The Hord Coplan Macht Cool Box is a place to get to know some of the people and personalities who are delivering great ideas and leading work for our clients. In the Cool Box today: Michelle Horn, Senior Associate/Director of Interior Design in Denver.
Did you have an “ah-ha” moment where you knew you wanted to be an Interior Designer? What was it?
It was a requirement in 6th Grade that the students draw their house during the first week of school. I started a year earlier so that mine would be the best!
Where do you find inspiration for projects?
Through listening, learning, and research, I am inspired by the users of the space and their mission. I find enjoyment in creating spaces that represent their unique brand and culture.
How does your background in architecture influence aspects of your life outside of work?
My life outside of work and how I operate actually influences my career. I am very perceptive of my surroundings, the details, and how it makes me feel. This ability shapes who I am as a Designer.
How has your perspective on your work changed since you became an Interior Designer?
Today, I have a greater understanding of the implications of my work. The decisions I am entrusted to make are far greater than aesthetics alone. Cost, maintainability, and durability are at the forefront of my design process.
How does the vast expertise here at Hord Coplan Macht, across markets—healthcare, education, multi-family—and additional services—planning, interior design, landscape architecture—affect the way you approach projects?
Our approach to projects is an integrated effort of Architects, Landscape Architects, and Interior Designers working together from the beginning of each project through its completion. This collaboration allows us to create a shared vision that results in a harmonious indoor/outdoor experience for our clients.
How would you describe your approach to tackling challenges when it comes to the client?
My approach to tackling challenges with clients is the same for any other kind of challenge. By asking, “What is the most important thing?” I am able to keep things in perspective, prioritize, and make decisions. You can’t go wrong if you address the most important thing about the challenge.
What aspect of Hord Coplan Macht’s approach to projects do you see really making a difference for clients?
We recently started using the software program ‘Enscape’ to present the interior design to clients. This Revit plug-in allows us to use the same BIM file for construction documents and presentations. Not only does it make our time more efficient, but it also offers a more realistic visual to the client.
What do you wish someone had told you when you were first starting out?
I learned that Interior Design is relatively subjective and people respond to color and materials in many different ways. Don’t take their reactions personally; SERIOUSLY, don’t take it personally!
What’s the most exciting trend you see really taking hold in the coming 2 years?
I am fascinated by trends that will start in one market and eventually emerge into others. We started incorporating the “Maker Space” first in the K-12 market, which went to Higher Education, then Co-working spaces, to Multi-Family, and so on. The concept of the ‘Uber Lounge’ (modern waiting spaces) in shopping malls, airports, hotels, and Multi-Family is sure to become an expected amenity like restrooms, and materialize into other markets like senior living, healthcare, corporate workplaces, higher education, etc. Who knows, the ‘Uber Lounge’ could create an entirely new specialty for Interior Designers!