Interior Designer Series: Constance Vinson
One of the benefits of choosing America’s Floor Source (AFS) as your flooring partner is having access to our complimentary Builder Design Services. We tailor our client appointments to each builder. In addition to flooring, we have the capability to discuss and select exteriors and other interiors like cabinets, countertops, wall paint, faucets, etc. Our builders’ clients will work with one of our professional designers, who can assist them through the selection process while considering their budget.
In this interview, meet Constance Vinson. She works with our builder clients in Indianapolis. Find out what inspires her, and her projects.
Designer, AFS Design Center
1. How did you get your start? How do you define your personal design philosophy or mantra?
My early career started out with a Bachelor’s degree in Studio art/Photography, with early jobs as a visual design manager at an upscale men’s clothing store in Chicago, and also as a medical photographer at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
With advancements in technology, ambitious career goals, and a growing family, I started planning my next phase. This led me to my second degree in Interior Design, and I’ve owned my own design firm since 2011. I’ve also served on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers for 4 years, one of those years serving as President.
In the last couple of years, I’ve wanted to tweak things a little bit and work in the residential building industry as a designer, and as luck would have it, I found that opportunity with AFS!
My personal design philosophy is to not be afraid to mix it up! Find a design thread that connects it all together, and don’t ignore scale and proportion.
2. What inspires you? How would you describe your style, for both professional and personal projects?
I’m inspired by so many things from nature to art to scents to textures. They all evoke very creative feelings in me. My style tends to embrace an eclectic look. I love beautiful antiques at the same time as modern design and I think the two can mix beautifully. Mixing styles and elements makes a space more personal and less “catalog” looking. Every client has their own style and it might be vastly different from my own personal style, but good design has universal elements like proportion, color theory, and scale that remain constant across design genres. Designing with these elements in mind allows me to work with any client’s style and deliver the look they desire.
3. How do you approach a new design project with new clients?
A conversation about what they like and also what they don’t like is always the start. I also ask to see photos of interiors that inspire them. Finding out about their lifestyle and family size also informs me of design elements and products that will be a good fit for them.
4. What are your go-to techniques/materials/colors/furniture pieces/etc…?
My only true go-to probably is designing dramatic powder rooms. Bold wallpaper, bold tile, bold paint on walls and ceilings do well in powder rooms. Since we spend very little time in these spaces, so we can push the envelope a bit more.
5. What’s your favorite flooring material to design around?
I love area rugs! An area rug in a room with hard surface flooring, especially a living room or family room visually anchors the room and unites the furniture into a conversation area or media viewing area. It also can change the design mood of a room without buying new furniture, they’re just so versatile. And there are limitless designs, colors, and textures to choose from!
6. How do you use color to tie flooring into your designs?
There are certain floor colors and tones as well as textures associated with particular design styles and I will generally work within those lanes. For example, I wouldn’t select a dark red undertone flooring for clients whose style is modern farmhouse. That floor would be beautiful in a more traditional formal setting and a cerused white oak would look beautiful in modern farmhouse space.
7. What are your favorite materials to use in a kitchen vs living room?
I love hardwood! It works great in either of those spaces. If I use hardwood in a living room, I’d also select a beautiful area rug as well.
There are so many gorgeous tile designs out there and tile is a fabulous choice for kitchens, if folks don’t want hardwood in there. You can even get porcelain planks that look like hardwood!
8. List your favorite currently trending products/looks/techniques/etc…
- I’m in love with large format porcelain slabs. They are stunning as shower wall surfaces as well as accent walls anywhere in a home. The style and drama can’t be beat and they can be used on the floor, on walls, in showers, fireplace surrounds, outdoors, and even as a direct cooking surface heated from underneath with induction heating elements!
- My new favorite tiles are zellige and zellige-look tiles. Zellige tiles are ceramic tiles handcrafted in Morocco and are characterized by variations of tone, shine, flatness and transparency.
9. Tell us a about a great recent (past or future) project.
With a friend and design partner, I have designed a room at the 2020 St. Margaret’s Hospital Guild Decorators’ Show House and Garden, which is an annual charity home tour event, with all the proceeds being donated to Eskenazi Hospital here in Indianapolis. Our room features a dramatic custom 9’x3’ antelope patterned carpet runner from Milliken, as well as stunning artwork, dramatic wall color, and a gold glitter ceiling. I also assisted a fellow show house designer in selecting a gorgeous MSI marble floor in his show house room, which AFS installed.
10. Name your top 3 design/inspiration social media accounts to follow: