Dedicated, Detailed Design

Candice Wideman, owner and lead designer at Youtopia Designs, sheds some light on the hottest trends of 2020.

Edited by Moe Godat

Portrait photography by Colin Miller/Strauss Peyton

Interior photography by Candice Wideman.


SLHL: How did you get into interior design?

Candice: I have always enjoyed interior design from a young age. I remember as a kid constantly switching rooms with my brother and transforming our rooms into a range of different looks. I learned a lot about space planning due to living in nine different homes; my mom would purchase furniture that could work in multiple configurations and also be incorporated into different rooms. If we weren’t moving due to a relocation for my dad's job, it was because my parents enjoyed remodeling and building homes and then selling. The passion for design has stayed with me since, and I can’t imagine wanting to do anything other than interior design. Since graduating from Maryville University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, my ambition for interior design has grown into a successful venture.


SLHL: What have you seen trending so far in 2020? Do you think any of these trends could become a classic?

Candice: Mid-century Modern paired with rich jewel tones is without a doubt going to be a big trend in the St Louis area in 2020. We are also going to start seeing appliances with bold colors in the kitchen paired with a mix of materials incorporated within the cabinetry, such as painted cabinetry and wood accents.


SLHL: Are there any new products that you’re excited to incorporate in your projects?

Candice: I have had my eye on a product called “Click Light” by Studio Knob. It combines lighting and shelves as a functional piece of art and allows the user to interact with it. I’ve been waiting to incorporate this into the right clients' home.


SLHL: What is there to consider when decorating with wall murals?

Candice: Wall murals are the focal point of a room and set the tone for the overall design. Taking into consideration the client's lifestyle, budget, timeframe and overall design aesthetic dictates the type of mural we will source (vinyl / fabric / paper / commercial grade/ etc.) and where we will place them in a home. Once we have established the type of mural, we then choose a paint color to complement the mural. The paint color needs to be an accent color that brings the entire design together.


SLHL: What is an accessory that every home needs?

Candice: A unique light fixture! It can be a wall sconce, ceiling light, table lamp, etc. Light fixtures can create an amazing conversation piece. In addition to the Click Light I mentioned above, the Helios Touch is truly a unique light fixture that can be made in any configuration you want by incorporating multiple pieces, and it is also interactive.


SLHL: Is it important for homeowners to get out of their comfort zone? If so, how do you encourage them to take those steps?

Candice: We believe in the power of “What If?” by combining our expertise to help clients think beyond the ordinary. We’re fully aware that we’re rattling some cages but know that the best work comes from it and the people behind it.


SLHL: What’s the most unique way you’ve overcome a design problem?

Candice: People who obtain interior designers have intricate, complex wishes, and while most clients have the same wants in a design that is one of a kind and incorporates high-quality items, all nationalities have their own culture that shapes their way of life. The United States is a melting pot of numerous cultures and incorporating cultural knowledge and research into my designs allows me to meet and even exceed their expectations. Expanding my education by researching and taking courses to understand a diversity of cultural groups around the globe has strengthened how I design for my clients.


SLHL: How do you take a project from ordinary to extraordinary?

Candice: We have brought together a team of smart, talented thinkers and unleashed their creativity on the world. We pride ourselves on our process, craft and attention to detail. At Youtopia Designs, you will have your dedicated designer who is your main contact. However, all three designers at Youtopia Designs simultaneously work on each others' projects, ensuring that no detail has been overlooked.