A Conversation with Oshi Gardarian
Oshi’s designs are timeless, sophisticated and personal. Her decade-long career of interior design, accolades and countless number of clients throughout the country serve as testaments to her skills and professionalism. She recently joined the Collective team as Lead Designer, bringing extensive experience, her inviting personality and world-class design.
Born and raised in Vail, Oshi developed her love of design here in the mountains and while traveling with her family growing up. The passion she discovered lead to her pursue her degree in Interior Design from Colorado State University. After beginning her career at Vail’s Slifer Designs, Oshi most recently spent three years at Pearson Design Group in Bozeman, Montana. Her residential design portfolio includes projects that have been featured in Mountain Living and Luxe Magazine and being a part of the team that was awarded Home of the Year at Denver’s Parade of Homes.
Oshi moved back to the Vail Valley after her time in Bozeman and sought out a reputable firm at which to take the next step in her interior design career, which landed her at Collective.
Here, we get to know Oshi, what inspires her designs, her secret to creating timeless spaces and how her personal approach brings her client’s vision of home to life.
Can you remember the first space that had an impact on your interior design career?
We went to Palm Springs when I was little, and I instantly fell in love with the bright, funky, mid-century spaces there. It was so different from the rustic mountain look that I grew up around.
How would you describe your style?
My style has been really inspired by growing up in a small mountain ski town. I’ve always loved alpine chalet interiors with the use of the finest natural materials and that feature cozy spaces. I also love incorporating vintage pieces that bring a deeper level of living spaces by providing the patina of time. I work with vendors from all over the world, mostly European, to get those really unique, one-of-a-kind items.
How do you begin a design process?
I love getting to know the clients by diving deep to figure out how they intend to utilize and use their spaces. We make homes beautiful and clean, but the spaces should be comfortable and compliment how the clients live their lives.
How do you help your clients figure out their style?
A really good place to start is with space concept and by getting an overall feel of whether my clients gravitate towards clean, contemporary looks or want something laid-back. Figuring out their style is more driven by their lifestyle, than anything.
Any simple starter tips you give your clients?
Keep it simple with neutral tones and textures. Dogs, kids and red wine are so fun and the mess the comes with them is life and design should accommodate that. My grandparents had a room that my siblings and I weren’t allowed in when we were little. It was very clean, with untouched furniture, and it was so strange to me that it was never being used and loved. Accidents happen and things can be cleaned, so I try to remind my clients of that when they’re choosing very high-quality products.
How important is relationship when designing a client’s home?
It’s the top priority. Clients are trusting us to furnish their homes where they build memories. I believe keeping an open and clear relationship is the only way to deliver a successful project.
Do you try to nudge some clients out of their comfort zone?
Of course. I love introducing clients into new products and styles. The biggest reason why clients come to designers is because they need guidance for something they might not know how to do on their own. We push each other throughout the process and always get a good outcome with trust.
What spaces are you currently designing?
I’m really excited about the work we’re doing on new construction and remodels throughout Summit and Eagle Counties!
What spaces inspire you most?
My favorite spaces are kitchens and living areas. Being able to shape these areas that are used so often is such a treat. I love kitchens that have a large island where families can enjoy breakfast and hangs out when making dinner, with swivel bar stools for conversation. In the living spaces, I love backless sofas with big pillows for everyone to relax on. I enjoy creating spaces where furniture is more about conversation, rather than the focal point.
What are your favorite interior design trends right now?
I love being able to incorporate contemporary design in spaces that have rustic, natural materials. This might mean incorporating sofas and chairs with clean lines, or finding case pieces with natural finish accents, such as rustic wood. Or I also like adding in beautiful, buttery leathers, oak wood floors, glass windows that bring the exteriors in, and rough, linen window treatments. I’m drawn to veering more toward the natural side of design.
Finish this sentence. Every space needs…
A well-functioning space plan and a dog.
How important is quality when choosing furnishings?
Quality is a priority and providing something unique that my clients couldn’t have found on their own is a bonus.
What are some of your favorite pieces we’re offering in retail?I absolutely love the Greystone Dining Chairs. They’re completely customizable, comfortable and work in many different styles of design. I also love the Angora Chaise, Jasper Double Chaise, Petrified Wood Side Tables, Chaka Accent Table and the Tulipa Ottoman.
What’s your secret to creating timeless spaces?
Sticking to a neutral palette with natural tones and textures so you can add and switch out pops of color with smaller pieces and accessories, like pillows and throws.
What does a successful project mean to you?
Delivering a beautifully completed home, on time, on budget to a happy client with a bottle of Veuve!
What do you see for the future of design?
I think design trends are moving more towards sustainable natural material sourcing. Some of our biggest suppliers have furnishings made in here in the States. We know where it comes from and where it’s made, so the quality really shows.
What do you like best about your line of work?
I love the variety of jobs and locations that I’ve had the opportunity to work on and, of course, the client relationships I’ve built.
One of my clients, in particular, I worked with for two and a half years. She was just the kindest person, very humble and unassuming. I fought for her on so many things because we had such a strong relationship. The friendship I formed with her allowed us to really hone in on the design she dreamt of and more.
What made you want to be a part of the Collective team?
I was so impressed with their professionalism, team environment and outstanding reputation in the design world as a great company that produces beautiful homes.
What are you looking forward to most in your career at Collective?
Meeting new clients and creating stunning, personal spaces they love.