"It has taken me several designing decades to learn that the true test of an interior design professional is not how much he can spend on a project but rather how much he can do with how little he can spend."
For the past three decades, Sean Michael Waters has been an award winning designer who has thrived in New York City area as a highly creative and dedicated interior design professional. If those decades were to be viewed on a timeline, they would tell a rich story of ambition and a cured passion for what he considers his greatest gift - his limitless creativity.
Creating interiors that are both classic and timeless has been Sean's passion for his entire career. During those years, Sean headed up hundreds of residential construction projects which has afforded him the experience and understanding of what a space truly needs in order for it to be the best possible finished interior. It is this very knowledge combined with Sean's expert ability to implement the use of scale and proportion to every design aspect which makes those completed interiors the successes that they are. Being able to work closely with skilled tradespeople to solve any design challenge has proven time and time again to be one of his greatest strenths.
Sean's design process begins organically with the simple act of listening to his clients. His goal in doing this is to really learn how his clients were functioning within a space and how they would like to do so in the future. This is paramount to the success of any project that Sean is working on. Being able to listen to his clients along with such seasoned design skills as his sharp sense of color, his fearless use of texture and his expert knowledge of both traditional and modern furnishings in todays and yesterday's market.
During a recent NPR Podcast, Sean Michael Waters was quoted as saying that "He is convinced that in order for an interior designer to have success in today's design market they need to possess three key components, those components would be talent, flexibility and integrity. The client of today is not the client of yesterday. They are savvy and they understand what they are looking for. It is the designer's role to both keep himself current and to be open to acclimate himself to the challenges of today's interior design projects."
Sean Michael Waters is a graduate of The New York School of Interior Design. He credits the fine education that he was afforded at NYSID as one of the best there was to be had. His days at NYSID were filled with wonderful lectures by many of his early interior design idols. Some of those influencers were designers such as Billy Baldwin, Valerian Rybar, Robert Metzger, William Haines, Mark Hampton and Mario Buatta just to mention a few.
Sean's professional journey began during his last semester at NYSID. He landed a part time position within the design library of one of the nineteen eighties interior architectural leaders, Kohn Pedersen Fox Conway (a division of KPF). Upon graduation however, he was quick to realize that his heart wasnt really in contract interior design becuase his true passion really was in residential design. He stayed with KPFC while he actively pursued his next employment opportunity.
Just shy of graduation from NYSID he was hired with the small boutique traditional firm of Steven M. Park, Inc. Mr. Park was a firm whose reputation was for highly styled traditional interiors which were quite popular at the time. This wonderful position allowed him to attend and bid at several of the once thriving New York City auction market. More importantly, the his entire tenure with Mr. Park afforded Sean a stellar education in the world of Decorative Arts and Antiques. Having started as a design assistant, after seven years he was leaving Mr. Park's firm as the Design Director.
Having had a taste of success and great desire to really get in the game, Sean chose to actively seek out a coveted position with the busiest firm in New York City well known to anyone in the industry as KA Design Group (formerly Kenneth Alpert & Associates). He landed that position and was soon inducted into the firm which is widely known as the Bootcamp for young interior designers.
It is no secret that Mr. Alpert's work ethic is unprescedented. He works harder than anyone around him and just keeping up with him is part of how one succeeds within his firm. He holds his employees to a high standard and requires your very best every moment of everyday. The experience that Sean was to receive working with Mr. Alpert molded and shaped him into the designer he is today.
To this day, people will still ask Sean what it was like to work at KA which he readily answers "In the beginning, I felt like I was in some sort of Designer's Bootcamp and by the end it felt like I was a member of the Velvet Mafia. However it began and however it ended it was one of the greatest professional experiecnes of my career."
The next and final firm Sean Michael Waters was employed with was the very prestigious AD100 firm of Geoffrey Bradfield, Inc. CNBC named Mr. Bradfield "The Billionaire's Designer" and by no means was that an exaggeration. Maintaining offices in New York, Dubai, Palm Beach and Mexico City was essential in order to provide the caliber of interior design that Mr. Bradfield offered. This high caliber of fine design that is so well documented in several books allowed Sean the opportunity to truly do some of his greatest work. Limitless budgets are what they are for clients but they a very different thing for the creative professional. It allows the designer to open his mind and spread his wings so that he could provide the type of service Mr. Bradfield's clients desired.
Throughout the past three decades, Sean has pursued many creative paths. Some to aid him in his profession and some purely for fun. It is through those very passionate pursuits that he has acquired his expert design skills of which he now offers his own clientele. The designer that he is today is one that can be proud to be called an interior designer, an artist, an upholsterer, a decorative painter, a staging specialist, a writer, a home organizational specialist and a furniture antique finisher.
In 2009, Sean Michael Waters formerly open his own boutique Interior Design firm, Sean Michael Waters Design & Decoration. SMWD&D Primarily specializing in residential interiors, although he has taken many commissions for both Restaurants and Commercial Design spaces.
Sean Michael Waters Design & Decoration remains a fine choice for the client who desires a professional that will bring his three key components to their project - TALENT *INTEGRITY*FLEXIBILITY
During his career, Sean has participated in numerous Designer Show Houses, Holiday Designer Events and Charitable Organizational Events from which he has won several awards. Some of the charities such as, The American Heart Foundation, The March Of Dimes, ChildHelpUSA, Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club, The Junior League and DIFFA are just some of the organizations that he considers an honor to have designed events for.
THE CAREER BEFORE THE "CAREER"
Prior to the wonderful world of Interior Design, Sean Michael Waters was a successful child actor and model. This career spanned from his early adolescence through to his late teenage years. He was a proud member of Screen Actors Guild (SAG) & American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) which both enabled him to book dozens of national commercials, hundreds of modeling print ads, a few bit parts in motion pictures and a very funny skit on Saturday Night Live. His most notable booking however was being chosen to be one of three children on the back of The Cheerios box for the lion share of the 1980's. His relationship with the General Mills Company and their use of the Cheerios campaign in many different venues all over the world - at the end of the day - proved to be the most important of all his bookings.