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Asisat Edu on what “design” means, designing for small spaces, and her project on the D.C. interior design tour.


portrait of designer Asisat Edu of DIH Designs, wearing head scarf, white blouse, leather jumper

Asisat Edu, principal interior designer, DIH Designs. Photograph courtesy DIH Designs.


GRAY has been a super fan and media partner of Modern Architecture + Design Society (MA+DS) since their—and GRAYs—founding in 2011. MA+DS does modern architecture home tours across the U.S., and now for the first time, we are collaborating on a series of interior design-focused tours.


Through this project, we met Asisat Edu, founder and principal interior designer at DIH Designs. Her project on the Washington D.C. area tour is a stunning renovation of a former home hair salon turned short-term rental that is filled with small-space solutions without sacrificing style... in fact, the home now gives off a warm, luxury hotel-like vibe. You can meet her in person at the tour this weekend (details here). In the meantime, she is a guest on our 3 Questions for...series:



GRAY: 1. What is your definition of “design”?

Edu: Design is both an art and a science, a process that starts with attentiveness and concludes with intentionality. Whether its understanding the clients requirements or the demands of the space itself, one must be mindful of the elements that elevate it: scale, color, mood, functionality, and concept. Once these aspects are harmonized, design must be intentional and purposeful. This creates depth and meaning.


luxurious living room with tall windows, white sheer curtains, white curved sofas, two marble coffee tables


2. What is your favorite part of the project featured on the tour?

Our use of the space! The space is 700-square-feet and it only had one bathroom. My first thought was How am I going to maximize the space? 


primary bedroom with canopy bed, modern yarn art, blush walls, modern pendant light, looking over bed into bathroom

DIH Designs created an open-concept primary bedroom and bath in the home featured on the Washington D.C. area interior design tour.

The layout was key and creating the illusion of a larger space was something I knew had to be done. Reconfiguring the primary bedroom, for example, was a challenge. We took what used to be storage space underneath the stairwell and a closet to create an open-concept primary bedroom and bath. I took some space from the secondary bedroom to create a closet for the primary bedroom. Or take, for instance, the pantry. We closed off what used to be the stairway leading to the upper unit and added cabinets and shelves. Also, knowing that there is sometimes space behind walls, we created niches in the kitchen for spices, seasonings, and décor items. Ultimately creating a two-bedroom, two-bathroom oasis that my client calls The Tulum of Hyattsville. 




3. Tell us about some standout features of other projects you’ve worked on.

Lately, weve fallen in love with turning dead spaces or spaces simply used for storage into usable fully functioning spaces. We designed a 1,500-square-foot basement in Bowie, Maryland, last year and turned the space under the stairway into a wine/beverage cellar. We converted a narrow passageway of a home we designed and decorated in Frederick, Maryland, into a study. Or the one time we turned a coat closet into a nook area with a bench and shelving. 


hallway in luxury design house with open shelving, built in desk, powder blue sofa, slate blue accent chairs

Bonus question:

Do you have a secret talent or hobby?

Besides design, I really enjoy teaching. I recently launched DIH Academies, a program to help aspiring designers jumpstart their careers. I've taught Interior Design as an elective course to high school students and often take in interns and mentees.



 

2024 Interior Design Tour schedule

Washington D.C. area: April 6, 2024. Tickets available here.

Houston: April 27, 2024. Tickets available here.

Seattle: June 8, 2024. Ticket info posted here when available.

San Francisco: June 29, 2024. Ticket info posted here when available.

Portland: September 21, 2024. Ticket info posted here when available.


To submit your project for tour consideration, click here.

To inquire about sponsoring the tours, write to us at advertising [at] graymag.com.

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