At Vishion, we love finding new interior designers to help inspire you in your own home. We strive to show you all designers that inspire us to move out of our comfort zones and try something new in our home. Meet the insurance whiz turned designer Michelle Ford, this week’s Designer Spotlight.

Michelle Ford Design

Benchseat Design by Michelle Ford Design
Photo by Michelle Ford Design

Tell me about your design business. Where are you and your clients located, and what type of design do you primarily focus on?

My office is located in Kansas City, Missouri but I work on both sides of the state line in Missouri and Kansas. I do both residential and commercial design although multi-family design is my primary focus.

What is the most important aspect of any successful interior design?

Collaboration and careful listening. I believe the final product a designer provides a client should reflect their goals for the space rather than the designer’s personal design aesthetic. That said, I’ve had to explain many times why a particular design style or piece isn’t the best for a space but believe overall that the client should be listened to and their wishes respected.

Let’s talk about color! How do you like to use color in a space? What challenges do you face when using color?

I’m all about color and will use it as much as a client is comfortable with. Many times I’ll use neutrals on the main upholstery pieces so it’s easier for the client to change out a color if they grow tired of it. I love to use color in the artwork, pillows, throws, area rugs, paint, and wallpaper. I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to color. I love it but am careful about the coordination of each facet of the design. I typically wind up with many fabric, rug, and paint swatches.

Weston Point Clubhouse lobby
Photo by Michelle Ford Design

Tell me about a recent project you loved.

I absolutely loved working on the Weston Point clubhouse project simply because the transformation was so big. I also happen to LOVE working with blue and the client was all about using blues.

What design challenges did you have with this design, how did you address them?

The biggest challenge was a pipe break in the ceiling during the project. It caused me to have to address a space separately and earlier than expected. I prefer to procure everything at the same time but in this case, I had to go through the motions of ordering and installing the spaces in two rounds. The other main challenge is working with a corporate client that has several hands in the design throughout all phases of the project. It took a lot of time and patience to put everything together. I worked with a great team so it was well worth it and the client was very happy at completion.

Weston Point Clubhouse
Photo by Michelle Ford Design

Can you tell me specifics about the paint colors or brands used in this space?

In this space, I used Sherwin-Williams paint. The trim color was 7005 Pure White, walls were 7072 Online and for the inset coffered ceiling color, I used 7073 Network Gray.

What do you see as the hottest color and design trends of 2020?

I love the warmer colors I’m seeing. It seems there are soft whites, earthy rich colored textiles, and the slightly rustic bohemian styled wood tables everywhere. I can’t get enough. I love all shades of gray but am happy to see the use of warmer colors and lots of texture in design.

Fairways model living room
Photo by Michelle Ford Design

How has your design business changed in the time of COVID-19? What challenges have you faced and how are you working to overcome them?

Many of my residential clients decided to wait on their design projects until their economic challenges improve. I am not sure if these projects will see the light of day in the near future. People’s pockets have been hit hard, unfortunately. With the commercial projects, most of my clients froze capital at some point but I’m happy that now these projects are moving forward as usual. I’m still trying to figure out the best way to overcome the loss of residential design work- I’ll be diving into this aspect of change towards the end of the year when current projects start to wind down and there is more certainty in the economy. I think as designers all of us will need to be nimble and open to changes in the products and services we offer.

R&D Leverage Office Design
Photo by Michelle Ford Design

Is there anything else you would love readers to know about you?

I spent many, many years in the world of insurance before going back to school to complete my design degree and jump into this career full time. For anyone out there on the fence about a career change to design, it may go more smoothly than you think. I was a single mom in my 40’s when I decided to make the change so a little faith and daring were certainly in play when this decision was made! It was worth every drop of stress and uncertainty, there isn’t a single day I’ve regretted this decision.

Contact Michelle Ford Design

Love what you see? Want to hire Michelle for your next interior design project? Contact her by phone at 816-651-2054, through her website, https://www.michelleforddesign.com/,  or email at mford@michelleforddesign.com

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