Paula Grace is the principal and founder of Paula Grace Designs, a Virginia-based interior design firm. Paula has an exceptional design style drawing inspiration from her clients, nature, fabric, the human form, and music. Her thoughts on people’s relationship to their interiors focuses on the feeling created by design: ”Here’s my belief: your home should be a place where you feel at peace, where you function effortlessly. It should portray who you are today, remind you of happy times from the past, and provide lush ground for you to create new memories.”
Prior to studying Interior Design, Paula Grace earned Masters Degrees in Clinical Social Work and Business Administration. She held a Directorship of a large behavioral health program and was a Senior Instructor, graduate level, in a prestigious university medical center. With this level of experience, Paula Grace runs a seamless ship when implementing designs. The process flows until each furnishing is placed and the design realized.
Paula Grace’s interior designs have been featured in many publications. Additionally, she has been hand-selected to participate in designer show houses and is regularly asked to speak at interior design industry events.
We recently caught up with Paula Grace at High Point Market this April to talk to her about her design style and what currently inspires her.
1. You have said that you draw inspiration from your clients, nature, fabric, the human form and music. Can you elaborate on that?
The last two are unique so I’ll focus on them – the human form and music. So many things are designed to adorn or comfort our bodies. Clothes, seats in a car, furniture. The body is very important; each one different and beautiful. I see the human form as a living sculpture that I simply pay homage too.
Music is feelings and moods that you hear. How my clients want their rooms to feel, the mood it creates is very important in my designs. When they tell me the feel and mood they’d like, a song inevitably pops in my head that evokes the same feeling and mood. Music and design share key principles – rhythm, balance, harmony, proportion, and emphasis. These principles inform the elements chosen for the space. I interpret the song into the design. Music is especially significant when I design furniture. The lines, form, and shape I draw are directly from the principles of a song communicated with instruments and voices.
2. You use both lighting and wall decor in very bold and beautiful ways. What role do they play for you in the overall design?
The art and lighting are the soul of a design. They need to be layered in. Art on the wall and dimensional pieces placed around the room, on tables for example. A great lighting plan includes ceiling, table top, and accent for overall illumination, task, and sparkle. I select classic styled furniture so it stands the test of time. Much interest comes from the jewelry – art and lighting. Think little black dress with statement jewelry. It’s the statement jewelry that communicates the feeling – aka art – and the lighting is integral to the mood. Chandeliers and sconces are both – sculptural art and lighting. They can create a statement all by themselves, which is often how I use them. John Richard chandeliers and sconces are fantastic for this.
3. How would you describe your design style?
Classic elegance with a hip vibe. Given the inspirations I just discussed – imagine furniture with clean, traditional lines creating comfort paired with evocative art, lighting, and accessories.
To learn more about this talented designer, visit her website www.paulagracedesigns.com
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