Sarah Solis believes that walking into a home should make you feel something. "It better make you feel something because that's the same as looking at art, you know?" The multidisciplinary designer and founder of her eponymous design studio hope you feel happy, inspired, and at home when you walk into an interior she has designed. Sarah is one of five makers and creatives we are partnering with for our Sense of Home campaign as we examine how we experience our spaces through each of our five senses: smell, sight, sound, taste, and touch. As a visual person, the interior designer understands that living in a beautiful space creates harmony and peace in one's life. "I do 100% believe there is a psychology to it. Totally. And I can say that we're looking for moments to build memories that change people's day-to-day experiences."
For Sarah, the idea of interior design being her calling has come relatively recently. Solis came from a family of young artists, and she lovingly notes that they "were always trying to build dreams, like physically, with their hands." Her creative journey started young, finishing high school early to head directly to interior design school before going back for a degree in Fine Arts and Art History. After graduation, she worked in the fashion world as a stylist. Her entry into the interior design world started organically. She started working on several design projects, including those of the homes she shared with her husband and their young family. She says, "I think proving to myself and our family was what I needed to propel my career and have the confidence in myself, you know, to have the confidence to do it for other people. Because you're playing with other people's dreams at a certain level." After years of straddling both fashion styling and interior design, she decided to commit her energy and vision to Sarah Solis Design Studio.
"My style is understated luxury. It's a common thread seen in my own home and all of my projects".
"I just try and find the soul in it." It is the day of our shoot, and Sarah, radiant in a long white dress, describes her design principles and the long renovation process for her cilent's homes. "My style is understated luxury. It's a common thread seen in my own home and all of my projects." Her work is very inspired, as each client's personal taste and lifestyle are carefully considered and incorporated into each project. Still, three elements shine through in all her spaces, "One, singular, bold elements. Two, balance—you really need to balance the space. And three, the use of organic materials. I really love a good texture. Even in a monochrome space, the difference and the feeling of how you experience the space is night and day when you have a good texture."
Sarah contends that the most significant issues about her and her family's home remodel were bringing character and emotion into the space and figuring out the multitude of construction challenges. "The first thing I did was change the windows, which has everything to do with the sight and what you can see through them and what you connect between the exterior and the interior." Windows in her spaces tend to become almost photogenic moments, part of the art on display in the house. It helps to create an experience and brings a little bit of the outdoor world in.
When we thought about the stories we wanted to tell in our Sense of Home campaign, we wanted to convey how people turn their beautifully curated residences into homes. How do you honor and incorporate someone's personal inspiration? For a very visual person like Sarah, inspiration comes from everywhere—from her children to her husband to how sunlight might dapple through tree leaves in her yard. "I love my children's art. Oh, I love it. Like everything they touch, I like framing it and bringing it into view. It can also be intimate experiences, notes, or anything between families, couples, or lovers." These small elements and the visuals of personal touches connect her to her home the most.