Meet Kishani Perera of Fuse-id
Contributed by: Vanessa De Vargas, decor8 West Coast Correspondent. I was at a store opening in Venice, California and I was introduced to interior designer Kishani Perera of Fuse-id. Kishani?s look is timeless and so well executed. Within her interiors, she has an ability to place unexpected design elements that never seem totally obvious. Such a wonderful design trait. I hope that you enjoy my interview with Kishani and continue to watch her career as a designer. Enjoy. - Vanessa
Kishani: I?ve always been obsessed with design, but didn?t always realize it! When I was young, I would redesign my room over and over again, paint the walls different colors at every whim, take salvage out of the garage that I would reinvent into ?art?, and attempt to refinish/ reupholster vintage things that I picked up at the local thrift shop. This design bug followed me into my college years, where in between classes I would go from dorm to dorm, helping friends out with their ?design? needs. So after college, when I was not quite sure what career path to pursue, everyone in my life kept telling me that I should go into interior design -- it seemed so obvious to everyone but me! I decided to take their advice and try out a class at the UCLA interior design and architecture program, just to see what I thought. From the very first day I was hooked! I went on to work with some great designers in the consequent years who taught me a great deal, until ultimately I started my own company 4 years ago.
Vanessa: What's your favorite color to work with and why?
Kishani: I love all colors, so that?s a hard one! But if I had to pick, I would have to say that I enjoy working with shades of grey. I feel like grey is the new beige, a great neutral that brings balance to a room and also allows vibrant accents to really pop.
Vanessa: What color/texture/material combinations do you see using in the future?
Kishani: With the Green movement gaining such momentum in the design world, and with the concept becoming more and more mainstream, I foresee clients requesting that I incorporate more eco friendly materials and products into their projects.
Vanessa: What are your greatest sources of inspiration?
Kishani: I find inspiration all around me -- anything from fashion, nature, art, fabrics, people and places, I never know what will trigger that light bulb! Some of the most interesting ideas I?ve had, have been inspired by the most seemingly mundane of things.
Kishani: Two of my favorite designers are Tony Duquette and Muriel Brandolini who are both eclectic and fearless in their designs.
Vanessa: Describe your design theory in 4-6 words.
Kishani: High-end hip meets flea market chic
Vanessa: What is your signature mark that you always try to implement in a space?
Kishani: A touch of whimsy
Vanessa: If you could redo any space, past or present, what would it be?
Kishani: Hmmm, more than one specific space, there are areas I would love to work on. I would love to be involved in the revitalization of parts of Los Angeles, such as the Historic West Adams District. This area specifically is one of the oldest neighborhoods in L.A. and home to one of the largest groups of historic buildings in the West. There are so many architecturally stunning structures that are in desperate need of TLC. All I can think about while driving through these neighborhoods is what I would do to restore these homes to their original grandeur if given the opportunity!
Vanessa:. What have you learned about having your own business that you wish you knew when you were just starting out?
Kishani: There?s so much! Mainly, I wish I had known in the beginning how much actual business (accounting, detail, paperwork, book keeping, contracts, etc.) was involved in the interior design world. I was incredibly naive, I thought it would be all about the creative process and all I would do is shop all day long! The reality of my day to day is quite far from my young imaginings!
Vanessa: What are your best practices when it comes to client relations?
Kishani: It is vital to always be honest with your clients, even if it means you have to tell then something you know they don?t want to hear. Also, you have to really listen to what they?re saying. At times as a designer you almost have to read between the lines and virtually interpret, because sometimes a client has difficulty putting their expectations into words.
Vanessa: What 5 things does a well designed home need?
Kishani: Personality, first and foremost, practicality/functionality, warmth, comfort and color.
Vanessa: If you hadn't become a designer, what do you think you would be doing now?
Kishani: Probably one, or a combination, of the following -- a decorative painter, photographer, writer or vintage furniture shop owner.
Vanessa: Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Kishani: I?d like to grow my business to include offices in a few locations across the country and develop a custom furniture line which I would sell, along with fabulous vintage finds, out of a little shop somewhere.
Thank you so much Vanessa for this interview. For those who aren't familiar with Vanessa, she drops in on Fridays to contribute a post on decor8. She's an accomplished interior design and showroom owner based out of Los Angeles; click here to learn about her life as a designer.
(images: living room magazine photos by holly Becker for decor8, all others: grey bedroom and blue/grey living room: troy house; living room w/ wooden beams, pink/grey living room, pink stripe bathroom: jean randazzo.)