Interior designer Terrie Koles heads her own design and art advisory firm and combines a strong sense of aesthetics with a wealth of academic and professional experience in fine art and advertising. Her flair for design enables her to design creative interiors in keeping with clients’ needs, vision, and budgetary constraints.

One of the most striking trends in interior design in 2013 involves the use of monochromatic color schemes in order to create a dramatic interior space. Although monochrome has the potential to look flat and boring compared to the “pops of color” that are typically used to enliven rooms, innovative use of textures, natural materials, and lighting can showcase solid colors with a lot of flair. Highly polished surfaces, beautifully lacquered and polished wooden furniture, and the judicious use of metal accents will shine under the right lighting. Industrial lighting has recently become a popular feature in interior decor. The contrast between the heavy metals and pipes used to make chandeliers and lamps and the soft, diffused lighting they provide make a monochrome space look both creative and approachable.


With an art education that includes an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art, Terrie Koles has dedicated her life and career to art. She currently manages her own interior design business, as well as a fine art advisory service.

Modern technologies and techniques sometimes seem to challenge the traditional definition of fine art, rendering it more difficult to distinguish fine art from other art. Historically, fine art involved mediums such as sculpture and painting, and it often took years to complete a single work, created with great care by masters who had trained for years in their field. Thus it belonged to the sphere of a few distinguished persons. Now, however, the modern world allows greater leisure time and access to training and materials, which means that the number of artists has increased.

Philosophers throughout the centuries have discussed the problem of what constitutes fine art. Defining it as encompassing any work of art created principally for its aesthetic appeal and not for any utilitarian function may still leave room for debate, but it offers a certain ability to categorize art without falling back on mere personal taste.

Terrie Koles, an interior designer and fine art advisor, received an MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art and studied privately in Florence, Italy. She also spent more than a decade working in advertising and created the 3-D design for the Sensory Safari program.

The program known as the Sensory Safari grew out of the recognition that nonverbal communication sometimes provides a greater understanding of customers’ reactions to an advertisement for a particular product or service than other metrics. Employing as many senses as possible, Sensory Safari invites participants to create collages with objects such as lollipops, flowers, feather boas, coffee beans, scented oils, and Barbie dolls to express their feelings about products, advertisements, or even an entire brand. One application of this program included four tables with collage objects separated according to the senses of sight, smell, touch, and taste.

Although this approach may seem strange, its success derives from the way the human psyche works. Consumers may not know exactly how they feel about something on a conscious level, but creating even such a simple work of art can unlock their subconscious feelings. Since those feelings determine their likelihood to purchase a product, this method can greatly benefit businesses.

Space. Line. Color. Form. Each is fundamental to the feel, function, and personal expression in a living space. Texture is also integral, and must be considered even if its function is not always obvious.

You can use texture to personalize a space. For example, if a client requests a white-on-white living room, but has a warm and fun personality, then you can employ playful, soft textures in the design to reflect the nature of the client.

Some textural pieces might include a fluffy white throw across the back of the couch, a three-dimensional white art installation on the wall, a white vase with calla lilies on a side table, and a white floor rug so shaggy that every footstep sinks to the ankle.

About the author: New York-based designer Terrie Koles is experienced in finding creative solutions to fit her clients’ needs. Koles’ background in fine art and commercial art direction influences her creation of unique interiors.

Trying to find the hottest trends in home furnishings? Look no further than your backyard. Designers all over the country have been fascinated by the increasingly softened divide between interior and exterior spaces. Inspired by the outdoors, many have created collections of nature-inspired furnishings and themes. Floral and animal prints, rustic Western and Native American designs, and warm wooden elements have been integrated in spaces created by the industry’s hottest designers.

Bringing the outdoors back inside coincides with a continued communal interest in vintage styles, with a focus on expressing eco-friendly living through upcycled furniture and handmade authenticity. Instead of too-hip minimalism, which dominated the interior design world for years, current designs trend toward individualized style with well-curated crafted goods. Current trends incorporate warm, raw colors that reflect the natural world, such as earthy greens and subtle burgundies.


About Terrie Koles:
With experience as a creative director for Madison Avenue advertising agencies and a painter studying with New York and European masters, Terrie Koles offers clients fresh approaches to interior design. At Terrie Koles Design, LLC, she collaborates with clients in order to create exciting spaces with superior utility and style.