trade tales | Jan 22, 2021 |
7 designers share what they’re looking forward to in 2021

The start of a new year always brings reflection on what we hope to do differently and the chance to set new resolutions and goals. We asked seven designers—Kylie Bodiya, Whitney Jones, General Judd, Mary Maloney, Kenzie Leon Perry, Ashley Ross and Eric J. Smith—what they’re planning on doing differently in their businesses in 2021.

Ashley Ross
Ashley RossCourtesy of Ashley Ross

“I am excited about two new things we are trying out this year. The first is a remote internship program we developed for college seniors studying design or marketing. The goal is to create a curriculum and digital work experience. In 2020, many designers, including us, scrambled to make digital adaptations to their client experience and processes. We’ve always offered e-design, but I wanted to elevate the experience, and I’ve been able to further this pursuit by creating an interactive platform for the next generation of designers.” —Ashley Ross, Muse Noire Interiors, Charlotte, North Carolina

Kylie Bodiya and Mary Maloney
Kylie Bodiya and Mary MaloneyCourtesy of Kylie Bodiya and Mary Maloney

Color theory
“Of course, we are thrilled about the thought of interacting with our co-workers and clients on a more normal basis when the time comes, but what we are most looking forward to in 2021 is the use of brighter colors everywhere! We have always had a deep love for incorporating bright hues into our classic design, but after a year of spending the majority of our time in our homes, we have learned it is necessary in creating joyful environments for our clients. Also, we will put a larger focus on the functionality of our clients’ homes and pinpointing their needs to fit their newly defined lifestyles. From home office designs to home schooling spaces for the kids, the stress of adapting to new work environments is evident. We hope to make that process a little smoother for all.” —Kylie Bodiya and Mary Maloney, Bee’s Knees Interior Design, Hopkinton, Massachusetts

General Judd
General JuddCourtesy of General Judd

Come together
“I’m looking forward to reaching out to other design professionals who are seeking to create new collaborations within and outside of the design industry. It’s time to come together and create even more amazing ways to live a better, environmentally sustainable lifestyle.” —General Judd, Me and General Design, New York

Eric J. Smith
Eric J. SmithCourtesy of Eric J. Smith

Trading spaces
“For me, 2020 was a time to reset and reevaluate the form and structure of my practice—including where we work, transitioning from an office to a studio mentality, rethinking not only how the team works best, but also how I want to work. These are my goals moving forward. We were all moving so quickly pre-COVID—constant motion with no off-ramp and no way to slow down and look further down the road. This reset has brought about much-needed and ongoing reflection. This year, I look forward to having a smaller studio space closer to home, giving up the commute, and acknowledging that working remotely—even if part-time—will likely become the new norm. The hybrid work structure is becoming more permanent and accepted.” —Eric J. Smith, Eric J. Smith Architect, New York

Whitney Jones
Whitney JonesCourtesy of Whitney Jones

Stop and shop
“Something new that I’m looking forward to this year is growing my retail shop. Early last year, I leased a brick-and-mortar space for my design studio, but didn’t have any intention to actually sell product there. The pandemic caused me to pivot and I had a very successful year selling product online and through a series of pop-ups in my studio. This year, I’m looking forward to opening to retail sales full-time and am excited for growth!” —Whitney Jones, Whitney J Decor, Gretna, Louisiana

Kenzie Leon Perry
Kenzie Leon PerryCourtesy of Kenzie Leon Perry

Concept art
“My goal this year is to place more emphasis on the concept behind my designs, which makes the finished product more meaningful and engaging. Also, having a great concept leads to opportunities for more product and design development. The possibilities are endless.” —Kenzie Leon Perry, Ze Haus Interior Design Studio, Miami

Homepage photo: A project by Whitney Jones | Britt Smith Photography

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