When it comes to professionalism and creating spaces that mirror the personality of the home owner, nobody in the Dallas-area is doing a better job than Linda Baker of the Baker Design Group. Their interior design business is not only top-class, but like us they love rugs!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into interior design.
I actually got into the industry about 20 years ago because I had hired an Interior Designer for my Master Bedroom and fell so in love with the process and the overall finished product that it captured my heart. Shortly after that, I began to do some remodeling projects and slowly moved into the Interior Design Industry. My years of Marketing Experience and passion for design made for a great combination that I have been able to flourish in and really enjoy!
What would you describe as your style?
I personally like mixes of Transitional and Modern. This has changed over the years as beautiful new product is coming out that has very clean lines, unique designs and so many great accent colors to make a room come alive. It is always fun to work with each client and see their style and how we can improve on that to update their spaces!
Influences? Designers you emulate?
I can’t say that I have one personal influence right now. I love so many different designers and how they are mixing fabrics or creating unique art installations on walls and wall features. I am particularly drawn to designers that lay a room out well but in an unpredictable way as it is probably one of my biggest pet peeves when I see a room that is either predictable or could be so much more fun and functional but, instead, they go for the safe route. Rooms are meant to be enjoyed and inspiring. Your living spaces should also be relaxing and easy to entertain in.
When you enter a room can you tell if it has been professionally decorated? What are the tell tale signs?
If I see sofas and chairs backed up against walls and windows, that usually is not a good sign to me. If I see well-designed layouts and interesting mixes of art and accessories, I tend to think a designer has been involved. Some clients are very creative and intuitive too so I can’t always tell right off the bat and offer kudos to them. The other issues I notice in a lot of homes is poor lighting and many homes are visually cut off right in the middle of the room and your eye has no other place to go and get energized.
Which project are you most proud of and why?
Our latest project, which we have almost completed now, in Uptown Dallas. We were excited to have our hands on everything from bare walls on, including tile, custom cabinetry and vanities, all the way through to the furniture, art, and accessory finish out. The client was extremely enjoyable to work with and she and her husband turned over many of the creative aspects to us and we were able to do things that were cutting edge. When it all came together, the entire home truly looked like a work of art, bringing a marriage of form and function that literally changed the way they live.
Describe how you decide whether or not a space needs a rug.
I like rugs in most rooms with hard surface flooring. They ground the space, bring color and texture to the base of the design and also warm up the entire space. Rugs also absorb sound and give a room a cozier atmosphere, on top of delegating function to help a space plan work.
Why do you rely on area rugs? What is the biggest addition they make to a room?
The biggest addition is color and texture. It is also an easy way to delegate spaces for specific functions, which is specifically helpful in great rooms and open spaces. Rugs really pull your eye to enjoy the room and seem to bring all the design of the room together, uniting colors, patterns, and styles.
Do you have a particular type, size or color rug that you like to include in your work?
I like a simple rug with some graphically interesting design that sets off the room but doesn’t drown it out. There are so many amazing rugs out there now and you have the ability to create soft areas, architectural spaces or a more traditional environment. My favorite rug lines are Surya, Feizy and Loloi. One thing most consumers don’t know is that through a design firm there are endless rugs to choose from. Most clients only get exposed to the limited amount of retailers offering rugs and never have an idea of what truly is out there through a professional Interior Design firm. There is no cookie cutter answer to a favored rug type, as they suite each client specifically, in a wonderfully versatile way.
Any that you avoid?
Only use nylon when you have either an outdoor area or something with super high traffic. It is much better to work with wool rugs, as they maintain their life and quality and give you intensity in the design and use of the rug.
ALWAYS USE A RUG PAD!