The Connecticut-based designer on her affinity for antiques, the therapeutic effects of a good old-fashioned road trip, and why the interior design in “The Graduate” stands the tests of time.
Photos by Genevieve Garruppo
Where are you from?
I’m originally from the San Francisco Bay area.
Where do you live now? Who do you live with?
A lovely post-and-beam house in an old farming town in Connecticut. I live with my boyfriend (and talented furniture maker) Brian Trudeau and our many pets—our dog Luna, our cat Itty Bitty, our goats Angus and Fern, and our sweet chickens Blanche, Dorothy, Rose, and DJ.
What’s your favorite room in your home?
My living room; it came together organically and is a mix of my bold vintage style and beautiful furniture made by Brian.
What inspired you to become an interior designer?
I have always created spaces for myself that others enjoyed. It led to designing sets for independent films and that led to work styling for magazine shoots, so it just naturally evolved.
If you weren’t an interior designer, what would you like to be?
I would love to own and curate a vintage/antique shop filled with distinct and unusual furniture and decor.
Describe your personal style
I would describe my personal style as vintage chic with a hint of boho to keep it relaxed. I am a maximalist at heart and am more comfortable when I am surrounded by loads of unique and beautiful things.
Tell us about your favorite project?
Anything custom—I love the collaboration of creating a custom piece. Designing a side table for a tight space or altering a vintage light. I love being challenged and working together with other creatives to come up with a unique solution.
What was the last thing you Instagrammed?
My last Instagram post was of a color story of my favorite blue fabrics and wallpapers. My last Instagram story was probably of my goats jumping for joy—that is where I allow myself to share pictures of my pets, garden, renovations and maybe a silly selfie if I am feeling fly.
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Where’s your favorite place to travel?
Because I grew up on the West Coast, I am still enjoying exploring my new coast. The East Coast has so much history and such stunning and diverse architecture. I love a good road trip. I find exploring in my car to be therapeutic. When I travel, I always try and find the local antique shops so I can bring home a new treasure.
What is the best interior design advice you’ve received?
The best advice was to understand your client, to really get to know their needs and wants for their project and successfully merge it with my design direction. My goal is to be a chameleon of style, while staying true to my own aesthetic.
Who are your design heroes?
My mentor and good friend, Eddie Ross. I also find so much inspiration from Miles Redd, Nate Berkus, and Ken Fulk to name a few, but the list goes on.
What is your favorite design-on-film moment?
I have so many, but the first thing that came to mind was the sunroom and bar in Mrs. Robinson’s house from the movie The Graduate.
What’s the most surprising part about being a designer?
The amazing connections I have made with my clients. You really become invested in these people and their lives. It’s a special surprise.
If you could save only one thing from your home, what would it be?
A jade box that has my great grandmother’s silk scarf folded in perfect condition. My grandmother kept it in this box since she was a child after her mother passed away, and it is just the most beautiful treasure and it’s a family heirloom.
Inspired to spruce up your space? Get started on your own project with Deanna here.