Today Ted speaks with Tony Sutton, who since 1984 has been the Owner and President of Est Est, an award-winning interior design company based in Scottsdale, AZ. The firm was established in 1959 by William Benner and Pat Maas and is the oldest of the interior design companies in Scottsdale.
Listen in as Tony highlights the difference between a decorator and a designer and how to get the most out of a great interior designer from the very beginning of a project. To him, what separates the good from the great in the industry is a striving for uniqueness and legacy in every project.
In a similar vein, Tony believes in setting realistic expectations with clients—and then working to exceed them. Going above and beyond what’s expected comes down to thinking out of the box and surrounding oneself with extraordinary men and women that fill in the gaps with their strengths.
Tony looks back over almost three decades of experience in the industry, sharing how the Arizona market has evolved over time, his thoughts on the future of interior design, and his love for America and the endless opportunities the country still presents to those with a dream.
- [02:41] From mechanical engineering to interior design
- [04:12] How to educate clients as an interior designer
- [16:09] What Tony learns from his ultra-wealthy clients
- [26:31] Creating a diverse portfolio and hiring the right people
- [41:24] The fine line between success and failure
- [46:51] Thinking out of the box when designing spaces
- [50:13] Psychology and interior design
- [53:54] Tony on his wife’s firm
- [57:08] What Tony is most proud of
- [1:01:26] The American Dream, according to Tony
Connect with Guest
Key Quotes from Episode
- I always strive for delivering a high perceived value for what the investment is in a project. That’s when you know you’ve done something successful.
- It’s one thing to do it nice. It’s another to create something unique. You have to create memories with your projects.
- How do you manage client expectations? You give them realistic expectations—but then you have to exceed them.
- The key to my success is surrounding myself with the right people with the right heart
Est Est Inc.
Est Est Inc. is composed of ASID, NCIDQ-certified interior design professionals and support staff, who offer a rich mixture of ideas tempered by comprehensive experience. As a full-service interior design company, we offer the full range of services you would expect from a top-ranking firm. Well-recognized for our detailed material specification manuals and comprehensive design drawings, Est Est designers strive to be the finest in their discipline. With our own CAD department and plotting capabilities, we are able to handle every aspect of a job in-house.
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