The Back Story
Lisa King Whyte is the owner and principal of Design Whyte Interiors, and has been creating boutique residential and office environments from South Florida to New York, for more than ten years. Her design aesthetic is the result of a traditional Connecticut upbringing, mixed with the influence of Los Angeles’ vintage glamour, where she studied Interior Design at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, topped off with a fresh and light sensibility gleaned from over a decade of living and working in Miami.
Her adventure with interiors began in LA, staging magnificent homes in the Hollywood Hills and “giving soul” to spaces while interning for Ginger Atherton. In Miami she cultivated her client relationship skills at Fine Line under the tutelage of Emmy Bodnar, and went on to work as a design assistant at LBC Design and Construction, getting firsthand experience of the construction renovation process. From there, Lisa moved on to lead a team of designers at Dkor Interiors, where she managed a variety of turnkey projects from concept to completion, including a beach front home in the Caribbean.
Q & A
What determined your passion for design?
As a child, I was very sensitive to the impact that my immediate environment had on my emotions and feelings and how others reacted within that space. There would be messy cluttered spaces that felt stressful and disconnected and then there were such special places that I desired to be in, which were always the ones that were ordered and calming and had been curated with loving and thoughtful touches and seemed to exude the energy of the people who lived there. As I got older my various interests eventually led me to realize that I wanted to be an active part of the process of influencing people in a positive way by changing their environments.
What inspires you?
Nature, travel, other cultures, understanding people’s relationships with their environments and each other… I have such a love for the synergy that we have with nature, I’m in awe of how we can be profoundly affected by spending time outdoors, listening to waves, smelling the leaves…my kids can be absolute lunatics trapped indoors and transform into content little angels once they have some dirt between their toes. Also our relationships with the people around us, how choosing to smile can change our attitude and also the attitude of the person it’s directed at…so simple and so connecting at the most basic. For me, nature and relationships and happiness, it’s all connected.
What field of design are you most interested in?
I’m passionate about the environment and conservation in general and am always striving to learn more about environmental design and how best to implement new strategies or materials into my work. The field of interior design oftentimes feels like the antithesis to saving the environment, but I really believe that if we create thoughtful, quality, and timeless interiors, we can change the disposable attitudes that exist.
What is your favorite room to design and why?
Kitchens are my favorite space to design and my favorite space to be. They are all about creating something delicious and bringing people together. It is the epicenter of the home, no matter how amazing the living or dining room, everyone wants to be in the kitchen standing around and chatting. I design these spaces for my clients in such a way that they are open- plenty of counter space for prep and assembly, have easy to clean surfaces and plenty of concealed storage, integrated appliances, and optimal clearances in front of work spaces, and of course – plenty of indirect and direct lighting.
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