Interior designer Michelle Miller talks working with urban spaces

For the Baltimore Sun

To Michelle Miller, urban interior design is all about working with light and architecture to create space. The Baltimore resident and award-winning home decor professional spoke with Chesapeake Home + Living about creating easier, more comfortable living in open lofts and narrow row houses.

How would you describe your particular style?
I call my style "warm modern.” I love using natural materials in a very clean and sophisticated way. Quality over quantity. Always.

What do you do in a first client consultation?
I think a lot of psychology goes into interior design. I tell them not to clean up before my visit. I want to see how they live. For me, it's about learning everything about their personalities, the way they speak, the desires they have, what they do and how they currently enjoy their house. I tell my clients it's like soup: The moment I meet them, everything starts cooking, and by the time I sit down to work on the project I have been thinking about it for weeks and compiling things in my head.

What are the main considerations when designing an urban space?
It is important to think about how you live. Consider the lighting -- natural, architectural and decorative -- as lighting can make a space come to life. In smaller row houses, find ways to expand using light -- architecturally, as in recessed lighting, with lamps for area lighting.

Can you share a few design tips with our readers?
Edit! I think fewer items that are thoughtful and meaningful make more of an impact. In urban spaces, always take into consideration interior architecture and volume. Use rugs to define areas. Work with a subtle change of wall color to transition from space to space. Work with furniture arrangement to create little environments in a large loft-style area.

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