Creativity is a defining element of what makes Kara Smith of SFA Design a visionary in the interior design world. Tapping into the potential of each space while aligning with her clients’ aesthetics, she transforms rooms into innovative, functional, and beautiful sanctuaries, making her the go-to for luxury projects.
What inspired this career path for you?
I’ve always loved creativity and business, but especially how the two intersect. My mom was an interior designer, so I grew up observing how it can be a really rewarding career. Even though interior design wasn’t my initial path (I ran a fashion label and an event-planning company before becoming President and Partner of SFA), I’ve fallen in love with the industry because it allows me to be creative consistently.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
I truly find inspiration everywhere — that includes anything from vintage fashion to travel and other cultures. I also get inspiration from designers across the creative spectrum. For me, it’s not about replicating a technique, but rather using the inspiration to understand a concept of thinking… for example, their use of negative and positive space, or color story.
Tell us about your creative process.
I start by look for a point of inspiration, something that captures the spirit of the project, whether that is a word, a place, a person, an overall vision, and then I build from there. I love referencing previously done concepts in the 60s, 70s, and 80s in terms of methodology.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Modern, clean, detailed, artisanal, fresh, sophisticated
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
Pinterest — it’s a resource I use when I’m designing that I can’t live without.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
Joseph Dirand, Zac Posen, India Mahdavi
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I would love to design a home for the Obamas.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
“It was my idea to steal that idea.” — I wish I knew who said it.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
Elle Décor, Arch Digest
What do you love about Viyet?
It’s a great resource to find timeless, yet high-end pieces, and the online marketplace makes the whole process of buying and selling really convenient and efficient.