Sara Jane King
My life as an Interior Designer started in the sandbox at age 5. My dad had dug out an area in the backyard that was about 6’ x 8’ x 2’ deep and filled it with sand. I would mound the sand up against the sides and shape it into a loveseat, lounge chair and side table so that I could host tea parties for kids, dogs, dolls, horned toads, turtles or anyone else interested in a cup of Kool-Aid and Oreos.
It seems that only a few years later, I was employed by an architecture firm in Dallas, working on interiors for corporate headquarters and hospitals. From there I moved on to an interior design firm that specialized in luxury homes, as well as hospitality and senior living facilities. One of my projects, for retired military in Colorado won a design competition for Senior Living Communities in part for my use of art inspired by WWII aircraft decoration. A resort in Jamaica as well as other properties in the Wyndham and Sheraton chains taught me the particulars of the travel/hospitality industry. While I was here I discovered a my affinity for residential design, because of its immediate connection to people and their distinctive personalities, preferences, and needs.
With the urging of a loyal client, I started my own design company and worked on residential and corporate projects for a number of years until the focus of my practice seemed to shift from something personal, to the repetitious purchases of furniture to fill spaces in tasteful, but depersonalized, offices.
With this realization, I stopped doing corporate work and limited my residential projects to Texas so that I could go to Theology school. Through my studies, I reconnected with the human side of design through theological investigations of art, anthropology, ancient history, literature and philosophy.
After obtaining a Master of Theological Studies, I began to find my way back into the practice of interior design. I returned to the hospitality industry as a Senior Project designer on projects for the Ritz-Carlton and Hilton properties. Preferring residential work, I migrated through Jan Showers and Associates as managing designer for projects, products, and the showroom and back into my own design practice.
Over the years, I have learned a few things that now shape my practice:
The design of the place needs to support the lives of the people who live there. This concept is not as obvious in the design world as it might seem.
Design implementation is expensive and should therefore be of an enduring aesthetic made of durable materials and superior craftsmanship that will maintain its function and appearance in the home as well as its value in the market place.
My design programs are carefully tailored to incorporate my client’s personal needs and interests into a complete aesthetic package so that they may carry their personal expression with them as they transition through their lives.
In short, I no longer work to create places for pieces, but create places for people.