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Meet Sandra Espinet

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandra Espinet.

Hi Sandra, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My dad’s job as a petroleum superintendent kept my family moving, and I grew up in several different countries. Maybe it was the continual packing, unpacking and setting up of new homes. Either way, I was pretty sure interior design was my chosen path at a young age and during art school. It became a reality while doing my bachelor’s degree I did several incredible internships, including the iconic Knoll Studio. I moved to LA in the 90’s and got my master’s in film at AFI but after three years as a production designer, I returned to my true love: Interior Design. It’s what calls me and what I do best. Having the ability to take ugly, old or dated spaces and bring them to life. Being able to be surrounded by beautiful things. Changing spaces into little gems so that the people who live in them will be fuller for the experience. It’s all positive and inspiring to me. I truly love what I do. And living in LA, I have found the most creative people who are like-minded and passionate about lifestyle and design.

I have had my design firm S.E.Design for over 25 years and have had the pleasure of meeting and working for some amazing clients. What else could I ask for? And then… walked in prince charming! My life is very complete.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
I have always been very fortunate and made correct decisions that have served me well. I studied design, I did great internships, I worked at outstanding design firms and then grew into my own firm. I have a very acute intuition and I have no fear of taking what some might call risky or nontraditional. However, no matter how well things go, life is about the speed bumps on your highway and getting over them. I have had many hurdles to overcome and lessons to learn… As far as business, the hardest thing for me has always been people management. I’m very social and fun. But when it’s time to create, I am very focused and intense. I’m a creative. A make things happen, kind of girl. I don’t have a huge amount of patience for slackers, time bandits, people with excuses or negative backpacks. It took me a while to learn, but I came around to understanding that I had to remove myself from the day to day issues that some people carry around and have a good office manager deal with that aspect of business.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I have specialized in luxury design. I know… I hate even using that word. Everyone today thinks they know what luxury is, and yet few truly do or have experienced it. Knowing how to work with, understand and produce homes for high networth clients is a world of its own. Just because you buy a bag at Gucci does not mean you know couture. And the same can be applied to art and interior design. One of the things I have been the most proud of has been my ability to navigate into various areas of design from tv, to podcasts, to books. My last book was in fact one of my most memorable accomplishments. I want to do a 3rd one but have simply not had the time yet.

Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
All of my clients deserve credit for my work and accomplishments. I serve them, listen to their needs and wants and it is a collaborative effort. I spend quite a bit of time with my clients and they become my friends. In the process of those close and very personal relationships, I have learned a lot about life and how people live. And isn’t that truly what interior design truly is about? It is not buying random furniture. Anyone can do that. It is about curating what works for each individual home and the people that live in it. It is about the special and unique things placed in the certain ways that will serve them and their style. Some people have kids, they need more basic, comfy and durable. Some people need business-fabulous to be able to entertain and have clients over. Some people collect and their art and objects take president. My clients have also been my best source of work since they have almost all recommended me to friends and used my services over and over. That kind of support is invaluable because it has kept me working continually and given my work value.

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