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Interior Motives

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(704) 756-8424
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Charlotte, NC 28214
Category: Construction & Remodeling:Interior Decorating Services:Interior Decorators & Designers


Will Smith, 34, can thank his ex-girlfriend for finding his passion, which he turned into a lucrative business for the past 11 years. She was the medium that inspired Will to create beautiful spaces and discover he had a knack for interior design.

A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and African American and African Studies, Will reverted to his college days of studying to become skilled at the craft of interior design. He took some Interior Design Courses at CPCC to better prepare him for the business and what to expect. Self-taught, he focused on learning key concepts of interior design through magazines and books. The basis of his studying was to take a self-assessment of his taste, likes and dislikes, and spatial arrangement. In doing so, he found that he is partial to modern and clean spaces, and he favors the color orange.

Leaving his job in the insurance industry was Wills next step, but not before landing his first client, a co-worker who wanted to have her bathroom redesigned. Up for the challenge, he transformed her bathroom from a sterile hospital white to a spa retreat by painting it a rich olive and plum and adding beautiful trim and accessories to give it a serene feeling. This interior design project validated the start of his design firm, Interior Motives by Will Smith, LLC, which opened in Charlotte, N.C., February 2000.

Will believes the key to connecting with his clients is his ability to judge their taste. According to Will, although a design concept may not be his style choice for the client, it can still be implemented in good taste. He feels that ones taste is timeless, whereas style can change at any time. Therefore, Will encourages his clients to surround themselves with things they truly love, thereby always being happy in the space.

I allow my clients to discover their design wants, the way I learned interior design, explains Will. I give the client my portfolio and magazine, have them show me their likes and dislikes so that I may assess their taste and interpret their style, remembering, that if a space is designed tastefully, it can define the clients style.

The one design secret Will always maintains is to listen. He believes people are telling you their space problems without really saying it specifically. He finds that clients who encounter problems related to space are usually because the design of the space is not laid out for the functionality they are seeking.

You have to listen closely, because a lot of times people are telling you what their design problems are through description. They are trying to describe what they do not like about the space, but what they are really telling me is the space does not function well, and they need it to function better. This is why listening is key.

Self-described normal guy, Will is quite funny and playful, but yet very serious about his craft. He has designed hundreds of spaces for bank executives, lawyers, doctors, successful business owners, and athletes around the country. Some of his most notable clients are renowned author Omar Tyree, Charlotte Bobcats DJ Augustin and Desagana Diop, retired NFL receiver Yancey Thigpen and he also designed the Diddy Event in Charlotte NC for CIAA. Though he has an affluent clientele, he feels everyone can afford some aspect of design. This affordability is based on products being used differently to create new looks. He explains that no design idea is new, so it is important to utilize products, such as paint, fabrics, and textures in innovative ways to offer fresh new looks, citing the example of using leather, once only recognized as upholstery fabric only, for flooring..

Will’s beliefs were demonstrated as a contestant and fan favorite on HGTVs Design Star Season 2. As one of the top three finalists, his favorite challenge was the Dollar Store challenge, where he had to design a room from items purchased from this retailer only. He believes a good designer can go to the Dollar Store and design a fabulous space on a limited budget (But not remommended, lol).

Being a contestant on HGTVs Design Star was exciting, says Will. It was one of the most interesting and intriguing experiences I have ever had in my life. I learned a lot, and am impressed with myself, because I normally do not work under such time constraints and limited budgets. So to know I can produce in a stressful environment and tight budget makes me feel good about my participation and accomplishments. The show allowed me to connect with the average person like me.

He has also appeared on an episode of Discovery Channels Surprise by Design Valentines Day Special, where he assisted hosts Rebecca Cole and Robert Verdi in transforming a Charlotte couples empty den into a sitting parlor and a large formal dining room, which Will designed, into a romantic dining area for two.

I genuinely care about people and want to give them a piece of comfort in their space, so, I am dedicated to finding ways to do this for the masses, says Will.

When Will is not designing he enjoys playing with his miniature Doberman Pinschers Chubbs and Laila, spending time with friends, and visiting new stores and vendors. During his spare time, he often gets inspiration for projects he has undertaken. The Kenansville, N.C. native is single and resides in Charlotte, N.C.

Products And Services

Interior Design
Exterior Design
Retaining Walls
Home Staging
Home Accent Lighting
Reupholstry/Custom Build Furniture
Kitchen and Bath Renovations
Custom Window Treatments
Ponds and Fountains
Outdoor Kitchens

Payment Options

Cash, Checks

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Year Founded


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