Step into Sydney Michuda's thoughtful home and check all chaos at the door. Sydney, a graphic designer and creative entrepreneur from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has created a space with room to breathe. To unwind. To entertain. How does she do it? Turns out, her eye for design on paper nimbly flows to interior spaces.
How graphic design influences interior design
Whether graphic, fashion, or interior, being a designer means living visually. “I’m an extremely visual person,” Sydney says. “My life’s work is dedicated to making the world look better, so it makes sense that I want my home to look better, too. Designers often have a heightened sense of awareness of minute details, like how colors and patterns mix in unexpected ways.”
Room design: Where to start
When decorating a room that’s a blank slate, Sydney always starts big and works her way small. “The sofa, the dining table, the bed—those items are huge focal points and say a lot about your space. If your couch has a mid-century modern element to it, find inspiration in that. Rustic-farmhouse dining table? Lean into it!” It’s all about choosing accent pieces that support the star of the space.
Mixing vintage & new
A waltz around Sydney’s living room reveals a wonderful balance of old and new. “Certain vintage pieces will always be special and in style,” she says. Blush and amber glassware, a well-loved armchair, old books—these pieces add character. “I decorate my space around vintage finds first and fill in the blanks with more modern items later. Bigger purchases are more meticulously planned out, like our sofab couch or rugs. But for the smaller bits, I usually just let them speak to me.”
For walls that sing, Sydney suggests searching for inspiration online before breaking out the hammer and nails. “Gallery walls were super cool a few years back, but I think we’ve moved past that a bit. Not every corner of your space needs to be covered.” When it comes to content, Sydney likes to stay personal. “My husband is an urban planner in Milwaukee, so we have an abundance of Milwaukee-themed artwork and maps. Still, when I see artwork out in the world that I think is pretty dang cool, I buy it and worry about where to put it later.”
“Trends! I love talking about trends,” Sydney gushes. “Not that everyone needs to follow every one of them, but trends are so interesting to consider.” Right now, Sydney feels mid-century style is still going strong. “Sleek sofas with peg legs, coffee tables with hairpin legs, and strategic bold colors—it all helps emphasize the mid-century vibe.” Lately, she sees the trend shifting to include more 70s-inspired boho aesthetics as well. “I love the merge of these two worlds.” Also on the horizon: Maximalism. Colors to consider: Burnt orange, yellows, warm greens, and light pinks. “But with all these trends constantly coming and going, it’s important to keep your interior choices true to you.
An inviting space
What makes a room inviting? To Sydney, it’s something sort of intangible. “The company you keep and the energy you have around you—that makes a place inviting. While I want the look of my home to be visually inspiring, I also want people to feel happy and at ease when they walk through the door. Having a super comfy, but also cute, sofa helps bring it all together.”