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Publication Date: 2019-09-19

Design Insights

Mixing Countries, Periods & Styles with Designer Maria Haidamus

Based in San Francisco, experienced designer Maria Haidamus of Maria Haidamus Interiors travels the world to bring unique furnishings and a global, curated touch to her clients' interiors. Here, we talk with Haidamus about how her globe-trotting life has impacted her style.

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Design by Maria Haidamus Interiors | Photo by Paul Dyer

Q: How did you become a designer?

A: I’ve known that this is what I wanted to do since I was young. As a child in Beirut, I would rearrange the furniture in my room. Right out of high school, I decided to major in design with no hesitation in my mind. Now, my work is inspired by the vibrancy of the colors in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, the architecture of old Lebanese homes, and my travels.

Design by Maria Haidamus Interiors | Photo by Paul Dyer

Q: You speak so many languages and travel often. How does your fluency in multiple ways of being influence your design work?

A: I speak four languages, and I've traveled all over, including Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and South America. This travel has impacted my work. There’s so much influence in my design and work from my travels and what I’ve seen. I love bringing in all of those unique finds and styles together. Because of my travels, I like to mix different styles and periods when I design. My work is not just sterile or clean — it has a soul.

Design by Maria Haidamus Interiors | Photo by Paul Dyer

Q: How do you achieve a space that has a "soul"?

A: I like simplicity, and I like spaces that are livable and useable, yet have something very unique and special that gives them a bit more personality. For a large project in San Diego, we used antiques from India and France, a few contemporary pieces, some products from Asia, and other furnishings from different places all around the world. Everything married so seamlessly that it made that space very unique. Not only do I choose objects from around the world, but from many different price points too — for example, I love mixing Restoration Hardware with antique pieces. It all just falls into place.

Design by Maria Haidamus Interiors | Photo by Benoit Delaveau

Q: What are your tips for sourcing from different periods and price points?

A: I trust my instincts. It’s no science, it’s just alchemy. I can’t put it into words. You just have to trust who you’re buying from, to know if it’s true or authentic. I just have a good sense of style, and I just know how to put things together.

Design by Maria Haidamus Interiors | Photo by Paul Dyer

Q: What are your favorite materials to work with?

A: I tend to gravitate towards organic, natural materials. For me, it’s always true, honest materials.

For more ideas on mixing contemporary and antique pieces, attend Dering Hall's online Masterclass on September 25.

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