Talking Applicable Advice And Biomorphic Furniture Favorites With Swike Design’s Sarah Weichel

interior view of a table with chairs in a clean modern design.
A fresh face in the design scene, Sarah Weichel shares a peek into her inspirations and beginnings in the industry. (Swike Design)

Sarah Weichel, founder of Swike Design is a true emerging talent. The Los Angeles-based designer discovered her passion for interior design when she purchased her first home in 2018 and attempted to add an extension to the primary bedroom. When chaos ensued, she ended up needing to renovate the entire home. Then, she began to pursue interior design as a career. Currently, she has projects in Los Angeles, New York and London. 

When did you realize you wanted to become an interior designer? 

My love of interiors began when I purchased my first home in 2018. What started as a 500-square-foot addition to the primary bedroom turned into a full gut renovation. We were so inspired by the possibilities for our new home we just kept adding to the construction scope.

Interior view of a living room with white couch balanced with neutrals and pops of color.

Weichel has a deft hand when layering neutral creams and warm tones with pops of color. (Swike Design)

Unfortunately for us, we didn’t know anything about the construction process at the time and didn’t have the resources to hire a designer. We were flying blind with a relatively limited budget. Long story short, we hired the wrong guy for the job and ended up having to redo the whole house twice. The second attempt at our renovation began in 2020 to correct the mistakes of the first builder. Three years later, Swike Design was born as a vow to help other homeowners avoid the mistakes we made.

Read More: Exploring the Modern Coastal Look with Charleston-Based Interior Designer Megan Molten

How did you get your start? 

Before Swike Design, I founded a talent management company. Launching your first business is so daunting. As a founder, you are forced to learn everything from payroll to staffing. The questions are never-ending. How do you hire people? What does an employee agreement look like? What even is a W-9? Your first time around, it’s a lot of trial and error.

interior view of a table with chairs in a clean modern design.

From her experiences renovating her own home, Weichel designs with precision and clarity. (Swike Design)

Launching a second business came more easily because I had the tools to scale the company and the contacts to build the business. I am incredibly grateful that clients came relatively quickly for us and I owe this to the natural progression of these experiences. When you’re in your 20s, still figuring things out and learning who you are, you are working hard to prove that you are someone. In your 30s, you’ve had the opportunity to prove these things. What you have to offer as a business professional becomes more clear and impactful and things can really blossom from there.

How would you describe your style? 

We aim to combine contemporary with the timeless, emphasizing the simplicity of form and a richness of texture.

What’s your secret design sauce? 

Great design for all. Approachable, relatable and ahead of the trends.

What interior design trends or aesthetics are your favorites? 

We are big fans of abstract and biomorphic shapes for our furnishings. We recently placed a Pierre Yovanovitch Saint Tropez sofa, which is a beautiful example of a new take on a sectional sofa. I’ve found myself leaning toward chrome finishes over brass and Murano glass over ceramics or other rustic accessories. I’m thrilled to see more color gracing our feeds lately.

What trends are your least favorite? 

I’m glad to see we’re moving away from tonal, linen and monochromatic spaces. Color is daunting, I totally get it. But consider replacing your white boucle with cognac mohair. It’s still neutral.

Interior view of a living room with rounded, curved furniture.

Using biomorphic shapes and adding design elements that add a bit of history are just some of Weichel’s techniques. (Swike Design)

What are some of your favorite places to source furniture and decor? 

We are big fans of 1stDibs, Chairish, Artemest and Etsy. These platforms can be difficult to navigate unless you know what you’re looking for. A big part of Swike’s mission is to help educate consumers on keywords and search terms to help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Read More: Interior Designers Share Their Best Tips For Buying Antiques And Vintage Furniture

How do you use social media to promote your brand?

Social media and content in general are equally important to the business as the design studio is. When I was decorating and designing my personal home, I scoured the internet trying to learn everything—from materiality to color story, to simply where to shop. I studied the pages of Architectural Digest, trying to learn how to achieve the spaces of the designers I admired.

Good advice and ease of communication are key for Weichel in making thoughtful and beautiful designs. (Swike Designs)

What was most frustrating to me then, and still is now, is that the interior design world is elusive and pretentious. Swike’s content goal is to help design-obsessed people like me learn how to make their homes something they feel proud of by providing them with the tools and information to do it on their own. For those who don’t have the capacity or interest, Swike Design is taking new clients for 2023.

Why do you think humor and design are a great combination? 

First, I hope the main takeaway from our content is good and applicable advice. As far as humor goes, I’m simply someone who loathes a front-facing camera and can’t help but make a joke about how hard I’m trying. I always want to ensure my communication is approachable and relatable to those watching or listening and the only way to do that is through authenticity and humility. In the end, there’s a lot of trial and error in design and interiors—that’s what makes it so exciting and creative—so why not showcase a realistic process along the way?

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Author

I am a writer, design expert, host of the podcast Bougie Adjacent, and comedic performer. I am absolutely fascinated by all aspects of décor and design. It once took me six months to choose a soap dispenser and I can’t even remember what it looked like. I like bright prints, southern exposure and any location you can call a “village or town.” There are currently over 100 episodes of House Hunters on my DVR.

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