Baldwin Hardware Design Competition: Q&A with Michael Friedes
Finalist of Baldwin’s Hardware Design Competition, San Francisco-based designer Michael Friedes of Michael Friedes Design Associates sat down with Baldwin to answer a couple of questions about his design entry, his design aesthetics and what inspires him to create beautiful interiors.
1. What was the inspiration behind your design?
Michael Friedes: I call this piece The Maxwellton Pull. The inspiration came from a beautiful piece of jewelry; specifically a classic chain link necklace or bracelet. I love how it is a combination of modern and traditional, while being masculine and feminine.
2. What is the design process you typically go through to design a space that meets your vision?
Michael Friedes: My design process is all over the place. I would love to say I have one way of working, but honestly design is such an organic and creative process. It is always changing and evolving for me, and every space and client is unique. I often think of ideas in the middle of the night or when I catch an image from the corner of my eye. I implement all of these experiences into the spaces that I create.
3. Is there anyone in the world of art, architecture and design that you think is a pioneer and/or role model? Why?
Michael Friedes: Absolutely! I am inspired and moved by so much in the world of art and design, it has been my passion since I was kid. One of my role models is my late father, Harry Friedes. He was a prominent textile designer for menswear and the most elegant and stylish man I have known. I am from Manhattan and the architecture in the city never ceases to inspire me. Lastly, I am a big fan of the designer Kelly Wearstler in LA. She has a great sense of whimsy, glamour and detail.
4. If you had to describe your design aesthetic in 1 sentence or less, what would you say?
Michael Friedes: Livable luxury with a refined eye for detail.
5. Do you have any advice for homeowners who want to create a space that reflects their personal style?
Michael Friedes: I am always asked for advice by homeowners, friends and family and love to give my input. My general advice would be don’t be afraid to think outside the box and mix things up. Not everything has to match. Also, the best way to make your space the most personal is to surround yourself with a few items that you truly love and/or have a personal connection to. With all design though, balance is the key.
6. What are three things you can’t live without?
Michael Friedes: My Kids, creativity and music.