Sustainable Chic

Blending green design with sleek, sophisticated interiors, Kara Smith creates a beautiful aesthetic-naturally

Written by Danielle Accovelli | Photography Courtesy of Fred Licht

Committed to creativity in all forms, Kara Smith of SFA Design certainly knows how to make a statement, masterfully crafting interiors that are clean and sophisticated yet edgy and chic. A design aficionado, having founded an event planning company and a successful fashion brand, Smith is largely influenced by the past. “I feel like fashion was really helpful in getting my head into current trends and learning how to use vintage items,” she says. “I love it. Right now, I’m pulling a lot of fashions from the ‘80s, when it was really about high-quality tailoring and craftsmanship.”

As an extensive traveler, Smith also blends finds from different countries with her own personal style to create classically modern designs. “My style is ever-evolving because I travel so much. I love seeing new things, understanding what’s trending out there and what the new applications for them are,” says Smith, whose style continually changes. The one constant throughout all her work, however, is the commitment to innovatively infuse her interiors with elements of green design. “I think it’s important to be aware of the earth and your connection with it,” Smith explains. “So I find it really interesting to understand and go beyond what is typically considered ‘green,’ like reusing vintage pieces and antiques or repurposing items.” From basic materials to elegant finishes she employs to adorn her rooms, Smith strives to be sustainable in even the simplest way, pulling marble from local quarries, using indigenous woods and working with craftsmen who don’t import their goods. She finds beauty and inspiration in all that the natural world has to offer and crafts her interiors with minimalism in mind, so that they flow seamlessly with the environs surrounding them.

However, Smith’s dedication to sustainability is never at the sacrifice of creating a bespoke, luxury aesthetic. “To keep interiors chic, they can still be organic, but they don’t have to be woodsy; it’s just about purposing organic materials in luxury ways,” says Smith. “There are a lot of beautiful natural materials that are all-organic, like cotton, hemp and bamboo, and using them really sets a home apart.” Creating interiors that are au courant and interesting requires Smith be resourceful. She seeks out then juxtaposes the best organic products available with plush accents and vintage pieces for a timelessly elegant yet strikingly modern aesthetic. This is, of course, entirely by design. “There are just so many ways of being careful with your footprint that go well beyond recycling, and I always try to put a little of that into my designs,” says Smith. From materials to application, if there is a way of truly infusing green design with a luxury aesthetic, Smith will surely find it. A (naturally) beautiful thing, indeed.

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