Near & Far Aid Designer Q&A Series: Rich Pinto Design
What inspired you to make the leap from the Automotive Industry to Interior Design, and how did your experience there prepare you for your career today?
Design has always fascinated me since a young age. Good design, regardless of genre (cars, homes, structures, product), all follow the same fundamental rules. My educational focus on art history and design, coupled with my work in automotive design, has given me a unique tool set to approach projects.
How would you describe your design style?
While I do naturally gravitate toward more modern and midcentury aesthetics, at the core of my design style I focus on objects and spaces that pay careful attention to relationships of scale and proportion of elements, and their use of color, material and texture in harmony with their scale and proportions.
What was your biggest challenge in renovating the Captain John Osborne House (the oldest home in Fairfield)?
Renovating the Osborne house presented a lot of challenges, but I think the unifying theme with any challenge faced was determining the line with how far to go when approaching any aspect of the renovation. Restoring the fireplaces, how much work should be done before they lose their character? Changing passageways and windows, at what point is the feeling of a historic home lost? When infusing modern elements, how much is too much? Overcoming this challenge simply took a lot of up-front planning, while keeping an eye on the overall renovation so that once all the renovations where done, the home still felt cohesive. It needed to be one element not an old element with new elements tacked on.
What types of projects would you like to take on moving forward?
I would like to continue this path and take on more interesting homes that present design challenges. So many older homes are overlooked in this area because their renovation and restoration seems too daunting; or they are too rough a diamond to see the potential sparkle. There are great historic and architectural finds around here, and they deserve their turn to shine again.
Your kitchen is a superb example of how to successfully mix high and low. Tell us more about how to do this without sacrificing design?
To me, whether something falls into a high or low category isn’t defined by its cost, it is defined by its quality of design and execution. In the traditional definition of high and low, my kitchen utilizes IKEA kitchen cabinetry with custom cabinet faces. It is very well made stuff, and very thoughtfully designed. To mix it with high elements, it simply took a bit of careful planning and arrangement. Scale of the cabinet boxes, how to arrange the boxes and shapes in the space that best suited it, and how it would fit proportionally with the larger elements in the kitchen, such as the thermador range. That planning yields a better sense of visual integration, and the line between high and low is blurred into non-existence. Selecting finishes and cabinet door design that fits the house as a whole furthers the integration (the door style mimics other doors in the home, and the hardware design is simple and unadorned like much of the house).
For more information about Rich Pinto Design, please visit @richpintodesign and @johnosbornehouse, or via the Web at www.richpinto.com.