An Interview with Interior Designer Sharon Flatley

The design community is filled with creative individuals looking to capitalize on their ability to decorate a living space. However few are as naturally talented, or as driven as 30-year veteran Sharon Flatley, whose design business is one of the most respected in Texas!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got into interior design.

I have been in interior design for almost thirty years now. I started as an art major but switched to interior design sense I have loved design since I was a child. I was the only kid who redecorated her Barbie house every few months! I would change wallpaper, add new rugs and even made some of my own homemade cardboard furniture.

How would you describe your style of interior design? 

My style is more classic and tailored. I love timeless designs, looks that incorporate classic lines and defy time.

Time can be fickle! What are your influences? Designers you emulate?

The major influence in my life was my mother — she was the trendsetter!  She loved to change the wall colors on a regular basis. It was not unusual to go to school in the morning with the living room would be green and then return home from school and it would be transformed into a pale soft dove grey. Even the furniture would be arranged in a totally different way!

Speaking of individual rooms, can you tell if one has been professionally decorated? 

YES!!! They all have the signs that remind me of professional work. Things like proportion, balance and a sense of arrangement that few people understand unless they’ve been professionally trained.

Which project are you most proud of and why? 

I did a kitchen for a client that was in the Biedermeier style. It was beautiful and very well-equipped with two dishwashers, two sinks, a 60″ gas range, wonderful refrigeration and the beautiful classic lines of the Biedermeier style. It was breathtaking!

I want that kitchen! Are there any rules you must follow when decorating your own space?

Scale and proportion and a sense of balance are always rules to follow no matter what you are designing.

When should you call in a designer? 

When you can’t decide what style you like or what color to paint or what furniture to keep and when you are totally confused. Sometimes, it can be as simple as hiring a designer for a short two hour consultation to get you back on the right track.

Bet you could get some of those people to use rugs. Tell me a little about the various ways your incorporate them into your designs. 

I love rugs. They add warmth, color and texture to a room. They can anchor the furniture and make the space feel cozier and more inviting. Rugs can add a pop of color for a modern look or use a very traditional pattern to impart a sense of timeless appeal.

Why do you rely on area rugs? 

A lot of homes use hardwood floors or tile throughout the entire space. Although they are beautiful , they can feel a bit cold. I use area rugs to warm up the space, add some color and soften the sound of walking across a hardwood or tile floor.  What is the biggest addition they make to a room? All about the warmth!

Do you have a particular type, size or color rug that you like to include in your work? 

It varies depending upon the overall design of the space, the architectural style of the home and the color scheme. The rug needs to match the interior space and they can be any size, shape or color! That’s what makes them so great to use in any design.

Any that you avoid? 

Not really. I do avoid some of the woven grass or sisal rugs if you have puppies or kittens. And they can chew up a rug or have little “accidents” that may stain the rug.

Are there times where a rug just won’t do the job? 

Only if you are creating a great mosaic floor design and don’t want to cover up the design.

Thanks for your time! 

Thanks for the opportunity!

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