Patrick Planeta, BIND ’00, is on the fifth floor of Boston’s John Hancock building, walking around the shell of a corporate office space. The walls are bare, floors concrete, space open. At least that’s what most people would see. Planeta, on the other hand, has an instant vision of what the space might become— only not for himself, but for his client.
“You have to realize you’re not designing your own home or office,” he says of his role as an interior design architect. “It’s not about what I want; it’s what my clients want. My job is to interpret that through my creativity.”
Planeta’s architecture and design firm, Planeta Design Group, handles everything from interior drawings and building codes to millwork, painting and wallpaper, furniture, and lighting.
When asked what his design is best known for, his answer does not reference a certain color palette or design scheme. “Really phenomenal attention to detail,” Planeta says. He particularly enjoys how materials connect and react to one another when they’re placed together. “It’s about creating a sensory experience,” he explains.
This attention to detail varies from client to client, and can make for a somewhat “inconsistent” portfolio. But that doesn’t bother Planeta.
“At first people can’t understand why I don’t have a certain look throughout,” he says. “It’s because I listen to clients and understand what they want. Good design shows 90 percent client personality and 10 percent where I push and bump it to the next level.”
Planeta’s career path—from CBT Architects to Planeta Design Group to being recognized as “the hottest emerging talent in residential design in New England” by New England Home magazine—circles back to a childhood surrounded by art and creativity. It’s one reason he serves as chair of Artists for Humanity, an organization that introduces under-resourced urban youth to art and design, which is then commissioned by clients.
“Art is a powerful medium that goes well beyond the pieces that you create,” Planeta says. “This program helps develop positivity and foster teamwork. Recognizing that you have to show up for work, and that people want to buy your art, can be life-changing.”
— Kristen Walsh