All Access: Sarah Wesely, Senior Interior Designer

An Exclusive Insight from Senior Interior Design, Sarah Wesely

Sarah Wesely, a graduate from the University of Nebraska, has been with our firm since 2012. Sarah, one of three interior designers at HMN, has been a National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) certificate holder since 2012. Sarah has experience in various project types including healthcare, educational, cultural, library and corporate projects. Sarah has successfully delivered innovative and thoughtful design solutions that exceed her client’s expectations. We had the opportunity to sit down and ask Sarah some questions about interior design and her recent work with the Kansas City ObGyn located on Overland Park Regional Medical Center’s campus.

Q: Describe your role at HMN Architects.
A: As a Senior Interior Designer, I get involved in a variety of ways depending on the project. Typically, I contribute to the flooring layout, millwork/casework, feature walls and ceiling designs (and how all those relate together in the overall design) as well as color and materials selections. After a design has been approved we prepare construction documents including plans, elevations, details and specifications. My involvement can also extend to furniture and artwork specification/coordination. Designers play an integral role in the interior architecture to create both a functional and aesthetically pleasing environment.
Q: What were your biggest challenges on the Kansas City ObGyn expansion project?
A: The challenge the client set before us was to create a space that would be welcoming and comfortable for patients while also being distinctive to set them apart from other clinics in the area. We were able to achieve this with unique finishes and design elements that were also able to tie into their clinic branding.
Q: How did you become interested in a career in interior design?
A: I think what first sparked my interest was visiting my mother who happened to work at the University of Nebraska Lincoln College of Architecture. As a child, I would be able to walk around the college and see student projects pinned up on the walls. It was my first exposure to both the creative and technical aspect of design and architecture. I found it to be fascinating.
Q: What has been your favorite experiences so far in your career?
A: I think my favorite experience is always seeing a newly finished space and watching people interact with the built environment. I feel lucky that I work in a field where you can see all your hard work pay off by seeing something that you helped create come to life.
Q: What has challenged you thus far in your career regarding the healthcare industry and the evolving changes that come along with it?
A: I think designers are always challenged to stay on top of the ever evolving healthcare trends (whether it be the constant changes in technology, focus on patient satisfaction, the changing demographics of patients, etc.) and implementing those trends into our designs. However, we are also challenged with creating timeless designs so we also have to be cognizant that these spaces will need to adapt and evolve as trends come and go overtime.
Q: Can you explain the benefit to having an in-house interior design department?
A: It is invaluable to have designers and architects working side by side. This insures the project will have an integrated design approach amongst the various elements of the interior environment. There are many details that help bridge the gap between surface material selection and spatial forms and interior design is a great way to meld those two together.
Q: What is HMN's interior design philosophy?
A: We are always striving to create an environment that both enhances culture and reflects the style of the client. We don’t have a particular style of design that we like to push on a client, instead we like to find out the client’s interests and bring that out with our work.
Q: At what point in a project does the interior design department get involved?
A: Our involvement changes from project to project. Typically, we start at the design development phase. This is after the schematic floor plans have to be finalized and we are starting to understand what the space is going to look like.