Starr Miller is the president and principal designer at Starr Miller Interior Design, Inc., a boutique interior design studio that caters to residential and small business clientele located in Davidson, NC.
Projects include multiple episodes on HGTV’s Save My Bath, plus residential projects in Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, California and North Carolina.
When Starr decided it was time to pursue her passion for interior design, she thought about what she would want in a designer. Her list included someone with solid design credentials, someone with whom she could share her story and someone who could translate her thoughts and desires into a home in which she would look around and say – yes, this is me!
To make sure that she became the designer that she would want to hire Starr packed her bags and moved from her Florida beach front home to a small Manhattan apartment in order to attend the renowned Parsons School of Design. At Parsons, she had the opportunity to learn from design industry leaders, study museums, historical architecture, collaborate with other students from around the world and ultimately to be challenged by the best in the business about all she learned and created.
When the passion began…
In 7th grade, when Starr Miller’s mother let her choose exactly how her room would be decorated, she began to understand how you can express who you are through how you live. Of course, in 7th grade that meant yellow and green contrasting walls and custom made flower power bedspreads, but we all need to start somewhere.
Starr later graduated from the University of Alabama with a B.S. in Business, concentration in Retail Management and went on to a successful career with some of the nation’s largest retailers and Fortune 400 companies.
During that time Miller managed the merchandising and product selection for 950 stores and 3000+ products; managed 200 employees and was responsible for $350 million in sales. It was here that she learned that each brand or retailer must develop its own environment to allow the customer to see what the brand or store is trying to express to their customer. The consumer is not likely to choose a $5,000 piece of Lalique´ crystal from a stacked display in the middle of an aisle, nor run to get the great price on Crayola® crayons hiding behind tempered glass. If you could answer the question, ‘how do you get the consumer’s attention about what you are selling?’ you’ve won the game.
The other lesson – not so easily learned - is how to listen. And not just listen, but to understand. When selling a brand you must first know who you are trying to sell to before you decide how you are going to package and display your product. You can make assumptions, read surveys and develop focus groups; all of which she has done. But at the end of the day, if you just stand in a store, watch the customers, ask a few questions, they will tell you what they want and why they want it.
This relates to residential design as well. We live in homes that are hopefully going to make our time at home comfortable, easy to navigate and fun to come home to. But is also our refuge from the world where we can rejuvenate and feed our creativity. Ideally, it is a place where we can be ourselves and express ourselves; show our collections, tell our stories and welcome those who nourish our lives.
Interior Design, Art, Reading, Drawing, Broadway, Movies, Set Design, Fractals, Color, Fundraising, Fashion Shows, Event Planning