We’re delighted to have the stylish, talented and charming Shane Inman as part of the Fashion + Decor team! We asked him a few questions to help our readers get to know him.
F + D: Some interior projects call for a decorator, while others require an interior designer. Please explain to our readers the distinction between the two professions, and tell us how your education and experience as an ASID and IIDA certified interior designer adds value for your clients.
Shane: Great question, one that I get asked often, and that I absolutely love to answer. Interior designers, like decorators, have an innate ability and understanding of aesthetics, and what it means to beautify a space through scale, balance and harmony. But it is the interior designer who has graduated from an accredited university, is educated in both interiors as well as architecture, and is permitted to sit for the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) examination. Successful passage of the NCIDQ examination permits the individual to become certified and to refer to themselves as a licensed and professional “interior designer” in their state of practice. Professional interior designers are governed by councils, hold licenses (varying by state), are held to strict professional and ethical guidelines, and are expected to gain continued educational credits for the remainder of their careers. Furthermore, interior designers have the knowledge to produce construction documents, floor plans, elevations, and detail drawings in industry standard computer programs such as AutoCAD, in order to work in expert collaboration with engineers, architects and general contractors. The most important differentiating factor is that interior designers are educated in electrical, plumbing and HVAC, as well as being well versed in city, local and national building codes and laws in order to guarantee the health, welfare and safety of individuals in both commercial and residential spaces.
I hold the highest ranking professional memberships under ASID (the American Society of Interior Designers) and IIDA (the International Interior Design Association) that can only be attained by the passing of the NCIDQ. These and other appellations that I possess signal to serious clients that I can not only provide aesthetically pleasing interior spaces that motivate as well as inspire, but also that I have the education and experience to actually build the home from the ground up.
F + D: Every client has different needs and taste, naturally. Yet all of your clients have at least one thing in common: you. Tell us about the elements of your aesthetic and design philosophy that makes your work distinctly yours. What is it about your work that draws your clients to you?
Shane:The first thing that draws clients to my firm is my reputation of providing old-fashioned customer service, the like of which they may have never experienced. My clientele truly understand how serious I consider customer service to be, how I sweat every minute detail of their project, and how I will not rest until I have over-delivered upon every promise and expectation given. Outside of superior customer service (as if there is anything else) clients also gravitate to my firm for my versatility in design. Through the total understanding of interior design and by incorporating age-old guidelines, I am able to provide classic and timeless interiors in any “period” or “style”. At the end of every project, I leave my clients with spaces they wanted to have - not spaces that I wanted them to have. I don’t just change spaces, I change lives.
F + D: You’re not only an interior designer and writer, but also an entrepreneur. Tell us about the challenges and rewards of running your own company.
Shane: As anyone who has ever owned their own business can tell you, you have to wear an incredible number of hats, and that alone can be overwhelming and exhausting at times. However, in the end, the reward for giving your blood, sweat and tears in exchange for fulfilling your dream is the creation of your own destiny. This is something that no one can take away from you. It is the closest thing to a miracle that I have ever experienced. For me, the biggest challenge of owning my own business is being my own boss! I am extremely hard on myself; I push myself to the limits of destruction for my clients, think of myself only last, seldom take a day off, and judge myself on every detail at every minute of the day. I am the worst boss that I have ever had!
F + D: On to fashion…you’re a one of a kind, but even a true original has his influences. Who are your style role models, and how do they inspire you?
Shane: My ultimate role model in fashion is thee, Mr. Tom Ford! I have been in love with Gucci since I was old enough to pick up a GQ. I love the edge and the branding. When I invented my own corporate identity, I required my graphic design team as well as my marketing pros to design and launch The Inman Company with a look and brand that could emanate such taste and sophistication. I believe we were successful! Ralph Lauren is another role model, in the way that he keeps reinventing the classics – very similar to what you have to do in interior design.
F + D: You’ve just begun contributing to Fashion + Decor, and we’re thrilled to have you on board! Tell us about the experience thus far. What have you learned?
Shane: Well, I have learned a lot about fashion- that’s for sure! When I was starting my formal education, I was torn between fashion design and interior design. I dreamt of being a huge fashion designer some day, like Valentino, but I opted instead to be the one Valentino would hire to design his house. I love fashion, but I’ve never regretted my choice. Fashion has to be in your bones, actually, and it’s carrying yourself with confidence that truly counts!
I tend to be too matchy-matchy at times…but since I found Fashion + Decor, I am pushing all the envelopes with my clothes. Rolling pant legs, wearing scarves, layering with contrasting colors and mixing patterns – it is really fun to look like those on the Fashion + Decor website. I may need to fire my professional stylist if I keep this up!
F + D: Let’s wrap up with a little bit of fun: what decor mistake makes you cringe every time you see it?
Shane: Oh, like with fashion, there are so many interior design faux-pas out there that it would be impossible to list them all…but here are just a few. Sloppy interior paint jobs are just deplorable, inexpensive wall-to-wall carpeting gives me panic attacks, placing furniture in front of any window is inexcusable, placing plants and accessories above kitchen cabinets is an absolute “no”, and the coup de grace of all interior design mishaps would be placing vinyl on the floor of any space whatsoever!
Watch Fashion + Decor for Shane’s StylePairs, and see how a pro interior designer takes on the runway!