An Interview with reDesign home

It’s no secret we love sitting down with our favorite designers for a glimpse behind-the-scenes, and when given the opportunity to interview the extraordinary duo behind reDesign home, we knew their story was going to be something special. Alessia and Sarah met 16 years ago while working for the same commercial design firm and quickly forged a close friendship. Today, they co-lead their own boutique interior design studio based in Chicago and Detroit and create beautiful, liveable spaces with an emphasis on architectural details and well-curated style.

We first met Alessia and Sarah when they purchased our Amelie template from the IDCO studio, and working on their website was nothing short of a “pinch me” moment. Our team is so honored to assist with their editorial content, and their high-caliber work always speaks for itself.

Without any further adieu, let’s get to our conversation with the talented ladies of reDesign home!

 

Photography: Stoffer Photography

 

An Interview with reDesign home

 

 

Tell us how reDesign was born.

Sarah and I met while working for the same commercial/retail design studio in Northville, Michigan, and became good friends and great working partners. At that time, Sarah was newly married, I was dating my now-husband, and we were content to work at the studio. Only a few years later when we were both home with our children and away from our desks, we felt the need to get back into design — specifically into residential design. We wanted to continue to be with our small children as both of us live far away from our family and juggle multiple roles at once, as many others do. Therefore, creating our own firm and determining our own schedule and workload led us to find the best of both worlds. We kept getting referred to jobs by old colleagues, friends, and family members. Eventually, we started to build a presence on social media and other virtual channels to reach a wider group of potential clients that are located in the towns we live but also in and out of state.

 

Photography: Ryan McDonald

Photography: Ryan McDonald

 

How would you describe the reDesign signature style? How do you tailor + adapt that to different clients and home styles?

Truthfully, we were not aware of having a signature style until clients and colleagues in the industry started making such affirmation. We always believed that our job was based on offering a service (interior design) but not to “force” our design aesthetic onto others. Perhaps that was because that’s how we approached projects when working for somebody else’s design firm, but now we’re in charge of all aspects of the design process and our personal “touch” is key to every project and outcome. After featuring my own house remodel on our website, we noticed how much interest and inspiration such interiors sparked in people. Interiors that feel collected, curated, cozy, fresh, simple, and yet elevated and functional for everyday life!

Now, we don’t like to repeat designs for clients and that’s the side of our job that we enjoy the most. It gives us the opportunity to create something new every time and push ourselves to design unique features for any of our clients by delivering a consistent aesthetic but different outcome. We want each homeowner to enjoy their own home with the unique reDesign signature touch!

Our input in the design process allows homeowners to determine their preferences and the “WOW factor” moments within their homes. We make sure to let them know that we don’t replicate existing interiors, which often pushes clients out of their comfort zone by proposing new products and layouts based on our sketches or drawings. The process requires a level of trust, and truthfully, the clients that have trusted us the most are now enjoying the most one-of-a-kind homes.

 

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Photography: Ryan McDonald

 

Do you have a favorite project thus far? Tell us about it!

Every project becomes our favorite project. Truly, we get so giddy about every project we’re involved in by seeing the potential in any space and watching the transformation unfold. We LOVE every project we had worked on and know we will love the next projects coming in!

 

Photography: Stoffer Photography

An interview with ReDesign Home

Photography: Ryan McDonald

 

We love your focus on mixing modern + vintage. Where does that come from?

We were both raised in very humble families with hard-working parents who were devoted to a family lifestyle. Our parents were very careful and smart about spending money and we both remember second-hand furniture pieces being used to decorate our homes. That was our families’ normal — our way of creating a space that felt cozy and comfortable with a layered aesthetic. That mentality has stuck with both of us as we’ve come to appreciate a collected aesthetic.

In time, that lifestyle has turned into a drive to incorporate unique pieces within our work. We’re always searching at estate sales, garage sales, and vintage markets to find that one-of-a-kind “found” piece or use a vintage item that our client already owns. In our work, we also honor the original architectural features of any home (unless such features are an impediment to the client’s needs and lifestyle), and incorporate unique vintage pieces, which often becomes the project inspiration and trademark.

 

An interview with ReDesign Home | Modern Lakehouse Kitchen

Photography: Ryan McDonald

 

Would you share one of your best vintage sourcing tips with us?

I’m not sure if we have any except the classic “wait until the last minute, right before the end of an estate sale” trick to grab as much as you can at a low price point! When I shop at an estate sale or garage sales, I have my sister working on a schedule to map out things based on their most appealing inventory. Time is key and you don’t want to waste time when you have a long wishlist to tackle. In these cases, it is worthwhile to preview the inventory before paying a visit.

When we source from vintage furniture markets, we work on a list of items to search for and then save part of the budget for the miscellaneous items which are often decorative pieces, which are small in size but great for the styling of tabletops or as fillers on bookcases! In both scenarios, we do our homework before visiting the sales so that we don’t take too long to make a decision. We also know what price point we need to meet based on the budget reserved for the shopping trip.

Who are your personal design heroes?

We admire many talented designers and architects. Lately, we are enjoying the work of Kristen Panitch, Elizabeth Roberts Architects, Studio Shamshiri, and the impeccable styling of Colin King. I am sure we have more, but this is the latest go-to list!

 

An interview with ReDesign Home | Modern European Farmhouse Kitchen

Photography: Ryan McDonald

An interview with ReDesign Home | Soapstone counters with brass gooseneck faucet

Photography: Ryan McDonald

From where do you draw design inspiration?

Nature and the surroundings of our project setting, which often sets the tone for our design work.

What are your favorite Instagram accounts to follow?

Galerie Provenance, Studiohus and Jake Arnold.

 

Photography: Stoffer Photography

 

When you aren’t working, what would we find you doing?

Oh my gosh, this answer will show how boring we are! The truth is that we live and breathe design, and you’ll often find Sarah working on her home remodel projects (you should see her tile installations and paint jobs!!) and then enjoying a drink with her husband or friends. I (Alessia) am often sketching ideas for current projects or flipping through magazines and design books. We also both enjoy a good TV show and traveling!

 

Tell us about your favorite space in your own home. 

Alessia: The kitchen. My everyday gravitates towards the kitchen, not only because I am the one making meals most of the time, but also because it’s the space that feels the most like home. The kitchen is the hard-working room in the house, welcoming and generous, well organized to properly function and to be efficient. Based on the styling you can dress it up or down and no matter what, this space will always feel just right.

Sarah: The patio. I love being able to enjoy the fresh air or the nightlight while sitting around a fire or a table surrounded by good company with a tasty drink. I often sit back, relax, and take it all in, especially after a long day at work. It’s important to enjoy the good, simple things in life.

 

Photography: Stoffer Photography

An interview with ReDesign Home | White marble laundry room

Photography: Ryan McDonald

An interview with ReDesign Home | White marble bathroom with wood vanity and vintage mirror

 

Tell us a favorite recent trend. How about a timeless one?

We are not big on trends. Nowadays trends don’t last long enough to be impactful and meaningful in our everyday life, but instead, become more of a consumerism factor. But, by reminiscing on the past and feeling a bit of nostalgia, we are both enjoying the comeback of caning, wicker, arches, deep colors — greens, burned orange, golds/brass (unlacquered is our preference) — and natural stone.

A trend that reads as timeless is tied to a soft color palette, such as warm white and tone-on-tone colors combination that has more longevity than a distinctive color palette. We also like to keep our color palettes close to the color of nature so that the transition between outdoor and indoor is not too drastic and will never feel forced. Also, the mix of modern and vintage is a combination that often reads as timeless. It’s one of the reasons why the one-of-a-kind item in a neutral space can overcome the fast-paced trends.

 

 


 

For more industry interviews, check out these posts:

 

IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.

 

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