Cynthia Daly's Living Room Design, now on display at the Santa Barbara Design Center
SBCC Interior Design Instructor, Diana Costea, Santa Barbara Design Center owner Michael Kourosh, Interior Design students Edgar Cruz and Cynthia Daly

Interview with SBCC Interior Design Student Cynthia Daly

Tell us about the room you created at the Santa Barbara Design Center.
When I created my space I wanted it to be a casual, comfortable space that you could kick back in and relax. I wanted it to have a rustic/eclectic/bohemian feel with lots of texture and dimension. 

Tell us about your creative process. How did you come up with the idea? What were your sources of inspiration, etc.?
Knowing that I wanted a comfortable space, I chose a big brown leather couch and chair to start with. Originally I was thinking that I would use a couch and two chairs, but I couldn’t find two matching chairs that went with the couch and the style of the room that I wanted to create. So my design changed as I searched for furniture that would compliment and work in the space I was creating. I added a rug that had warm tones and a pop of teal blue and also a cabinet that had the browns and teal colors in the finish. I added a fur throw on the couch, a fur rug over my original rug, a cool wooden coffee table and some rustic side tables that complemented the coffee table and the space. Once I was done with the main pieces, I added a wooden textured screen for height, a lot of accessories that brought out the brown tones, the wood textures and the pop of teal. The accessories were what really brought the space together and finished the feel and look of the room.

What challenges did you face?
One of the hardest things for me was when I was searching for furniture and accessories. I couldn’t always find what I was looking for so I would have to adjust my design and look using furniture and accessories I could find. This made things challenging, but I think in the end it made for a better design.

What do you think it takes to be a good designer?
I think a good designer has to be flexible. I think they need to put the needs and wants of the client first. They need to design for the client but use their expertise to make a space come together.

What are the most important things a designer needs to keep in mind while creating a living space?
As I said before the client's needs and wants are very important. Also, colors and styles need to flow and the pieces that are chosen for a space need to work together and complement each other. The function and feel of the space is also very important. 

Any other comments you'd like to share?
Everyone has their own style, their own likes and dislikes. I think it is important for a designer to bring ideas to the table, but also be flexible and willing to adjust the design when needed. I had specific ideas of what I thought my space would be like. In the end, I had to adjust because of some of the pieces I found and used, but ultimately I feel like the final space came together and ended up even better that my original design.

Finally, I want to thank Michael and all of his staff. They were wonderful and so very helpful. It was a great experience and I learned a lot!