23 Oct Q&A with Ali Fleskes, Interior Designer
How did you get into designing office spaces?
I grew up in a design-focused family where everyone had an eye for design. My father and grandfather were home remodelers. I have always loved design. From the time I was in my early teens, I would help my dad paint, remodel and fix things around the house. And, I loved shopping with my mom to pick out furniture. Naturally, I studied interior design in college. I knew that I wanted to work in commercial interior design because of the larger-scale, faster-paced projects.
What is most important to you in serving a client?
It’s important that I help clients visually understand their project. People often have trouble visualizing space and design. My job is to help them see clearly what their space will look like when it’s finished. I turn to 3-D renderings, materials, boards and space plans to help them gain a better understanding.
Favorite project and why?
The Colorado Housing and Finance Authority had a great team of people who let us be creative with their space. They were forward-thinking and employee-focused. First and foremost, they wanted to make their employees happy. We met with each department to listen to their opinions and concerns one-on-one. By meeting with each team, everyone felt that their voices were heard, and as a result, they were happy with the final outcome. Meeting with all levels of employees is time-consuming, but well worth it.
I am a big fan of mixing materials like metals, woods, stones, and fabrics. I also like warm earth and jewel tones, the color scheme that is on-trend right now. More and more, we are focusing on mixed materials rather than color to bring interest to the space. Instead of the bright colors, like tangerine orange and lime green that were so popular recently, we are seeing concrete and textures instead. These design elements are more long-lasting in the end and will take longer to go out of style.
What are clients asking for these days?
Clients are coming to us wanting more of a residential feel in their offices. They want their employees to feel more comfortable at work, and the residential look is more inviting. That’s the feel that people want right now.
Favorite product or material to work with?
I love choosing fun fabrics for clients. I always have stacks of samples at my desk, and I am constantly ordering the newest fabrics from manufacturers. I do my research and pay attention to what is new in the industry. I keep our library up-to-date with fabrics and other material samples for the furniture that we carry. I love to bring clients into our library to brainstorm finishes. This process helps clients give us an idea of what they like and don’t like.
I love being outside, hiking and practicing yoga. I enjoy taking my husky-mix Milo on walks and hikes. I just adopted him in January. He is a great addition to my life, and I enjoy spoiling him!
Why Contract Furnishings?
I have been working at Contract Furnishings for three-and-a-half years. I love the smaller office feel; we are more like a small family than a group of employees. My coworkers are supportive and understanding. It’s such an easygoing atmosphere. And I get to bring Milo to work!