Nathan Orsman: Founder of Orsman Design

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Nathan Orsman is a contemporary leader in both interior and exterior lighting design. His ability to sculpt with light allows him to create intrigue in otherwise unprovocative spaces which truly sets him apart from those in his field. His intuitive talents invoke the desire to approach spaces creatively while retaining their functionality. The past 10 years has allowed him to work with esoteric clients on stimulating projects that have given him the reputation he has today in the lighting community. Australian born, Orsman’s proclivity for lighting and uncanny ability to nurture the clients’ expectations set the stage for an enchanting design process and a gratifying result.

How did you get into the lighting design industry? 

When I moved to the United States 16 years ago I just fell into it. I started working for another lighting design firm in NY and it all grew from there. I opened Orsman Design 6 years ago.

Tell us about Orsman Design. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company? 

What inspired me to start Orsman Design was the ability to go out on my own and have full creative control.  My overall vision is to continue to grow with new offices and staff but to always remain focused on residential, retail and hospitality design.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

I’m seeing much more contemporary, modern architecture.  This trend is great for Orsman Design because the more modern a home, the more lighting details.  The projects become more intense so we’re innately more involved.

Life Motto?   

Do what you love and everything will fall into place.

Your greatest success as Founder of Orsman Design? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

My greatest success is becoming a champion in the business and working on amazing high profile projects like the renovation of the Sherry-Netherland in NYC.  I’m also honored to have worked with some of the top interior designers and architects in the US.

The most difficult moment was starting a business on my own.  It takes a while to get traction in the industry.  A lot of my projects have over a two year long construction schedule so that lapse can be a challenge when you’re trying to grow and build your name.

Your advice to an aspiring lighting designer?

Stay out of my way!  j/k - stay focused and work hard.

How do you motivate your employees? 

The passion we have at the firm is a big motivation.  I also feel it’s important for my team to be well compensated - give credit where credit is due.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose? 

Buffalo chicken balls with blue cheese dressing from Round Swamp Farm - my guiltiest pleasure! And Peach Iced Tea.

What literature is on your bed stand?

Every major design magazine - Elle Decor, Interior Design, Architectural Digest etc.

Role model - business?

In Business it would be interior designer Steven Gambrel and architect Ed Hollander.  I truly admire their businesses and dedication to their craft.

Current passion?

My passion outside of work is always to travel.