Founded in 2010, Folding Chair Design co. was born in a Baltimore rowhouse, with its owner juggling a toddler, a baby on the way, and a lamp light to cram in studies and principles of interior decorating. There was much learning going on, but an instinct to listen to the distinct needs and tastes of her first clients is what drew those clients back to her, and what continues to be the driving force behind FCD.
We are listeners first. No matter what, we hear our clients. We may encourage clients to branch out in different directions, but we always want to know how people want to feel and live in their homes.
Decorators and designers often have an aesthetic, a look. We like to think we have a unique way of weaving our client’s pasts and futures, their personal items, and personalities into the spaces we create. We may base much of our room designs off the excitement a client might have for a specific color, or piece of clothing. Clients cannot walk away thinking they didn’t have anything to do with the design of their home; we want that involvement. We nurture the relationships we build with the people who live in the homes we design. It breathes life into the details of every room.
a WORD FROM Jennifer Walter
who started it all…
I’m a worker. When I take anything on, I obsess about it, and stay up nights thinking about it until it comes to fruition in a special way. It’s not about a need for control or perfection. Be it a birthday party, a friend’s engagement, or an event at my kid’s school: I’m all in. I’m in with all the bells and whistles. When it comes to decorating, I either get an idea in my head and immediately realize my vision for a space, or I spend weeks thinking about what that piece of greatness will be, and then it hits me and I’m running.
The most time I spend on projects is the planning phase. I pore over pictures of furniture pieces. I lay them up into mood boards on my computer. I cut them into squares and move them around. I pile fabric samples on top each other and the pictures to determine the palette and the combinations. I continue to ask if this is what my client will love: will they see it as I do, is it right, is it them? When the foundation is there, it’s time to layer on top of it. More thinking…
I always turn to books for inspiration. Whether it be my piles of coffee table design books, or my hotel books, or most often I look at wallpaper books. They give me the most inspiration for someone’s home. If ever I feel stuck, a wallpaper sample pile gets me going, and spawns something; even if I don’t use the paper.
My family is everything to me, so they have to be part of this. They see the work. They see it happening at the office. They see it at home late at night when I’m drawing. My husband sees it when he hangs the hundredth light fixture I’ve swapped into our own house. This is all part of how my process works every day.
It’s part the client and their likes, it’s part me and my influences, and it’s part everything else around that moves us.
This is how we build great spaces.