Raisa Kuddus And Austin Coleman Of First Home Fix Reveal The Inspiration For Their Design Style - Exclusive

Not everyone has the ability to look at a space and clearly envision a better version of it, which is why homeowners are more than willing to pay interior designers for their services. But design is subjective — there are infinite ways of modifying and decorating a space, and no one's going to like all of them. Designers, too, have their own preferences and personal styles, and part of their job is making their style clear to prospective clients to attract those whose tastes align with theirs.

Raisa Kuddus and Austin Coleman, the design and construction team at the center of the new HGTV show "First Home Fix," are a case in point: Their quirky, colorful design sense features creative uses of materials and space as well as personalized touches such as hand-painted designs. In "First Home Fix," in which the pair partners with first-time homeowners on budget-friendly renovations, their ability to think outside the box enables them to create high-impact design solutions without breaking the bank. In an exclusive interview with House Digest, they shared their creative process and design inspirations.

Their hobbies and lifestyle inspire their design sensibilities

For Austin Coleman and Raisa Kuddus, design is personal, and much of their inspiration comes from their surroundings and their favorite experiences. "A lot of our designs are definitely lifestyle oriented," Coleman said. "We live and work in Southern California, and there's a lot to draw from, from the mountains to the beach. We spend a lot of time on the coast. I'm very active with what I think people describe as lifestyle sports, so there's a whole culture centered around surf culture and skate culture, like the sand and the water."

This doesn't mean, however, that they always lean toward beachy designs. Instead, these influences have evolved into something richer and more distinctive. "A lot of our style has been described as bohemian and eclectic, and that's really representative of the life we actually live," Coleman said. 

Kuddus agrees. "We do have more of a boho, eclectic style where it's based on our travels and memories of things we've done, but it's also largely based on nature," she said.

Their creative process is built around their clients

While Raisa Kuddus and Austin Coleman have their own distinctive style, what matters most for their projects is what their clients want. They are mindful to take the time to fully understand this before embarking on their projects.

"We started off with a creative brief where I asked them a lot of questions, not only about their home, but about their personalities," Kuddus explained. "Those really intimate questions can help me figure out what kind of person they are, which helps me figure out what kind of design style they need. So then we work on mood boards, go back and forth, and then we all decide together that this is the direction we're heading towards, and that makes the whole process a lot easier."

A critical part of the process, Coleman added, is getting to know their clients as people. "We end up spending a lot of time with the clients, everyone, we get to learn their personalities, and that really helps a lot with the design, to really understand, because sometimes it's hard to understand what a client wants just from asking questions or having them fill out a questionnaire, and a lot is pulled from the social time and interaction we get to spend with them through the whole thing," he said.

"First Home Fix" airs Saturdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.