The Buffalo winters can be harsh, but Nikki Milley keeps it warm with great interior designs that feature plenty of floor coverings!
Thanks for joining us, Nikki! Tell us a little bit about your training in interior design and how you came to choose both the profession and location.
I’ve always been interested in interior design and how your environment can actually affect the way you think and behave. A number of years ago, I was considering going back to school to change my career path. I have a number of other interests, including sociology and psychology, but I couldn’t really find the right fit. I remember talking about this with my husband; there I was, a paint brush in one hand, a home & garden magazine in my other hand, and HGTV blaring in the next room. He suggested that I study Interior Design, as I looked at him blankly, he told me to go and take a look at myself in the mirror…the rest is history!
Is Buffalo a challenging market for interior decorating? What are some of the major influences for the area?
Buffalo is renowned worldwide for our beautiful architecture, including famous works by Frank Lloyd Wright, HH Richardson, and Eliel and Eero Saarinen. Our City Hall is an art deco masterpiece. Buffalo does its best to blend new construction with these timeless masterpieces, and this unique blend of old and new is steeped into the culture and interior design as well.
Buffalo is also a haven for artists; we have two of the largest Art Festivals in the region, a rich theatre foundation, and a burgeoning advertising industry. In addition, our region is quickly becoming a leader in the fields of bioinformatics and technology. Buffalo is on the cusp of becoming a shining example of rust-belt recovery, and is truly attracting the most creative and intelligent minds these days.
Having such a talented client base as well as our rich culture really creates a demand for high quality, clean, and beautiful design. It’s a challenge, but it’s one I’m glad to take!
What’s you design philosophy? How do you try and implement it in your work?
Stylish, simple and smart design is a rule that I live by–I like to think of it as sophisticated simplicity. When designing I look for pieces and furnishings that will provide a timeless interior for the client to enjoy. Good design is durable and functional as well as stylish. I prefer to use”trends” with items that are affordable and easily swapped, like pillows and lamp shades, an ottoman or pouf.
Are your clients typically looking for big jobs, or a room-by-room type thing?
I work with a wide range of clients, from commercial clients who need everything from floor to ceiling, to residential clients who need a color consultation, sample tips and accessory shopping. Of course my favorite are complete rebuilds and remodels, but I love having the opportunity to use my design skills at any stage of the design process. Any project keeps my perspective fresh, allows me to hone my skills, and promotes my growth as a designer.
When it comes to floor coverings, tell us how you incorporate area rugs into your designs.
Generally speaking, the trend these days is towards having hardwood floors installed or refinished, so area rugs play a large role in my design aesthetic. I use rugs in a space to pull together the elements of the room to create a fun and artistic place.
Buffalo is a cold climate 8-9 months of the year. Don’t area rugs add some warmth to the space?
Of course, not just for colder climates. Area rugs are an important tool in the designers toolbox. They can be used to create a more intimate space within a larger space, group seating arrangements, protect floors from dirt, and of course be used as a visual statement in a room. Area rugs are artwork for your floor. Have fun with them!
Do you have any types of rugs you use more often than others in Buffalo?
I particularly like wool and wool blend area rugs for their durability. White Orchard Home Furnishings has a line of area rugs that I use frequently in my designs. They offer several styles and colors and their prices are very reasonable.
Any other tips or tricks for using area rugs?
Area rugs are very versatile, you can move them from room to room to create a whole new look, switch them out for seasonal/holiday changes, and use them to soften a space. They can also help with dampening noise.
Where can readers find your work, or make a booking for an estimate?
Some of my work is showcased on my website, nikkimdesign.com. I am also an accomplished artist so be sure to check out the fine arts section on my website.