Cartoules: Can you tell me about your work in interior design, how you got started, and how you ended up at Mark Williams?
Niki: I started with Mark back in 2004 as a student intern and just never left! Then the company was Laslie-Williams, Inc. and in 2007 I followed Mark to open Mark Williams Design Associates. Originally I started out in Fashion Design after working for SF based designer Azadeh Riaz. But seeing as how there was no real market in Atlanta for custom clothing I decided to change my major to Interior Design and I loved it! Working with Mark from such an early age has allowed me to learn a lot from him and by being a part of this new company from its inception as really allowed us to build a brand together as a team.
Cartoules: What do new designs entail for you? How much of your work is influenced by the client, and how much comes from your own inspiration?
Niki: New projects are always client driven, whatever we do for them we always strive to meet their needs and exceed their expectations. We look to our clients to give us their design problem and what they need their end result to be, it is our job to get them there. I really look to the space to be my source of inspiration and I look for its potential and then pull from my knowledge and skill to get it there.
Cartoules: You've worked on a number of commercial and residential projects. Are there any favorites?
Niki: It's tough to pick favorites because whatever I am working on I fall in love with! Right now I am obsessed with the clubroom we created for a condo building in Midtown Atlanta. It was a space that really didn't serve its purpose or the needs of the residents. So we re-programmed the space based on the functions it needed to serve and created, what I feel, is a very fresh and forward color palette that will last.
Photo credit: Sarah Dorio
Residentially I have one project I love to pieces that I just can't get enough of, and part of that has to do with the clients. They have become such good friends and I love them to death. It's not often that I get to enjoy one of my projects once the project is completed, but because of our friendship I am able to put the practicality of my final product to use!
Photo credit: Lauren Rubinstein
Cartoules: You curate your own blog at www.yummyscrumptious.blogspot.com. Where do you find your content, and how does YS inspire you in your daily work? Or vice versa?
Niki: I really use Y.S. as a tool to showcase what I do and what inspires me. I am constantly featuring projects I have completed and then dissecting them to answer design questions and show examples. I enjoy featuring new products I find or trends I am obsessing over but I try to keep the content my own. I also have a guest spot a few times a month called "5 things I <3" where friends and other designers/photographers/stylists share their top 5 things they heart at the moment.
Cartoules: Are there any tips or trends you can offer our readers? How about decorating with style for the holidays?
Tips and Trends:
- Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn have the best off the shelf/ready to go drapery. Get drapes.
- Grey is the new beige.
- Your coffee table should be between 18"-20" away from your sofa (ok, 22" MAXIMUM)
- Don't have bedside tables that are higher than your mattress.
- Keep your foundation pieces neutral and pump up the interest through artwork and accessories--if you wake up and decide you hate blue, you don't have to change your sofa, it's more expensive then your throw pillows.
- Regarding Holidays: do whatever makes you happy, it's temporary!
You can see more of Niki's work on her blog.
As always, if you'd like to be featured in the designer profile series, please email me at julie (at) cartoulesletterpress (dot) com with a brief description of your work, and three images.