Interior Designer Sheri Rose Riskind: 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy

Candice Georgiadis
Dec 3, 2020 · 7 min read

Paint the room a fun color. Just adding a touch of color to one wall or all the walls will completely change the mood of a room. If you want to make the space moody, use a dark cold color, if you want the room to be peppy and happy, use a strong warm color. There are so many different ways to go.

As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sheri Rose Riskind.

Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

While interior design has always been my passion, I’ve been an artist for most of my life. I received an MFA and a BFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, as well as a BA in psychology from Pitzer College. After receiving my MFA, I worked as a painter in NYC for many years. Much of my art work focused on interiors and exterior spaces, primarily of mid-century, modern homes. I exhibited and sold my work in galleries in Boston, Brooklyn, Frankfurt, NYC, Palm Desert, San Francisco and in art fairs all over the globe.

After getting pregnant with my third child, I decided to go in a different artistic direction and went back to school for Interior Design at The New York School of Interior Design. I now channel my knowledge and passion for art, design and decor into the homes and lives of the people I work with.

As an accomplished artist, I provide a different perspective that not every designer may have. My artistic sensibility and design know how allows me to create rooms and spaces that feel special and distinct. I have many out of the box ideas tailored to each individual client. I can create objects and art for homes that are specialized for their environment. I love to use wallpaper and fabric to bring warmth and coziness to my client’s homes. At the same time, my look is multi-layered, embellished with the energy from patterns, color and accessories that give each room it’s own individualized personality and vibe. There is a spirit of play and fun in the rooms I create, but they are also very comfortable and livable at the same time.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I learned early in my career as an interior designer that my undergraduate degree in psychology is a very useful tool. I have had situations where I have been a quasi marriage counselor, helping to find compromise between a wife with an expensive vision, and a husband who is struggling to make her happy and pay the bills. In all but one case, these have turned into happy endings, but in one situation I had a couple almost split up because the husband couldn’t make a decision and kept procrastinating about doing any work. The wife was so frustrated that she threatened to leave him if he didn’t bend to her will. Unfortunately, I was in the room during that argument. He finally succumbed to her demands and I was happy when I finished that job!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first started, I often got very excited about finding beautiful and unique objects that I had never seen before. One time I bought the most beautiful mirror for a bathroom that I knew was going to be a show stopper, but in my excitement, I didn’t measure the size of the mirrors’ frame.When it arrived and was hung in the bathroom, the frame was so large that you had to be very tall to actually see into the mirror. I quickly learned the importance of measuring and checking every detail before making a decision!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?

One of the most interesting projects that I’m currently working on now is a flip house in a rural setting. The owner is on a very tight budget, so it is important for me to find creative and beautiful options that cost much less money than most people spend when doing a full renovation of homes they plan on living in after they finish. I have had to use lower tier (cheaper) products and use creative finishes and accessories in a way that is still very appealing to a mass audience. It is a challenge, but fun to push myself to find finishes and accessories that appear luxurious and special, but are very cost effective.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You just can’t let life happen to you, you have to make life happen.”

This quote has helped me because when things are challenging in either my personal or professional life, I have learned that I can’t just sit back and hope for the best. I have found that when I set my mind to something and pursue a goal, I often have the ability to take control of my situation and achieve the outcome that I want to see happen. This has been the case in how I have raised my kids, had a strong, loving relationship with my husband and in my success as an artist and now as an interior designer.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I have a friend who is a designer and she pushed me to go back to school at the New York School for Interior Design. She knew that with my background in fine arts, a further foundation in interior design would give me the knowledge I needed to take my career to the next level.

Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. Wallpaper, wallpaper, wallpaper!! Using a print or fun pattern in a space can light up the room and bring personality and joy to any space.
  2. Paint the room a fun color. Just adding a touch of color to one wall or all the walls will completely change the mood of a room. If you want to make the space moody, use a dark cold color, if you want the room to be peppy and happy, use a strong warm color. There are so many different ways to go.
  3. Of course, Art!! Hanging art on the walls can completely change the vibe of a room. Bringing in color and pattern with paintings or drawings can make a space feel cozy and warm. Also using photographs that conjure up memories of places or things of importance can bring joy to a space and add uniqueness and energy to a room.
  4. Having collections of objects of importance in a room can bring personal and artistic interest to any space.
  5. Bringing pattern into space with fabrics, drapery, rugs and other textiles can also spark joy. If you add just a dose of pattern it can liven up any stagnant space and bring more interest and focus to a room.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

I would like to see all young children from ages 2 through 10 years old have the opportunity to learn and practice some form of art. The ability to learn and practice art, whether it is drawing, painting, textiles, pottery or photography instills a sense of creativity, accomplishment and self esteem in children. This can give everyone a passion and a joy in their lives that they can always return to at a later point in their life. It can also give them an option of something to pursue for a career or for a hobby.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them :-)

I have always been obsessed with David Hockney, his paintings and drawings are amazing. They capture life, living and personality in all of them. He is able to capture time and essence in each piece and he has been able to grow and change as an artist and always keep his work interesting and exciting.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

They can find me on instagram @sheri.rose.design or my website is www.sherirosedesign.com or on facebook at Sheri Rose Design.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Candice Georgiadis

Written by

Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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