We’re not all that surprised to know that the incredibly hard-working and talented Nadia Haddad has become a familiar name within the interior design world. In addition to owning the design firm, NH-ID, Nadia is the art director and stylist for Blu Dot, a company that strives to bring “good design to as many people as possible,” according to its team and site. Nine years in the industry spent perfecting her craft while collaborating with brands such as Ace Hotel, The Kenwood and Wilson & Willy’s, has solidified Nadia’s status as the go-to woman for all things creative and visual.
After moving back to her hometown of Minneapolis, Nadia’s talent for discovering the beauty within a space—combined with her expertise in the many disciplines of art—aided in her pursuit to turn her side hustle into a full-fledged business. Her one piece of advice to readers trying to beautify their home? Focus on creating spaces that inspire people. After seeing one of Nadia’s custom-designed homes for clients on Kings Highway, we will definitely be heeding her advice! Read on to learn Nadia’s tricks of the trade, and to get a sneak peek into the traditional, modernized home that Nadia was able to create for her clients.
When did you kick off your career as an interior designer? And why did you eventually decide to switch up your path to now work as a consultant for Blu Dot designing its new showrooms?
I started my career over a decade ago right out of school, but began my own interiors business when I moved to Minneapolis around six years ago. Blu Dot contacted me close to a year ago wondering if I was interested in working with them, and honestly, it wasn’t a hard decision to make. The idea of working with such an amazing company—plus the opportunity to work with and learn from a team of architects, furniture designers, engineers, photographers and product developers on a daily basis—seemed like a no-brainer. I love working in a position that incorporates all of the skills I’ve worked to develop for the past decade.
How has your past job as an interior designer influenced your current role as an art director and stylist for Blu Dot?
Wow, everything! I could not do my job without all of the experiences and lessons I’ve learned being an interior designer—things like understanding how people live best in their spaces, the small details you think about in terms of space and how furniture plays well together (think: color, texture, size and scale). I grab on to everything I’ve ever learned pretty much daily.
Let’s do a little trend forecasting! What do you think is going to be hot in interior design in 2016? What trends do you think will peter out this year?
I’m hoping that pattern-layering is big in 2016 and for the years beyond. My friend Frances of Reath Design is kind of a master at this. It’s not the easiest thing to accomplish, but when done well, it’s awe-inspiring! A trend that I would love to see peter out is fear—fear of everything. It’s been big in the world and it trickles down to every aspect of our lives, including design. It keeps us isolated and leaves little room for inspiration.
I read once that “good design is about creating moments of grace” and that has always stuck with me. I hope people see the spaces I’ve helped to create as having those moments that stick with you or make you feel inspired in some way.
What big plans do you have for the year ahead?
Lots of travel, working on designing and opening new Blu Dot stores and maybe—just maybe—working on my own house. It has been on the back burner for five years.
Could you offer us and our readers a few tips and tricks for designing a space?
Be honest with yourself. Try not to pay much attention to the hottest trends—they may not work for your lifestyle. Have respect for and always consider the architecture of your space. Invest time and be patient. And always measure twice—remember to keep the measurements with you, too, because you never know when you’ll need them!
What are your thoughts on the pair of Pantone “Colors of the Year”? Does the annual announcement ever play a part in how you design each year?
No, I’ve never paid any attention to that. Color is such a personal thing. I try and stay true to what my clients are drawn to, what may be appropriate to the environment or what brings out the best qualities of the items incorporated in the space.
What is your process when designing and consulting?
Usually, it starts with a meeting (getting to know each other and asking a ton of questions). I then make time to meet at the space in order to take measurements, see the light, take photos and ask more questions. I’ll then start pulling inspiration, furniture pieces, paint colors and ideas for wall coverings, etc. After that, we’ll go through everything and start deciphering what works and what doesn’t. Usually by now, we start buying things, more designing happens, we receive things, then arrange and start pulling everything together. Hopefully, there are a lot of high fives and exclamations of “amazing,” “beautiful” and “I love it!”
If you could explain your aesthetic as a designer (and now art consultant) in one sentence, what would it be?
I read once that “good design is about creating moments of grace” and that has always stuck with me. I hope people see the spaces I’ve helped to create as having those moments that stick with you or make you feel inspired in some way. Yeah, that was longer than one sentence.
I cannot begin to explain the ways travel inspires me. I’m not a very happy person if I’m not leaving my everyday environment pretty often.
What’s your number-one piece of advice for couples designing with two completely separate design styles in mind?
I actually have two pieces of advice. The second most important one is compromise! I know it’s hard, but try to remember that, even though you’re in it together, everyone has their own individual likes and dislikes and ways of living their best lives. Respect each opinion and talk it out. Number-one piece of advice, though? Save your relationship and hire an interior designer! Get a professional involved. If we’re doing our jobs well, we make sure both of you end up happy.
Tell us about your favorite project to date.
My favorite project to date is usually my next one. This may sound pretty nerdy, but I get excited about what’s next. What lessons will I learn? What discoveries will I find along the way?
Where do you find inspiration?
It’s cliché to say, but I find inspiration everywhere—even in the most mundane of places. Before I had an iPhone, I carried a camera with me just to snap photos of things that I was drawn to. I buy at least two-to-three (sometimes more) design/art books a month—both vintage and new. The World of Interiors is my favorite design publication, Instagram is my favorite app and I cannot begin to explain the ways travel inspires me. I’m not a very happy person if I’m not leaving my everyday environment pretty often.