Hilton Interiors, LLC is a full-service design firm and is a division of Charles Hilton Architects. The firm is the result of many years of successful, creative collaboration between interior designer Amy Andrews and architect Chuck Hilton.
What’s the first thing you do when you meet with a new client and see a home you’ll be working on? I like to get a tour by the home owner and discuss the scope of the job, what works for them, what their lifestyle is. I ask a lot of questions, including if they have children or are empty nesters; if they like to cook and entertain; if they have certain hobbies or collections that might play a role in design decisions. Specific likes and dislikes are important. We initially meet to devise a general working plan or design program and we prioritize. We will take measurements and inventory, create plans and furniture layouts; we create a conceptual design with furniture ideas, fabric schemes, plans and elevations.
In what context do you think going trendy is OK and when should a homeowner stick to the classics? I am eclectic by nature. I like so many elements of design, including contemporary, traditional, Asian, antiques, sleek modern, beachy, mountain and mid-century. I like a mix. I personally and professionally feel home owners should stick with classic upholstery pieces. They don’t have to be your Grandma’s camel back sofa or look like an English library, but should have good lines and good construction. If you have these pieces, they will stay with you for years to come. You can go trendy and have fun with lighting, pillows and accessories when you want to jazz up a space. Add a hip mirror or fashionable area rug to get that fun pop of wow!
If you could bring one design trend back into vogue what would it be? The formal dining room. It does not have to be formal or fussy. So often you hear, “but we only use our dining room twice a year.” I find many clients are not interested in investing in these spaces, or repurpose them for other uses. Today lots of home owners are looking for that great room. I love the functionality too, but nothing beats bringing friends and family around the table in a room that is just for gathering. I love to set the table with candles and flowers, lingering over dinner and conversation. The best part about dining in another room? You are away from the mess! And who doesn’t love a great dinner party, even if it is as simple as soup and salad.