We are pleased and honored to have Charles Almonte of Charles Almonte Architecture and Interior Design, based in Silver Spring, MD share his design insights in our Design Minds series. Charles Almonte’s firm will be participating in the upcoming fall DC Design House, in which proceeds benefit Children’s Hospital.
Please scroll down to read the full interview with Charles about interior design and how he uses an architectural approach to create a timeless and sophisticated layout with architectural accents when designing for his clients.
How and when did you become interested in design?
I was always drawn to colors, shapes and structures. Growing up, I had containers of crayons, stacks of coloring books and bins of Legos. I think it was inevitable that I would end up doing something with design. Lo and behold, I got into an architecture program in college. Eventually, I started dabbling in interior design in conjunction with architecture.
How do you describe your signature style?
I think my signature style is simple but sophisticated. Not too trendy but contemporary. Clean lines and classic and not too fussy.
Do you have a main goal to achieve in your design and/ or rules that apply to your projects? What is your creative process for your projects?
Every project is different and each of them needs a slightly different approach but the my main principles of design remains. Balance, scale and harmony are my first rules to follow. I usually start with the “plan” or layout. Afterwards, I start infusing my design with my clients tastes and preferences That can be a color scheme, a particular inspiration fabric or a certain design style.
At the beginning of a project, I tell my clients that the space or spaces are theirs to enjoy and live in. I encourage them to tell me what are their likes, wants and needs. Because at the end of the day, it is their space so they should be able to enjoy it.
What inspires you and is currently on your design mind?
I am always drawn to colors and patterns. I see them in architecture, fabrics, fashion and even food. I just recently signed up on Instagram, from which there are so many images out there that I draw inspiration.
I was just in LA so I think I am in mod hollywood regency state of mind nowadays.
What advice can you share for those starting out in your industry?
Be the best you can and always be open to learning new things. Be patient.
Here are a couple examples below of just some of Charles’s client projects.
Sources from his top 5 current inspirations:
1) Fabric: Chiang Mai Dragon fabric by FS Schumacher
2) Lighting: Parisienne Medium Table Lamp in Shanghai Brown from Circa Lighting
3) Furniture: Lampert Sofa from Jonathan Adler
4) Lighting: Cubist Chandelier by Kelly Wearstler
5) Pattern: Shouchikubai wallpaper from Farrow Ball