Rushika Patel Walks the Line Between Interior Design and Architecture
Rushika is a licensed architect + interior designer in Florida, with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Tennessee, School of Architecture + Design. During her time in San Francisco, she has worked on a wide range of project types and scales, including interior design & furniture procurement for custom high-end residences, along with full architectural services for multi-family residential projects in the city. Rushika now wishes to engage her prior experience and creative expertise to make modern, elegant, and functional design accessible to the masses by providing services for all scopes and budgets.
A national of India, Rushika spent her childhood in the Pearl of Africa – Uganda, where she cherished every moment of growing up in a land of majestic landscapes, stunning wildlife, and a rich native culture. As a result of this exposure, she enjoys traveling and lives to experience new cityscapes and architecture, engage in diverse cultures, and immerse in grand vistas where she enjoys embarking on long and scenic hikes. Her travels extend beyond her native lands to include Europe, Canada, and most of The States.
Scroll down to get to know Rushika as we talk about how she blurs the line between architecture and interior design, where she gets her inspiration and all about her creative process!
Tell Us About Yourself!
I am an architect by education, but I love designing on all scales, big or small! I’ll accept any design challenge whether it’s a building, an interior space, a back yard, or a piece of furnishing. I’ve always loved solving design problems and in the end it’s all about looking at something with an eye for composition.
How would you describe your style?
With combined experience in architecture and interiors, my style is about attention to materiality, form, and details. I have a preference for spaces where the interior and architectural elements acknowledge and complement each other to narrate their design story. When it comes down to decor pieces, I like the minimalism of the Scandinavian style, I also admire the rawness and character of the Eclectic style, and the earthiness of West Coast style. I would say my style has elements of all three of these styles to varying degrees.
Tell us your background? How did you get started and how did you get here?
I graduated from architecture school in Tennessee, then swiftly moved to the west coast for my first job which introduced me to the field of interior design alongside architecture since it was an interdisciplinary firm. That is where my horizons of design expanded and I learned to love the nitty gritty details of interior projects!
Walk us through your creative process. How do you know when a space is finally done?
If it were up to me, the spaces would constantly keep changing! I think there are truly unlimited ways to design a wonderful space, but naturally we have to stop somewhere. Usually I start by really listening to what the client wants and likes, this is the first step that begins forming the vision. From there I usually focus on selecting the few key (hero pieces I call them) of the space, and everything else just kind of fills and flows around those. I know to stop when the side pieces start taking away from the hero pieces; and in any case, I prefer a minimal number of pieces and a de-cluttered look - it’s surprisingly hard to do.
How do you strike a balance between adding your personality and taste to a project and keeping it about the client?
I would say more often than not, the client’s style does not match my style, but the design still turns out to please us both. Since my style is itself a mix of many styles, it’s usually no problem incorporating and substituting the client’s preferences into it. I pay the most attention and time on the said ‘hero pieces’ and make sure they are in sync with the client’s style.
What’s the most underrated element of home décor that you think every space should have?
Good lighting. Of course the light fixture itself is important, but what I mean is its light output - the color temperature, whether it’s diffused or direct, how bright, etc. You can have the most beautifully designed space, but if the light output isn’t right, it will never give the desired ambiance…ever!
What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to refresh their space but isn’t sure where to start?
Inspiration is where it all starts. Gather images that inspire you and try to learn by dissecting, really understand the what and most importantly the why you like what you see. Once you answer that, your design story can start unfolding. Don’t be afraid to seek an expert should you need help with refinements!
Where do you find inspiration and how do you stay connected to your creativity?
Inspiration is truly all around us, but if I had to pinpoint, I would say Instagram is a good place to start. I don’t just browse images of spaces, but anything beautiful really. A tea kettle, or photograph of nature even can inspire the design of a space. If I want to let loose and channel creativity, I usually prefer to do it through painting or sketching.
Feeling inspired? Start a design project with Rushika!