While many of you know our fearless leader, Donna Hoffman, as a talented award-winning designer and delightful interior design consultant, you may be wondering about some of the other things that make her tick. So we sat down with Donna to get her thoughts on a handful of questions. We hope you love it!
What Inspires You?
This is such a great question! Nature is a wonderful inspiration, and the color combinations we find in nature can help create gorgeous spaces. As an interior design consultant, I lean into my clients’ cravings and affinities, and style preferences. When there’s a “green thumb” in the house – I grab it. I also use nature as a springboard to fine-tune my drawing skills. Try drawing a tree with leaves, and you’ll know what I mean. (You might swear a little too….)
Besides travel, of course, walking through design showrooms and industry events that only interior designers and architects can access inspires me tremendously. If you know how to read the signs right, you can see things in a different light or perspective. We work hard to create bespoke, signature ideas for our clients – but it’s these activities that inspire that thinking.
What Fad Do You Hope Never Comes Back?
Window scarves! Good grief.
What Are A Few Of Your Favorite Things?
My family, of course, and chocolate, a great Cabernet, laughing ‘til it hurts, and – when it’s safe – travel. I can’t wait to be able to travel again, especially with my family…and preferably with chocolate.
What’s your favorite client trait?
Hmm…I only get to name 1? Nice people. That’s my #1. I have a “no pill” policy here in the company. If I smell a pill or a nut coming our way….I dodge for cover. 😊
Is There A Secret To Your Creative Process?
That’s a tricky one because I teach design as well. I’m able to break down very creative processes into linear, logical paths. Design is as natural to me as breathing, and more logical than double-entry accounting.
Design is highly strategic, actually. There are structured paths I’ve created here in my company to make it enjoyable for clients.
But for me personally – my creative path is like playing an instrument. Where a musician bonds with her instrument, I fall in love with a residence or room. As I dive in, I see it in my head and then just have to find the furnishings – or have them made. Like a musician, I’m juggling “musical theory” in my head, which for me is design theory.” But like a jazz musician, I’m making it my own and running with it, at higher speeds than a non-designer runs.
My creative process relies heavily on my clients’ lifestyle and their dreams for their home. I’m fairly empathic. Beyond this, I get to know them through honest and easy (and hopefully fun) conversations, so I can really understand who they are and how to make that manifest in their surroundings.
My Wise Design approach is all about figuring out clients’ Design Fingerprint, and so much about it is based on how they live and how they relate to colors, form, shapes, patterns, light, and more. That’s an important part of my role as an interior design consultant, or design advocate as I often think of myself – to really know my clients, so we create beautiful spaces they’ll love for years. They arrive with questions and fears about getting it wrong. I’m there to make sure we get it right.
What’s It Like Working With Your Husband?
Steve is absolutely my rock and my #1 fan. He’s got an outstanding mind for business, and his strategic thinking has us create an extraordinary business together, and as my ride-or-die, he’s propped me up when I’ve wanted to quit during a tough business cycle, or if I was getting pummeled by a creep client. I credit Steve, in part, for my becoming the person I’ve become today. But we did have to get used to each other in business.
When I invited him to join the company a few years ago, we had a frank talk about who owned what turf. The way we look at it now, I’m the “wow” and he’s the “how.”
Tell Us Something About Yourself that Might Surprise Us?
Here are 3:
I’ll share this, as I’m about to sign a beach home reno project, but….I’m an aquaphobe. I love the ocean aesthetically, but from dry land. 😊 But, I can do a grrrreat beach house!
#2: Also, I have 2 speeds: 95 miles per hour, and asleep. I also need time away from people and the world to refuel my tanks.
#3 This one surprised ME, and it was kinda funny. Steve also once told me that I’m “a painfully private person,” adding that “people wouldn’t know it because you’re gregarious, there are a huge number of topics you’re completely comfortable discussing with just about anyone. BUT on the things that are near and dear to you, you are INCREDIBLY private.”
My response to that was, after a pause of consideration…”Well, just keep that one under your hat.” 😊
Stay tuned for more features like this as we showcase our team members in future posts! And if you can’t wait to get started on your design project, contact us today. We can’t wait to help you see how beautiful your home can be.