influence of a more whimsical approach, a glossy chair by Philip Stark adds a contemporary note.                                                                                                                              

 Interior Designer Domenique Mora