For This Raleigh Interior Designer, The Creative Process Definitely Involves Thinking Outside The Box

Posted on | June 23, 2015 | No Comments

Design is all about breathing new life into a space. Raleigh interior designer Michael Steiner, of Steiner Design Interiors, has been renovating, renewing and repurposing his client’s spaces for over 25 years, to great success. Michael is known for his dedication to his clients, and for his distinctive gift for transforming the mundane into the spectacular. North Carolina Design chatted with Michael to find out more about what makes him tick, and how he uses his unique way of looking at the world to enhance the lives of his clients.

Images Courtesy of Steiner Design Interiors ©

Michael has always been reinventing the wheel, and has had an interest in design for nearly his whole life. “From a very early age, I was thinking about how I wanted to redo our house,” he recounts. “I helped neighbors who built or remodeled. I was always in the mix, watching things happen and trying to figure it all out.”

Michael has his own design preferences, of course, but he doesn’t bring them into his projects. “When it comes to my clients, it’s not about my personal style – it’s about what they want,” he says. “I can do it all, from mid-century modern to high Victorian. And really, you always start with function, and you choose elements that make it pretty as you go along. That process holds true for any style.”

Michael’s client centered approach puts nervous homeowners at ease. “People sometimes feel worried when I come into their homes. They assume that I will judge them, but I’m not judgmental at all. People have to do what works for them, and who am I to say what that is? I am just lending my expertise to help them achieve their vision for their home.”

“My main goal is just to make my clients happy with their environment. I ask them a series of questions. How do you live? How do you want to live? How can I help you change things? They might need more organization or more storage. Or they might need someone to help them edit what they have. The end goal is always to create something that’s aesthetically comforting, and also efficient and stress-free. When they walk in they should be happy to be home – to be in the space.”

The space that makes Michael happiest? The bathroom. “I really love a bathroom with a nice spa feel,” he confides. “One where you can really relax. One that also has great storage and great organization, with everything tucked away behind doors or in drawers. I’m all about convenience and efficiency – I’ve always dreamt of having a bathroom that you can just hose down. I also like the challenge of a bathroom. You have to create a sense of luxury and add all of this function in this small space.”

Michael has sage advice for homeowners, based on his years of experience. “Hire a designer early in the process so you can think through all of the details before you start remodeling,” he counsels. “Some decisions can’t be unmade. Take your time, and listen to your designer. It’s sad when people miss really great opportunities because they rush, or get cold feet, or want to save a dollar. Plan before you actually start the process. Be open-minded, and up for the challenge of taking the space and making it be the most it can be.”

Michael’s drive to renew and reinvent are central to his design philosophy, and his success. “I’m always trying to give discarded or overlooked things a new life,” he says. “I enjoy the challenge of taking something, whether it’s space, materials, or an object and making something new out of it. I’m always thinking outside the box, and looking for another way to use something so that it can work better, look better or feel better. For my clients, I think that translates to a better home, and a better life.”

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