An award-winning designer, Angela Rodriguez has worked with some of the world’s top design and architectural firms—and yet her biggest success stems from the creation of her own interior design company, Space as Art. Garnering a local status for her dedication to seeing every space as a form of art, Rodriguez brings out the beauty and potential within commercial and residential projects. SRQ sat down with Rodriguez to discuss the design approach behind Space as Art and what led her to a career in interior design.

SRQ: what has been your most memorable design project? Rodriguez: It would have to be a house on a beautiful lot that slopes down to a huge lake. Capturing the nature and spirit of the place was so different than what we usually do on the Gulf Coast of Florida. It came together so beautifully and we integrated so well with the contractor even though they were up in New York and we were here; it was pretty seamless and everyone had this sense that they were working on a project that was unique.

How do you keep a consistent design approach but still mesh with the needs of your clients? I think what is special about Space as Art is that our design approach really transcends any particular style, allowing us to work with a variety of clients on a variety of projects, and we thrive on variety. Our approach is consistent because of our philosophy that we create space literally as art. One thing we like to say is that we are creating interiors with soul.

What was the moment where you decided to pursue a career in interior design? I always thought as a kid that I would be an artist. I trained in fine arts and was the first person in my family to go to college. With that came a certain amount of responsibility to have my schooling turn into a career and have something to show for myself, so the idea of a struggling artist began to lose its appeal. I started to transition from artist to designer in college when I began taking notice of interior spaces and how they are a form of art. I decided to transfer from my northeastern liberal arts college to Ringling and enter the interior design program there. I loved it and haven’t looked back. 

Can you recall your first design project? My first project was less contemporary than what I was going for as a recent college grad. It was a bit of a shock but a really good learning experience. Right out of school, my perspective was strictly contemporary and nothing else existed in my world. It’s funny to look back on that because I have matured so much as a designer since then. Now I am equally competent in and equally enjoy contemporary, transitional and traditional styles.

What is your dream design project? It would be more about a dream client, rather than a dream project. When you’re working with a client that you connect with and share a mutual trust, it almost doesn’t matter what the project is. I find myself very inspired by the people that we do work for and the lives that they lead; it could make just about any project exciting.