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Life & Work with Matthew Boland

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matthew Boland.

Hi Matthew, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers?
I began my journey working for Jim Harris at J.W. Harris Inc. He mentored me for almost a decade from the beginning of my internship to my very last day. He encouraged me to always be a visionary in my design process. In 2005 I was turning 30 and I was ready to open my studio and start my next chapter.

17 years in my own practice has gone by in a blink and the ride from intern to principal has been an exciting and very rewarding ride. I currently have jobs nationwide and an amazing team that supports me. We create worlds for our clients to live in and enjoy that is as public or private as each client chooses. No two clients are ever the same, so every project has a unique aesthetic and program.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
No journey is ever smooth. There are bumps in the road and speed bumps along the way but as the driver, you always have the ability to manage how you react and navigate each unexpected turn or twist. It could be an unexpected site condition or an attitude of a team member.

It could be a flaw in something that you have worked so hard to make as perfect as possible. The truth is that nothing is perfect. In fact, everything and everyone in your orbit is perfectly flawed and that’s what makes the road interesting.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I tend to attract people who have been told that they have bad ideas or that they are difficult or expect too much attention or time. These are the same conditions that I am also most attracted to. Design is all about relationships and if you don’t take the time to get to know someone, how can you create a world that they real comfortable with or a world that others can clearly identify as that client, personified into a living space? I love a passionate client that has a unique perspective or sense of style.

I also love a client that has no idea what their personal style is and we work through evolving that client’s confidence and eye. Everyone has their own unique style and flavor but not everyone is bold enough to share it with the world around them. My proudest moments are when my clients are complemented by their friends or acquaintances on how their spaces feel and look like them.

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
I enjoy apps and the digital side of how I resource but I more enjoy the adventure and the resource of travel. A client cannot always abstractly envision or image space or a feeling but if you drop them into a space or a culture that reflects what you are trying to convey they always get it right away. Travel creates permanent memories while an app or a two-dimensional image is often lost in the sea of images that we wade through every day.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Website:
  • Instagram: @mmbstudioinc
  • Facebook: MMB Studio

Image Credits:

Joe Cotitta Alise, O’Brien Photography, and LLC Hunter Kerhart

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