Gail Whiting, the founder of Design Consultants, never realized her talent for style and interior design until she was raising her children. To further explore her skill, she attended the New York School for Interior Design. So after, she became the President of ASID in the NJ Chapter and a certified designer for the state. When the firm that Whiting was working for started to fall apart, she took matters into her own hands and created a firm of her own.
Not only has Whiting designed homes for her clients, but she even designed her own home. She emphasized that everyone has their own taste of what they want. For Whiting, she loves being attached to nature and wanted to be able to look out to have the inside be the outside; encompassing that nestle feeling of being in the woods. “My home provides a charming and private feeling. It gives me that calmness and the serenity to just look out at nature rather than looking at my neighbors,” Whiting said. She wanted to have an open floor plan, but one that felt intimate unlike those huge rectangle rooms with high ceilings that many buildings have today. Essentially, Whiting wanted a home that felt comfortable, functional, and with an overall flow.
Connecting with an architect that is willing to work with you every step of the way is the most important factor for any interior designer. The architect that Whiting hired listened to her ideas and formulated them on paper. The architect, Bob Scialla, did not mind her tweaking everything to death.
She loves vestibules and the concept of having a little bit of clearing before fully walking into someone’s home; she added that and added a small double-tiered tray ceiling for architectural detail. Whiting is also into the concept of mixing various elements and adding unique art pieces. Whiting explained, “There is reclaimed Asian stone for the foyer floor and some bamboo for the walk-in closet and the powder room that was in the vestibule.” She also did a lot of work in her backyard by structuring her pool and patio to get that “L” shape providing angles.
A process like this takes about a year to a year and a half to put together due to the number of decisions put in place. With her clients, Whiting makes sure to really pay attention to them and discuss every little detail. She lays everything out on the table such as furniture placement, painting the walls, and changing the structure of a room. Whiting works with various contractors and is always up to date on the latest trends. She stays in touch with numerous representatives and has hundreds of catalogs in her library. A designer provides a more cohesive perspective for their clients as everyone has their own image of what they want in a home. “Some people love lots of colors, some want to live in a more neutral background, some people have a lot of art, all those things affect how the room will be planned out,” said Whiting.
Interior designing is a passion that Whiting never saw coming. Despite the amount of work, time, and patience it takes to put a home together, it all comes down to the client. She said, “My clients trust me and they say they never would’ve picked this fabric or gone for these items, but the end result is they love it. That’s the type of feedback that just feeds my soul, that’s why I love what I do.”