IDRA Featured Designer: Tynesia Hand-Smith

Design 36ixty

How did you enter the field of design?

How did I enter the design field? Well, I think I was born in. I studied both Architecture and Interior Design and it was natural; an extension of me. Funny story, but true-I was in my 3rd year at the school of Architecture when a fellow classmate took a look at my finished model and said that I should be an interior designer. I was kind of offended. I thought he was being sexist, but it was because I had incorporated interior design elements that were not asked as part of the project. I had introduced color, light fixtures, flooring, artwork... and I had the best time constructing it. Dare I say it? He was right! This is what I was meant to do.

When did you first discover you had a natural talent for becoming an interior designer?

I don't think it was ever my discovery because I really thought that everyone had the same ability that I had. I wasn't inventing anything. It was just an idea, right? A concept? Well, I think I was home visiting and my Dad said to me (in response to some idea or design solution that I had suggested) “Wow! You’re so creative. How do you just come up with this stuff?” And I said, “It’s nothing special really, you would have thought of it right? “ And he said, “No! I would have never thought of it. You've been creative since you were a kid “. How funny is that!? So, I think it was my Dad that really turned the switch on.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I think generally speaking, my design aesthetic is the combination platter but I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a clean line. I love the artistry in mixing textures and patterns, old with new and almost always a little black and a little sparkle!

Where do you find design inspiration?

I find INSPIRATION EVERYWHERE!!! It’s so true. It’s in the places you would least expect. It’s like having these design nerve endings that are constantly processing the world around me. I love it!


What do you enjoy most about your role as a designer?

I love the happiness it brings my clients! It’s great to be creative and expressive but it feels absolutely amazing to bring others a certain joy that comes from having a space that they love so much that it makes them smile both inside and out!

What challenges have you faced in business?

I think the business of design is by biggest challenge. It’s tough switching gears from creative spirit to QuickBooks guru (which I am not).

Ty's accolades, awards and accomplishments:

Guest Designer on TLC’s “10 Ways To Improve The Value Of Your Home “

Won several HBA awards with Metro Design Interiors for model home interiors:

  • Best Interior Merchandising

  • Best Kid's Room

  • Best Master Bathroom

  • Best Sales Center

In a more recent project, Smith Commons in Washington, DC,  received the “I wanted to move in “ from The Washington Post's Tom Sietsema. On any day, that's good!

Tynesia Hand-Smith
Principal Designer
Design 36ixty
2015 1st St NW, Suite B
Washington, DC 20001

Photography by Dakota Fine

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