Healthy & High-Performance Interiors
Tell us a little bit about Cornerstone Design—how did it begin, and how has it grown from what it was it was at its inception to what it is now?
Cornerstone Design is a boutique, interior design firm specializing in high-end residential, commercial and hospitality projects. I started the business out of my home in 1992, with little more than a business degree, a vision and a passion for design. In 1998 I attained my professional NCIDQ certification for interior design. In 2000, I moved to a commercial space and started adding staff. In 2007 we moved into our LEED-CI Gold certified interior design studio, which we designed.
What are the biggest/most common projects Cornerstone Design works on/has worked on and what impact do those projects have on the Boise community?
Several high profile private residences – new construction and renovation projects. We worked on an extensive project on the old Paul Revere estate in Boise. We designed two Tamarack parade home and several other projects on Payette Lake and in the McCall area. My private residence, completed in 2006, is an award-winning custom home in Bown Crossing. We also designed the Banner Bank building, the interior renovation of Boise City Hall, Hawley Troxell law firm, and PINZ Bowling Center in Meridian, which we received a national award for. We recently installed a large, custom glass and light sculpture in the lobby of the US Bank building that is now the capstone of the lobby. Stop in and take a look!
What makes Cornerstone Design stand out from other design firms in the region?
a) Our sophistication. Our highly experienced team designs at a sophistication level commensurate with firms in larger markets. We don’t hold ourselves back to the local market. Our designs transcend the aesthetic that you’ll see in a lot of homes in the area. We’re always pushing the envelope with new materials, designs and applications. We also work in a similar fashion to architects, in that we can provide full Autocad drawings and 3D renderings, along with sophisticated lighting designs and home automation integration.
b) Our energy and drive. We bring focused energy and passion to every project we undertake, creating a dynamic partnership with our clients, contractors and consultants on every project. We see our projects through to completion to ensure a satisfied client.
c) Our full-spectrum of design services. We provide design consultation, project management, and furniture procurement services in an integrated fashion. Our professional and organized approach always impresses our clients. I believe that best projects are those where we are involved every step of the way, including the space planning phase.
What are the most popular design aspects your clients are looking for in a project?
Wood floors that are unique and durable. Lighter and cleaner interiors, sometimes with contrasting dark finishes for drama. Functional and creative lighting solutions.
We saw on your website that an important part of your firm is a commitment to sustainable design practices. How do you implement this into your projects and why is it important to you?
Sustainable design used to be an add-on to our practice, and now it’s interwoven in every project we undertake. Our standard selections include no/low VOC paints, coatings and adhesives. VOC’s can be present in almost every surface in a home, so it’s important to specify healthy materials. We try to engage local craftspeople on as many projects as possible, and look for recycled content where possible. Energy Star appliances and lighting are important, too.
Tell us a little bit about the process of a general project. What is a general timeline and the main components every project goes through (i.e. all of the types of designs included and services included/needed)?
Depending on the type of project, the time frame for the design process can take anywhere from 2 months – 1 year or more before construction begins. Every project usually includes schematic design, design development, construction documents and construction administration phases.
Your website includes an extensive list of awards your firm has received. What awards have been the biggest/most rewarding to you, and how does that recognition impact your process/business ventures, if at all?
We’ve been fortunate to receive many awards for our work through the years. The most significant award to me is the ASID Best Residential Project in 2008 for my personal home. I designed the floor plan, elevations, lighting, and the entire interior finishes and furniture package. To receive this award from a jury of professional interior designers from another ASID chapter was very meaningful. I believe that my home is still very unique and relevant to the design community in Boise. We also received a national award for our PINZ project, which was great because it was our first large entertainment facility and we really pushed the envelope with color and textures.
What ways does Cornerstone Design connect with the Boise community? Do you have any events that you host, charities you’re involved with or any organizations that are important to you and your business?
As President and Owner, I feel that it’s very important to be involved in the community and to give back. I currently serve on the Board of the St. Alphonsus Foundation and the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce Small Business Advisory Council. I’m also the current President of the Idaho Chapter of Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), a global organization for high-achieving entrepreneurs. Our firm supports the WCA with financial support and pro bono design work. We designed a Make a Wish room makeover for a teenager in Mountain Home who was diagnosed with leukemia. Our design team is involved in local design organizations and community events through those.