Seattle interior designer Brian Paquette dishes about his career.
Meet Brian Paquette, a Seattle interior designer with a background in art.
What do you do? I am an interior designer, decorator and sometimes a psychiatrist to beloved clients.
How did you get started in that field? I went to school for painting and art history and fell into the industry after a summer job as a delivery driver for a decorator back home in Rhode Island struck a chord in me.
What’s a typical day like? Wake up at 4:45, gym, breakfast, emails, site visits, meeting with my team, more emails and research, home by 5, dinner with my fiance, Justin, and time spent with our dachshund, George.
What’s the best part of the job? Having people trust me to design their home. It can be a lot of weight on my shoulders, but when you know that it may affect their moods, well-being and be a place where memories are made, it’s all worth it.
How long does a project normally take? We have projects that last a year or longer when building a home from the ground up with the help of an architect and builder, and we also have projects that last 3–6 months decorating and updating an existing space. The range is all over.
How do you figure out a client’s taste? This is where the psychology comes in. We are, like most designers, known for a particular style that is made up of years of experience, but so are our clients. Their history, their references, their desires are all things we delve into very early into the process by going through tear sheets with them and a series of questions aimed at getting to the root of how a person really wants to live, in lieu of just asking what their favorite color is.
Is there a big difference in what Seattle clients like versus clients elsewhere? Seattle is experience-based; it isn’t flashy. Our clientele is interested in comfort, function and a home that embodies their lifestyle — not one that just looks good in a photo. Our Seattle clients share a lot of the same values as us: sustainability, quality and a home that touches all of the senses.
What’s a cool thing that’s happened on a job? Too many things to mention here — I have seen some stuff, ha! Aside from some client art collections and pieces from their history, the “coolest” thing that happens on jobs is the “aha” moments that come when a designer and a client truly align and come up with something neither could have dreamt up alone … a true collaboration.
What surprises people about what you do? How detailed we get with our clients. If we’re going to go to all the trouble of picking out your furniture, lighting, architectural details, etc., why wouldn’t we pick out your linens, flatware, home scents, help you build a library and source art with you as well? The details make a home.