Anna Farrell
User Experience Design
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Farrell & Daughters

Farrell & Daughters

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The Project: Farrell & Daughters Holistic Design Studio
Key Bits: Interior Design, Design Thinking, Holistic Design
Role: Founder / Director of Holistic Design

The Problem:

Despite innovations in the interior design space with companies like Homepolish and Havenly, and even the sheer availability of furniture and finishes and design opinions on the internet, I felt like something was missing. What I was seeing from these designers was still all form and very little function. Spaced designed for instagram, not for human beings to live their messy lives in. I felt like I could help.

Developing the Farrell & Daughters Approach:

Like every job I’ve ever had, I started charting my own course without totally knowing where I was going or following a blueprint. I was, after all, trying to create something that didn’t exist yet, both as a design service and as a company I’d want to work at and grow for the foreseeable future.

It started in 2015 when I was working at AnalogFolk running their UX team in New York. We were moving into a new office and I volunteered to design the space. I had enough knowledge to get started, but I started to research to fill in the gaps. Looked to pros like Google and IDEO to see what they had to say about designing spaces for creative teams. Took a UX approach, really, defining the problem, my users, zones of activity, and finally the finishes. What was a creative outlet for me turned into the realization that designing physical spaces wasn’t so different from designing digital ones; that bringing my UX background to this line of work would be a different way of thinking. I wasn’t just trolling catalogs and trend forecasts to give people pretty spaces, I was marrying form and function to create spaces that truly allowed their users to be their best selves.

And so started my approach that would become Farrell & Daughters

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Design In Three Parts:

My design approach now lives at the intersection of three elements:

  1. People first — I’ve spent many years as a UX designer, where the one-sentence job description is “consummate user advocate”, so it’s no surprise this is central to my interior design approach. I start with the people that spend time in the space and what they do, feel, want, and value. If we’re not meeting those needs, then it doesn’t matter if the vintage rug I found is absolutely amazing. Good design solves problems.

  2. Holistic Empowerment — In 2019 I completed a course to become a certified holistic health coach. This knowledge translates into my role as a co-creator of the spaces I’m designing with my clients. I’m an expert in some things, but no one knows what will work better for a client and their life than that client. Empowering my clients to make informed choices and considering design challenges from every angle (even wellness ones) is the lifeblood of Farrell & Daughters

  3. Make Things — I grew up in a very DIY family. A lifetime of weekends spent helping my parents paint or hang drywall or build furniture ingrained in me an ethos of working with my hands, and making things for my spaces. Whether it’s a 14 foot long bar for an office space (seriously), or an outdoor dining table, my first instinct when considering the possible solutions for a space is “can I make this myself?”. It opens a world of possibilities and gives an entirely different critical eye to the value of bought pieces. Plus it’s a pretty badass feeling giving a client a totally unique piece handmade by a woman.

Continuing to Grow & Evolve:

Farrell & Daughters is still a baby business, but I’m so happy with the way it’s growing and evolving. Check out the website & Instagram to follow along with all the latest projects and thinking.