Tastemaker Mike Stake continues to deliver coast-to-coast home design with modern and elegant flair.
Interior designer Mike Stake has pivoted his business in major ways these last few months, but his approach to aesthetics is as chic as ever.
As our homes become where we spend most of our days, interior designer Mike Stake and his team are doing everything they can to serve clients in South Florida, Boston and Hawaii with the essentials and extras for indulgent nesting. Stake’s award-winning interior design firm delivers sophisticated yet comfortable aesthetics and provides interior architecture and design services, custom furniture, smart-home integration, landscape design and more. Here, he offers his take on the design industry as we all adapt to the new normal.
Are you known for a particular design style? I don’t have a particular design style, as our goal with every project is to interpret and reflect our clients’ personalities and aspirations into their homes. Our projects are about discovering and delivering what the client likes, curated by our experiences and design sense. That said, there are themes that run through many of our projects: soulfulness, craft [and] a sense of things touched by hand.
An outdoor dining room in Puako Bay, Hawaii
Tell us about your most recent project. It’s been a real COVID-19 story. We got a call from a Realtor who had a client that had sold their house on Sunset Island. In a rush, the client moved into their new place in Miami Beach and returned to Europe before the shutdowns. We have been executing the project 100% virtually with not one piece of paper or physically delivered sample involved. It’s interesting that we have never met these clients in person, but it feels like we have. That’s our new reality!
How has our new way of life impacted your business and industry? Home has always been a place of shelter and comfort. The situation this past year has amped up a need for our homes to be sanctuaries. At the same time, our places need to be more functional than ever. They are now an office, kindergarten, high school, gym, movie theater, wine and tequila bar and full-on working restaurant. So Mike Stake Studio clients value our expertise on space planning, custom furniture and smarthome technology to make their homes ideally suited for the new normal.
A spalike bathroom at a townhouse in Miami Beach.
What elements of your business have changed the most lately? It feels like we’ve spent years preparing for this moment in an unintended way. [We’ve] always had projects in South Florida where the clients lived primarily in another place. So communication by video meeting, email, phone calls, FedEx and occasional in-person meetings were common. There is one new thing we have developed during COVID-19, which is an in-house photo booth for fabrics and materials.
What have all these challenges taught you personally and professionally? I believe many people, certainly including me, have been informed by this global pandemic and have a new level of gratefulness and sense of empathy that comes with the knowledge that COVID-19 is not impacting everyone equally. There are a lot of people disproportionately affected, and we need to be aware of that and do what we can to help.
Photography by: Portrait by Nick Garcia; all others courtesy of Mike Stake Studio