Every time we meet an Interior Designer, we are fascinated by how they can turn a bare, empty place into a thriving space, bubbling with life and the right set of materials turning a shell into a covering. Aidah Johnson is one of such people. She is an Interior designer who finds joy in re-imagining space, houses and corners.
Aidah Johnson was born in Houston, Texas but spent her adolescent years in Indianapolis, In. She has a degree in Sociology but has always had a passion for all things creative. Her heart longs for and finds great pleasure in Interior Design, and all things crafty. Aidah is also a Metalsmith and love to whip out the torch to create jewelry using silver and copper.
She is married and has two precious girls, ages 1 and 3, who keep her very busy most days when she is not blogging. In 2015, Aidah and her husband were on Fox TV’s Home Free, a television reality competition series featuring couples competing to win a dream home. Aidah is an African-American Muslim ( she gets asked that question a lot!), beautifully channeling her spirituality into her work. She currently resides in Metro Atlanta where she works out of her home studio.
In this interview, we ask Aidah Johnson to share her journey as an Interior Designer with us
For Creative Girls: We think Interior designers are super-heroes! From conceptualizing to bringing the innate glamour of how spaces should live and breathe is just amazing. Can you remember your first design project? What’s your story into becoming an Interior designer?
My first design was actually my own room as a teen. I begged my parents to let me redesign the house, but of course, they wouldn’t let me. Instead, they told me I had free reign to do whatever I wanted in my own room. I was working at Ikea at the time, so every day before and after work I would search for those special pieces that would bring my room together. I ended up with custom sheer curtains, A tatami rug, rich pillows and a space that I felt was so, ME. It was at that time that I knew Interior design was more than aesthetics, but more the way it made you feel.
Becoming an Interior Designer was and continues to be a journey for me. I knew I loved Design and was scheduled to go to a design school in Chicago. I ended up going to a local school and changing my major because I doubted my creative abilities and because I thought an interior design major wasn’t impactful enough. I ended up getting a degree in Sociology and working for a non-profit. All the while, Interior Design, and Art were calling me. Several years after graduation, I decided once and for all that I would pursue my passion full stream ahead. I haven’t looked back since. Now, I merge my two passions of Interior Design with Social work. The best of both worlds.
How do you choose the right style? What’s your process/framework for approaching a new design or product?
Choosing the right style and my process both stem from inspiration. I cannot stress inspiration enough. It is extremely hard to create when you are staring at a blank canvas. However, If you purposefully seek, and open yourself up to inspiration, it always comes in one form or fashion. All it takes is a spark to get you started, and then there is clear direction from there.
What have been some of your favorite projects and some of your most challenging projects?
My favorite projects are those that are helping others. When I can design for a cause, I am the happiest. I also really enjoy the designs that are born out of me and a client vibing, when they give me the trust needed to execute the best design for them. My most challenging designs are when a client doesn’t have clear likes and dislikes. When this happens, it’s hard in the beginning to know which direction to go in, so that poses a challenge.
So, what’s your definition of Creativity? And how do you then see design generally?
I can answer this in two parts. First, I simply think being creative is the want and desire to be so. There are no naturally creative people. There are only people who study, fiddle, practice, and do. Everyone is creative, they just have to take an interest in being creative.
Second, I believe creativity is taking the road less traveled and putting your stamp, no matter how small, on something that is ordinary, practical, or mundane. Design is feeling, the feeling that you get when you are in a space. The purposeful nature of every detail, that’s design.
Give us a sneak peek into your everyday life. Do you have a routine you follow?
As a mom, wife, and designer my days are pretty hectic. They start early in the morning and usually end very late at night. I do not follow a routine. Each day presents itself with new tasks and challenges.
Tell us about 3 women you admire.
1.) My Mom. The first and greatest example of how to be a woman. She showed me where the true strength of a woman lies.
2.) Harriett Tubman, arguably one of the most courageous PEOPLE in history. She also exemplified what it is to be human and want for your brother what you want for yourself.
3.) Lauryn Hill- She is a woman at the top of her game who never compromised her morals. She exhibits class, consciousness, and how to respect your craft.