12 Apr Design Elements: Interior Designer Susie Hoffmann Shares a Taste of What’s to Come
Interior design trends are often vast and varied, reflecting the homeowner’s style, the designer’s flair, and the home’s setting. For Susie Hoffmann, founder and principal designer at Envi Interior Design Studio in Bozeman, Montana, curating a home is about embracing the culture of the space. She uses classic, Western interior design principles to inform selections that cultivate a connection to the landscape, nature, and views; rely on natural, relevant materials; and operate within a relatable scale and proportion.
To bring life to her clients’ goals, she embraces the total experience of a space, striving to balance the senses in a holistic approach that respects the architecture, landscape, and client. She has worked in the region for nearly two decades and calls upon her background from New York City-based Clodagh Design, where she learned to integrate feng shui, chromotherapy, and aromatherapy into her style.
Here, she reflects on changes within the industry and trends for 2023.
Big Sky Journal: You founded Envi in 2006 and have certainly experienced changing trends. How are things different today than they were when you started?
Susie Hoffmann: To be honest, I was originally nervous about starting a design business in Montana. Seventeen years ago, the vernacular was Western and rustic, period. While Western and rustic design have a very important place here in the West — it’s a style I respect and admire — I wasn’t sure how my more contemporary aesthetic and background in wellness would fit into the fabric of Montana design.
Over the years, as the demographic has shifted, we have seen a greater variety in design, from the ubiquitous mountain modern to contemporary to Scandinavian-influence to classic reinventions of log and timber architecture. I think design in Montana is on the leading edge of design nationwide. We’ve seen a progressive body of work come from our state.
BSJ: What are some emerging trends you’re seeing right now that are unique to our region?
Hoffmann: Oddly, I do think people are scaling down. We’ve become accustomed to seeing sprawling homes and ranches getting bigger and bigger. I am seeing more clients approach the idea of “less is more.” I love a mindful approach to scale. It’s refreshing, and it certainly speaks to my personal ethos.
BSJ: In this post-pandemic world, we see interiors that inspire wellness. Your approach contained nurturing elements long before COVID underscored the idea of self-care, and you describe your work as “mountain elegance that pairs an element of fun with peaceful and joyful retreats.” Why is this an important facet of your style?
Hoffmann: Joy and laughter are an integral part of well-being. As children, we learn and grow through play. I believe this is something we should carry with us throughout our lives, and it certainly makes sense to include these elements within our homes and designs. Of course, play and joy should be balanced with moments of calm and reverence — that’s the challenge and also the nuance of our work.
BSJ: As post-pandemic shifts in the supply chain have become a relative norm, how have you changed or adapted your process to overcome lengthy backorders and other industry disruptions?
Hoffmann: The only thing we can do is better prepare our expectations and our clients’ expectations. Nothing is fast or easy. Ordering products has become an incredible challenge — and that’s our bread and butter. We have experienced some crazy burns from supply chain issues, quality control, and labor shortages. It’s been painful. But, if we go into the process knowing that delays and backorders will occur regularly, we can be better prepared and possibly less disappointed. On the flip side, when we are able to receive the majority of furnishings on time, it’s a huge celebration.
BSJ: What are some textures, colors, and finishes you’re really excited about right now?
Hoffmann: I am loving tone-on-tone combinations with anything that isn’t gray: gold, white, cream, taupe, or bluish-green. I am also enjoying the beauty of negative space and the peaceful nature of a wall with absolutely nothing on it. We recently toured a project with rammed-earth walls — it was stunning and uncluttered. More of this please!