Designer Crush: Solomon Mansoor of Straight Designs

1. What’s the origin story of Straight Designs? 
When I first started the company, I began with two “Doing Business As” names. The first was Kinky Designs and the other was Straight Designs. Ultimately, Straight Designs proved to bring more success as a company, encompassing our brand style, and became the only business name that we moved forward with as a team. Our mission to implement and deliver a unique vision for each and every project, through clean and approachable design with calculated embellishment, has been our priority ever since. 
2. What’s the process for getting to know a client? 
When getting to know a client, I first make sure I do my research on the their company as a whole, their projects, etc. The entire Straight Designs’ team follows this similar process as well, pending who is working and spearheading each project. I will then set up an in-person meeting with their team to discuss their business as well as ours, making it a point to engage in a lot of listening, rather than talking in order to really gauge their needs and goals. The next steps are then set from that point forward, conducting follow ups with the client on a regular basis to ensure that we are on the same page throughout the entire design process.
3. How are the renderings created to capture as much detail as possible?
All major details of our team’s conceptual vision are first fleshed out through AutoCAD. This provides the general floor plan, furniture placement, along with a sense of traffic flow. Once this is finalized, furniture, finishes and fixtures are specified through SketchUp – this will eventually be rendered with lighting and textures through Vray and Photoshop. All of these steps are reviewed along the way to create renderings as true to our vision as possible. Ultimately, the goal is to always manifest, but exceed the vision. 
4. How is the company’s process for procuring and shipping furniture?
Our process involves the sourcing of stunning and unique products. We use cost effective fabrication methods to customize each piece in a way that fits our brand’s aesthetic and the design vision of our projects, making each and every piece proprietary. 
5. Describe a particularly memorable project.
As a team, Straight Designs has participated in a wide variety of memorable projects, from rooftop pool decks to versatile clubhouses and more. Each and every project has its own unique process that sets it apart from the others. In 2017, we took on a project at the Mix at CTR in Anaheim, California. The grand focal point of this entire project was the above-ground rooftop pool deck (the first of its kind in Orange County). It was created to replace a lifeless and unimaginative courtyard. This undertaking was the first for everyone involved. It was a marvelous experience to see it from demolition to completion. It has also become one of the key sales tools for the property to attract new residents. In addition, the pool deck has played a huge part of raising the property’s Yelp ratings from an average of 1 star reviews to 5 star reviews! Being able to provide an extreme makeover is what we proudly strive for in every project that we are involved in.
6. What’s your ideal vacation destination and why?
Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta. It’s a resort-style hotel which is the design style that inspires the work that I do. One of my favorite things about it is that almost everything on the rooftop is white!
7. Most influential musical album and why?
It would be ‘Lights’ by Archive, because it never fails to touch my soul. 
Lightning round!
8. Chocolate or vanilla?
9. Netflix or night out?
10. Cocktail lounge or dive bar?
Dive bar. 
11. Rom com or action?

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