The Measure

Exploring what it means to be a better man.

How I Got to Where I Am Today: Brian Paquette

One of Our Favorite Interior Designers Tells Us the Best and Worst Advice He's Ever Received

October 1st, 2015

Interior designer Brian Paquette has been winning acclaim for his approach to design that incorporates art and utility. His style is informed by his background as a conceptual artist but results in some uniquely livable, beautiful spaces.

We sat down with Brian in his beautiful home in Seattle, where we discussed life, style, design, and his future plans.

His approach to design work is an inspiration to anyone who has ever dreamed of doing such meaningful work that it doesn’t actually feel like work most of the time.

How long have you lived in Seattle?

Six years this August.

What brought you to the city?

I lived in Portland for two years prior to this, cutting my teeth in life and the interior design world. I moved to Seattle for a job in high end furniture and started my firm a year later.

How did you get your start in interior design?

I went to school for conceptual art and art history and needed a summer job after college…I was basically an errand boy for a local interior design firm in my hometown of Newport, Rhode Island. I quickly fell in love with the idea of space and the process of it all.

How did you come up with a concept when you’re working? What’s your work process look like? 

Our process is fairly similar for each project regardless of its scope or application. After meeting with clients, it’s time for me and my team to geek out, read a bunch, look around, explore what our clients needs are, what the true goals of the project are and go from there.

What makes great interior design in your eyes?

Something that references the clients personal experience and something that will challenge them and inform their future.

What has inspired you and your work throughout the years? 

The five senses, travel, experience, taking nothing too seriously that you lose sight of the goal, all of the talent that is surrounding me.

What has been your most fulfilling project?

We just wrapped up a full remodel and decoration of a home here in Seattle where the client had full trust in our ability to create a home for him and his kids. We filled the home with American made goods and local art, it will be published this coming fall and I cannot wait! Trust is so important in this type of work, but its not always the case. We work with a lot of creatives who know what it is like to be hired this way, so that helps.

What’s your favorite part about your work?

Working with a really great staff who support, inform and challenge me in ways that help our become better and more informed.

Besides your professional work, what do you have a passion for?

My work isn’t really work all the time and I am constantly absorbed by it, but aside from that I am a pretty normal guy, I love listening to records, hanging out with my friends and traveling as much as possible.

Best advice you were given?

Be. Do. Have. Be who you want to be before you achieve it. Do what it takes to get there with all your heart and humility…and Have what is rewarded from hard work and being great.

Worst?

Don’t go to school for art.

Favorite thing to do in Seattle?

EAT! I love checking out new places…the divier the better, nothing to fancy.

Favorite places in the city?

My house, Discovery Park and anywhere with my friends and a bottle of wine.

Favorite place outside of the city?

Currently Paris + Tokyo but I have my sights set on Croatia and Turkey right now.

Any upcoming projects you want to talk about?

Our work has shifted a ton in the past year getting commissions to design a series of restaurants launching late this summer as well as designing a lot of public spaces for some of the new high end condo’s and apartments that are popping up. We are delighted and excited to discuss any type of project a client might have…the best ingredients are not a good budget, although that doesn’t hurt. I am more interested in like-mindedness and a common goal to change people’s perspectives on the everyday in a comfortable way.

All photos were taken by Marissa Maharaj

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