Lesley B. Fay is an Interior Designer who lives and works in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.
Her studies at the NY Institute of Art & Design and at the High Desert Feng Shui Institute, as well as her 12+ years of experience in the field of Interior Design, have made her an invaluable asset for expats in San Miguel who are looking for effective and innovative ways to remodel their homes and commercial locations.
Hi Lesley! Could you tell us something about why you chose Interior Design as your current profession?
Hi! Well, I believe everyone is born with a set of talents, or abilities. Most of these reside in our DNA. My ability to see colors differently or match things together was always there but, with practice and training, it has strengthened.
I am also a trained chef and the same things that work in Interior Design, work in cooking: the ability to mix flavors, to have a keen eye in order to create the visual aspect of the plate; being able to put together the assortment of vegetables, the color and consistency of a sauce, the garnish on a dessert…
How do you think people apply Interior Design when it comes to their homes and businesses?
It’s a bit perplexing what’s happening in this day and age with Interior Design. Instead of proceeding in the expected way – like we ask attorneys to help us with legal matters, or accountants for help with filing our taxes, for example -; somehow, many people (mostly women) think that they should intuitively know how to do everything that has to do with Interior Design. You know, in the Martha Stewart, DYI Home type-of-way. This can generate many time-consuming and costly mistakes.
Could you give us an example?
Right now, I’m helping a very lovely lady who made some decisions on her home that seemed right at first, but after a while it turned out they don’t work. She came to me because they are now unacceptable to her. Now, we are re-doing what she had done. I am proud of her for asking for help!
What are some common Interior Design challenges people find in their San Miguel de Allende homes?
Many houses in San Miguel have Saltillo tile floors and exposed bricks. The paint color on the walls reflects the red tile floors and brick boveda ceilings to create a pink tint in the entire room. Areas with limited light can make yellow look green, browns look like baby poo and grey look like taupe. Most homes in Mexico cannot be painted in a ‘one-color-fits-all’ scheme. The areas have to have different but the colors have to complement each other in order for them to work in the right way.
Which would you say are the most common things people get wrong when they try to do the Interior Design of their newly acquired homes in San Miguel de Allende?
I seem to be hearing from clients who have moved here after they have listened to others tell them what to do and not do. Obviously people who do not know that the tradespeople here are like people anywhere in the world, you can get the best or the worst. Mexico has great fabrics available here for half the price in the US; blends of cotton, linens, upholstery fabrics of many strength and color. Sunbrella and Mexican Sun Fabrics. I carry these lines of Mexican fabrics and the customer service is incredible.
I saw a couple who brought into Mexico the cheapest fiberboard furniture from the US (probably made in china) when they could have had real furniture made here. The house is new, big and beautiful and in comes the cheapest, tackiest furniture. She did not know what she could get here, which is understandable.
Any last recommendations for the San Miguel Times readers?
In a few months we will once again be super busy at the studio, with the season upon us. Take the time now to start your new project; whether remodeling a bathroom, upgrading a kitchen or new lighting with dimmer switches.
Lesley B. Fay, Interior Designer
- Lesley B Fay Design & Color
- Hours of Operation
Monday & Tuesday by appointment only
Wednesday thru Saturday 1 pm to 5pm
Interview by Bere Parra for The San Miguel Times