About Abby Smith
Abby Smith has earned the reputation as a premier custom home and interior designer. She is known for her ability to conceptualize well thought out design criteria and aesthetically appropriate design strategies that create sophisticated and timeless solutions and warm and inviting interior spaces. Abby has been doing interiors for 17 years. Before that she had her own graphic design studio that specialized in packaging design. Four of her kitchen design submissions have been chosen as regional finalists in the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest. Her work has been featured on HGTV, chosen as a Houzz Kitchen of the Week, and appeared in numerous books and magazines.
Regional Award Winner
Where do you find design inspiration?
Design inspiration comes all the time - walking through a museum or walking through Home Depot. I don’t discriminate. It’s all about taking in the input, filing it away for later consideration, and then bringing it up to the surface when it’s appropriate.
How do you approach the design process?
I find I respond to a design assignment emotionally at first. That’s the stage when I’m the most excited and the most creative. I then go through the process of eliminating and narrowing down the possibilities for a concept. Then I have to consider the reality of the budget and the constraints of building or executing an idea. Function is important, but having a creative vision while making smart selections is what drives me in design.
How does your aesthetic stand out amongst other designers/architects?
I would say that my work sometimes is bold but in good taste, and sometimes conservative, but in good taste. I am comfortable incorporating a very low key, nuanced look in kitchen design. If the reserved look is the route I’m taking with a project then the design has to be beautiful in its subtlety. On the other hand, when the project calls for more of a "wow" factor, then the striking elements must also be designed to have striking but beautiful results.
What is your biggest challenge as a designer/architect?
There are several big challenges today – clients have unrealistic budgets and unrealistic timelines. This is compounded by the fact that trades are now so busy that they charge more and take longer to execute a project.
What does the Sub-Zero and Wolf Kitchen Design Contest mean to you?
The brands have the cache and brings in the top kitchen design entries in the world. Being selected as a finalist from over 1,700 entries and being recognized for excellence in design is very gratifying. As I told my friends, "I feel as if I was nominated for an Academy Award."
Where do you see kitchen design going in the next 5 years?
Convenience and technology will go hand-in-hand. The kitchen will become the headquarters for most family activities. From entertainment – including lighting and audiovisuals - to education – with computer based information centers to servicing very busy lifestyles , to healthful living – with technology based appliance that are easy to operate and shortcut mundane tasks in the kitchen.