Finding her clients’ aesthetic “happy place” is part of designer Catherine French’s goal in designing the perfect space for them. “I approach this through three big principles: function, form, and color,” she explains.

“Function is about creating a space that supports the client living their best life. Form is the shape of the pieces that create the space. And color is the emotional layer that creates a sense of place.” Inspiration comes to French in all forms but is heavily influenced by her fine arts background studying metal sculpture at Wake Forest University. “I enjoy popping into local art galleries, following artists and other interior designers on Instagram, as well as spending my own free time painting and reading,” French says. “I like to play music in the background as I play with different combinations of colors and forms. The design process is iterative and requires both exploration and the ability to quickly self-edit.”

Creating spaces that are truly unique to each of her clients is how French approaches each project she begins. “Each plan is entirely unique by design. It all starts with the client—who they are, what they want, how do they want to live their best life. I want to hear about what they love about their current space and what they want to change. And then we move into determining their aesthetic happy place.”

Dolkie Rattan Cane Pendant / $108.95 /

Turkish Hand Knotted Rug One-of-a-kinds Collection /To The Trade /

Painting, Distant Shore / To The Trade /

Mirror Cushion in Clay / To The Trade /

CAN Horseshoe Armchair / $1,104 /

Jonathan Adler Vallauris Flying Bird Bowl / $375 /