with Sarah Vaile

Check out all of the Designer’s Take series HERE.

Talk to us about Dualities.

It’s at the core of taking design to the next level. A lot of people can design products to look attractive, but can they stand the test of time, can they stand the test of use, will they make the client’s life better?

We want our homes to make us happy. It’s two-fold. On one side is ambience of the space. The other side is about functionality. This project we are working on now, we are being tasked with functionality. And one item is a serpentine sofa. There’s something to be said for ergonomic shapes, so we are custom building it. Ultimately, this room will dually function for her (entertaining) and for him (football lounging). The furniture needs to function accordingly.

It’s important to think of how rooms will be used and the designs incorporated into each.

(Left to Right) Amarcord, Vicostone; The Davids Modular Collection, The Bright Group; CinemaTech Paseo Stationary Sectional; Artisan Electronics Group

Are people looking for comfort, flexibility or simplicity? Is there a concept people want more often than not?

What our clients want is flexibility. It may not be the word that they choose to use, but it’s at the core. It’s about space to entertain, a place to be proud of and is compatible with their lifestyle. And let’s be honest, we have a more casual lifestyle than our ancestors did.

Why is Dualities relevant today?

It feels timely right now as we look at our homes and consider what’s important now – for example, entertaining, vs. working-from-home, vs. lounging – and how do we make it all work.

(Left to Right) G7000 Series Dishwasher, Miele Experience Center; Ideal Hot & Cold Tap, FANTINI | THE GALLEY; 5-in-1 Oven with Advantium® Technology, Monogram Design Center Chicago; BoxLife Collection, Scavolini Store Chicago

How did you find your passion for interior design?

I was in the corporate world in advertising and had a moment of epiphany when helping my parents redesign their home. It hit me how important it was at the time to find something I’m passionate about.I attended Parsons School of Design in New York and interned with Cerlerie Kemble Interiors before opening my own firm in 2008, moving to Chicago in 2010. It’s been a great ride so far.

Are there common threads that are your signatures?

Absolutely. We love black and white. It adds a modern element, without having to be modern. Take our room at the Lake Forest Showhouse, for instance. The flooring was a mosaic in black and white, and it just felt modern. We love bold colors, too. I love a bright bold yellow or fuchsia. There’s something about a bright bold color in a space that makes it cheery. It also doesn’t take itself too seriously. I also love velvets, and greenery and animals! Love of animals is an influence I attribute to my grandmother. She was an amazing painter and featured exotic animals in colonial scenes. And I find there’s some form of animal in my room. It’s design in its most natural form!

What do you love about what you do?

It’s the business of making people happy. You get to tap into the fun part of people’s lives, typically at an exciting life stage and often experiencing firsts: first home, first family home, first time building a home. And we get to be part of the experience with them. I love the exhilaration of this gift you’re part of making happen. The process is half the addiction!

About Sarah: Headquartered in Chicago but working across the country, Sarah Vaile Design is comprised of four talented women with a wide range of professional design experience that spans architecture, fashion and event planning. The firm’s collective background results in a unique aesthetic and systematic implementation throughout all design projects.

Sarah Vaile

Sarah Vaile Design