Sroka Design


Since 1987, Skip Sroka of Sroka Design, has been designing inspired interiors for Washington DC’s elite. All politics aside, Skip wants people to know that he has chosen DC for his home and full service interior design firm—finding the city full of interesting, gracious and well educated residents. We spoke with Skip recently to ask him more about his design approach and what the future holds in store.

HF: You have been designing interiors in the Washington DC area for over 30 years. How would you define your design style and how has it changed over the years?

SS: My design style is client and site specific—after educating myself about the project, I ask myself, “what is appropriate”? The design ultimately needs to express the client’s dreams and allow for gracious living and entertaining.  I work with a large range of design styles, from French Neoclassical, Country House, Day-at-the-Beach, to Urban Contemporary. Time dictates my style as well. Like with most things, there is an evolution. I focus much more today upon sustainability and technology.

HF: How do you begin the process of working with a client?

SS: I ask to meet them wherever we can get the most done. Perhaps the house we are renovating, maybe the building site, so we can take the environment into consideration, or sometimes my office, where we can pour over the blueprints together. It’s essential to figure out where we can learn the most in the least amount of time.

HF: What are some of the design challenges you’ve faced recently and how have you addressed them?

SS: I’m saddened that there seems to be less qualified tradespeople than decades ago—less young people are going into a trade. I’m very close to a small handful of artisan wallpaper hangers, carpenters, plaster artists and faux finish painters who are dedicated to their craft. Work ethic, honor and pride in the job done, are values very important to me.

HF: How has Hubbardton Forge come to be included in your projects?

SS: I have chosen Hubbardton Forge for lighting when my clients want a ‘high-touch hand’ in the aesthetic of their home. It provides a sense of hand-made quality and great design. One such project I worked on for a family, required their home to incorporate beautiful design and accessibility. One side of the home was designed for their daughter, who has cerebral palsy, the other side for the parents. The entire residence needed to provide the freedom to travel easily throughout. There could be no rugs used, so we had intricate wood inlay created to enhance the flooring and divide the rooms—specifically in the parents’ study and the dining area. The Aura Pendant was the perfect simple element needed for the study, echoing the inlay pattern on the floor; and the Sweeping Taper Chandelier gracefully filled the void between the vaulted ceiling and the large dining room table below.

HF: Is there a particular project you are working on now that really excites you?

SS: Asking a designer that, is a bit like asking a parent, ‘which child is your favorite”! I’m very excited about a large condo rejuvenation project we are working on in the DC area—The Colonnade. It has Mid-Century Modern architecture and is based upon a hexagon. We want to celebrate the surrounding gardens and update the building without alienating the people who live there. Our goal is to create real estate that will be embraced by the community.

HF: You have received many prestigious awards and accolades for your work. Is there one that you are the most proud of?

SS: I am most proud of winning the ASID/Southern Accents Interior Design Contest some years back. The design I created for the room is still relevant today. The following year, I was a judge for the competition—I met some wonderful designers and it was an extremely rewarding experience.