10 Questions with Designer Lisa Sternfeld

Designer Lisa Sternfeld of LSID Interior Deisgn creates unique modern spaces with traditional touches. Drawing from her experience as a painter as well as her interest in one-of-a-kind handcrafted artisanal works, she delights in pulling together a well-curated special environment whether designing for a home or a hotel.

We caught up with Lisa to chat about the importance of a balanced space, the one item that is always worth an investment and how to transform a sentimental item into a piece you will enjoy living with each day.

TLV: What is the biggest difference in how you approach your work when you are designing residential vs hospitality?

LS: I try to approach both residential and hospitality projects from the same starting point – how do I create an impactful space?  The main difference lies in the scale and function of how the space is used.  Whether designing a family home or the public spaces of a condominium tower, the question always starts with – how do I create an impactful space for those who’ll live here, work here, visit here etc.

Image Via Lisa Sternfeld

TLV:  You grew up painting and later worked in branding. What made you decide to change gears and get into interior design? What are some of the skills from your past work that you have brought into your current work?

LS: I’ve been fortunate to have done some great things but I found I was increasingly further removed from the hands-on creative process that I loved.  I’d always been interested in Interiors and as I explored the change to Interior Design, I found it was very much like painting.  You start with an empty space, a blank canvas so to speak, and you build it and layer it with form, color, and texture which grows and changes over time.  It was a very natural transition for me.

I’ve also used so much of what I’ve learned in business in my design work.  I think most designers would agree there’s a definite creative aspect to our work, but there’s also the business side of design that’s equally as important.  Planning, coordinating, negotiating, solving problems and navigating all the steps required to take a creative idea to fruition.  My prior work prepared me for all of that.

Image Via Lisa Sternfeld

TLV:  What is the most common design problem you help solve in clients’ homes?

LS:  How to best use the space you have – whether too much or too little space, it comes down to how to create a balanced space for living.


TLV:  What are your influences and how are they manifested in your work?

LS:  History, nature and my travels are some of my biggest influences.  I love things that tell a story whether a collectible antique, a mirror found in a foreign market or something passed down from within the family.  One of my clients had a funky coat given to her from her late grandmother.  While it had sentimental value, it hadn’t seen the light of day in years.  We turned the coat into fun accent pillows for her family room couch and gave it new life.  Now she sees them and enjoys them every day.

Nature, especially in terms of color.  I’m always inspired by the changing colors of the sky.   Those softer paler colors almost always make their way into my project color palette.

Image Via Lisa Sternfeld

TLV:  How would you describe your personal style?

LS: I design with a modern sensibility using traditional elements – classic modern or ‘new traditional’ would best describe my aesthetic.  I’m also very influenced by the history, tradition and techniques of what I’m designing and gravitate towards crafted pieces – whether custom-made furniture, a rug woven by a family in a Moroccan village or a simple yet beautifully crafted ceramic vessel.



TLV: What is one item always worth investing in?

LS: A well-made sofa.   Much like the kitchen, a sofa is a gathering place for family and friends year after year.  It should be a classic shape that you can envision in your home for years to come.  Did you know a quality sofa can last up to 25 years with reupholstery? That’s a pretty good return on investment.

Image Via Lisa Sternfeld

TLV:  What do you turn to when you need a dose of creative inspiration?

LS: When I can, I travel for inspiration.  Different colors, sights, smells and sounds – it’s all very inspiring to me.   And if I can’t travel, I like to walk the streets of New York City.  There’s an undeniable energy there that jumpstarts my ideas.


Image Via Lisa Sternfeld

TLV:  Do you have a personal indulgence that surprises people?

LS: I love animals.  I think if I could have a petting zoo, I would.


TLV: Is there a particular trend you see that you will be happy to eventually see go? Any one you love?

LS: I’d be very happy to see Fast Furniture gone forever –cheap, disposable design that gets tossed in a few seasons.  It’s poorly made and doesn’t last much longer than last year’s trendy sweater you bought on a whim.   I love the trend toward tech-free spaces, especially in the bedroom.


TLV:  What is the best part about being a designer?

LS: I get to create and do what I love every day.  What a gift.


Thanks, Lisa!



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