Friday, April 15, 2005

Top Designers of 2004:
Interview with Nancy Zieg

This week we are interviewing Nancy Zieg, a member of our Top Designers for 2004. Nancy has a BA in Art and a degree in Interior Design from the School of Architecture (U of Fla.). She has been a professional Interior Designer for more than 30 years and has started and run 3 design businesses. She made her way to Portland from Houston and currently operates Nancy Zieg Interior Design

LF+DG: Nancy, let's start with how you became a designer and what has influenced you the most?
Nancy: Since as far back as I can remember, I would take pictures of rooms out of catalogs and draw floor plans. My love of art and architecture was nourished by the art history classes I took in college and my travels, especially to Europe. I, also, have a profound interest in cultures and history.

LF+DG: What countries in particular did you like?
Nancy: I love France and the Country French look, and Italy with its warm colors, terracotta, golds, and the washes you see. I have a new appreciation for the Moroccan look in Spain and I have incorporated the colorful tile mosaics in several of my designs.

LF+DG: How do you define good design?
Nancy: The basic elements of design are balance and proportion. That makes good design. Let me expand on that. When I say balance, I want to see one side of a room carry the same weight as the other (is it symmetrical?. It could be asymmetrical and still be good design. A large piece could be balanced by a collection or art or smaller pieces of furniture. Visual weight or balance is also achieved through the use of colors and tones. One error that is made, and is easy to fix, is mis-sized art or mis-hung art. A small piece hung on a large wall would be mis-sized or art hung too high over a sofa would be mis-hung.

LF+DG: Nancy there is a beautiful picture of one of your designs on your website. Can you talk about the feeling you are trying to convey?

Nancy: This is a loft in Portland. You are looking at the living room, then the dining room and a kitchen in the back. We wanted a transitional style with a classic feel that would never look dated.

LF+DG: Would someone walk into a room you've designed and say, "Ah! This a Nancy Zieg?
Nancy: Probably not as I tend to be eclectic. I like to use my client's possessions in a creative way - mixing clean lines with frou-frou, modern with "collected" pieces, old with new and a bit of whimsey.

LF+DG: Do you use presentation boards?
Nancy: I do presentation boards on request ( a fee is charged). This is usually for commercial projects with a committee involved.

LF+DG: How do you charge for your work?
Nancy: I have several ways of charging depending on the scope of the project. I have an hourly fee for consultation and putting together the overall scheme. Retail w/ a discount for purchasing furniture and accessories, cost plus for custom work and on occasion a set fee for the entire project.

LF+DG: What other creative outlets do you have?
Nancy: My other interests are reading, gardening and painting with oils. I was taught by a Russian master who taught in the 18th Century tradition. He painted in the style of Rembrandt. I paint in the impressionist style of Monet or Renoir. I have sold 45 pieces in the past and still paint, but not as often as I would like.

LF+DG: Some highlights of Nancy's career: She has been published numerous times; Set up stage sets for Unique Lives and Experiences of famous women (in Houston, TX); Competed in HGTV Designer's Challenge and was past President ASID Oregon Chapter. Nancy can be reached at or (503) 675-7475


Anita Campbell said...

Excellent interview. Gorgeous room.

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