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Q+A with Blue Hour Design

Blue Hour Design, Emerald Square, Blue Hour, Dusk

Blue Hour: The hour when anything is possible.

Marking a new chapter in their thriving careers in architecture and interior design, John Day and Kyle Sheffield have launched their new firm, Blue Hour Design. With an extensive list of dynamic projects and collaborations under their belt, the duo have hit the ground running with this new venture, bringing decades of wisdom and experience along for the ride.

blue hour design, kyle sheffield, john day, architects, boston architects

1. What inspired you to found Blue Hour?

Our passion for design and service has always been at the forefront of what we do. Now that we have created a boutique environment, we have more opportunity to actively participate as practicing principals, engaging with both our team and clients, and contributing to the design community. We remain future focused but have benefited from a solid foundation built with the mentorship from exceptional firms and individuals, who provided us with strong design DNA.  We have been able to learn from those valuable past experiences, and continually build upon them, ensuring that we not only maintain but enhance the goal of excellence in design and service.

2. How did you choose the name "Blue Hour” and what does it symbolize in your design philosophy and process?

Blue hour is the hour before sunrise and the hour after sunset. It is often recognized as the most relaxing, revitalizing, and creative time of the day. It is the time when your home wakes you up and sends you out into the world, and the time when it brings you home and embraces you. In those coveted dusk shots of a designer’s work, which happen at the blue hour, you see the marriage of architecture and interior design coming together—it is holistic. Our process is purposefully holistic and approachable. To that end, we did not want to name the firm after ourselves because this new studio is about the team we work with and not just about us. We want others to join and collectively contribute to the design.

3. How many years of combined experience do you have?

50 years. We attended graduate school at RISD together. In the 20 years since, there has been a lot of knowledge gained, laughs had, and lessons learned that we have brought forward to our new studio.

4. How big is your firm?

We currently have twelve on the team, with plans to stay between 15 and 20 people – balancing evenly between architects and interior designers.

5. What are your visions for Blue Hour?

Internally, our goal is to foster a collaborative studio atmosphere where everyone can actively contribute. We want to create a learning culture that promotes growth and encourages individuals to embark on a fulfilling career journey with Blue Hour. We want every team member to feel the same sense of reward that motivates us. As we build our firm, empowerment is key. We want our team to adapt the company's ethos and vision to their unique talents and skills, actively contributing to our collective improvement.

Externally, we not only want to continue working in Boston and the surrounding regions but also work on projects throughout the country. We have many repeat clients, and those projects often take us to the outer reaches of New England, Florida, The Rockies and beyond. This growth broadens our geographical reach and enriches the diversity and complexity of our designs.

6. How do you integrate interior design and architecture within the firm, and what role does collaboration play in the creative process?

The synergy achieved by integrating architecture and interiors in-house has been a pivotal point in our overall design process. Through a more consolidated and deeper conversation, we really hit a stride in the services we could provide and the expression of both our design ability and our clients' vision. We service many other architect’s work with interiors, and we design the architecture for other interior designers, and that is a wonderful thing. It keeps our eyes open to fresh ideas, and it further tunes a collaboration that is tailored for our clients. Within our office, we have both interior designers and architects who know the intricacies of each other's needs. This allows us to navigate the design process from both perspectives, resulting in a holistic and well-informed approach.

7. What type of projects inspire you the most?

As designers, we are always seeking a design opportunity. We always say, “We have style, but not just one” and if you look at our portfolio, there is a wide range. The result is not predetermined, but rather the outcome of client conversations, client direction and the design process. Our clients are looking for something they did not find on the shelf or ready to buy at an open house. To that end, the more engaged the client is, the better the product and experience is going to be for them. Our goal is to find each client’s design goals and empower their design voice, and through a rigorous design process, deliver more than just a house, but deliver a home. That is the ultimate luxury.

8. What are you most excited about in the design world?

Creating timelessness in design. It does not mean it has to be the same every time, it means that it endures. When a design strikes the right chord, it stands the test of time. When a style is preset, the process is not as flexible or exploratory. As designers, we are always searching for a design opportunity. It starts with the client and how interested they are in participating in the design process. The best designs appear effortless and as if they naturally fell into place. It does not look labored, and it looks like it was inevitable. But good design is not inevitable - it takes a lot of work to leave a lasting impact.

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