2020 Customer Spotlight
Samantha Barto is a storage designer for Creative Storage, a custom closet manufacturer in Buffalo, NY. She has been designing solutions for Western New Yorkers’ storage needs since 2011. Samantha graduated from Montana State University College of Technology with an associate degree in interior design. She interned with the architectural firm L’Heureux Page Werner and assisted the design department with making selections. Samantha recently won the closet category of the 2020 Design Inspiration Awards 2017.
Question & Answer Session
Q: When did you start using 2020 Design and what were some of your reasons for choosing that software?
I was introduced to 2020 Design during college. After starting employment at Creative Storage, I showed the owner what I had done with 2020, and she then purchased the software. She saw how 2020 Design had expanded from kitchen & baths into the closet market and liked how it was more component-based and created 3D renderings. The company was previously hand-drafting and using an antiquated 2D CAD program. Our clients had a hard time visualizing what theirspace would really look like prior to 2020.
Q: What are some of the most helpful features you use in 2020 Design and why?
I use the layout feature to print out the details of a design for our production department. They utilize the floor plan and elevations and need all of the dimensions and “important information” to execute a custom closet or cabinetry. Every closet we make is tailored to the user and is completely custom-made. I absolutely love the new virtual reality feature, it is so fun to see clients’ reactions and then they share the link with family and friends. It has been a great selling feature for larger spaces like walk-in closets.
About the Designer
Favorite industry site/blog:
Woodworking Network or almost anything on HGTV
Frank Lloyd Wright
Favorite design style:
“It’s choice—not chance—that determines your destiny”—Jean Nidetch
Q: What has been your experience working with 2020?
My experience with 2020 Design has been mostly learning by trial and error. Since college, it had been a few years of not using 2020. When flex was introduced I had to refresh my skills and learn new skills. Hands-on learning works the best for me. The support personnel at 2020 are great – anytime I have a question or experience a problem they have the knowledge and patience to assist.
Q: What was the inspiration behind the design you submitted for the 2020 contest?
The design I submitted is for a client who is building her dream house and wanted a fabulous and functional closet. Once the latest version came out, her design was one of the first I drew to test out the new features and really make the space pop with lighting, clothing, and accessories.
Q: Describe your creative process. What questions do you ask your clients? Where do you get your inspirations from?
My process starts with the client in their home. I like to see their wardrobe, take an inventory and measurements, because a new closet system is all about maximizing the space. We always say your closet has to be functional first and then to what degree do we make it pretty. I’ll ask them about their daily routine, what is most important to them (i.e., do they have 100 pairs of shoes to show off?), what they love or hate about their current space. I really enjoy space planning and really focus on how ergonomic the end result will be. I carry an iPad with me with examples of our work and we will look through it together to show them some of the possibilities. My inspiration comes from all over, I especially love Houzz and Pinterest.
Q: Do you use any 2020 Decorative Cloud items? If so, which ones?
I’ll pull pieces from the cloud like dresses and shoes to bring a little life to my closet renderings. Iwould LOVE more clothing and accessory items!
Q: What are some of your favorite catalogs to use in your design projects?
I use Flex for closets every day. I also pull items like an adjustable shelf or rod with hangers on it from the sample_c catalog so I can modify the size. I will also use the sample plumbing and room catalogs if I’m working on an office or laundry room.
Q: What guidance would you provide to any designer who is considering 3D CAD tools for interior design?
I would tell someone considering 2020 Design to call support with any questions they may have, and if there are classes offered in your area to attend. 2020 also offers free webinars; I always learn something new listening and following along.
Q: Tell us something unusual that has happened in your career.
This probably isn’t that unusual, but my husband and I recently welcomed our first baby girl on December 7, 2017. I couldn’t resist sharing!
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