Today, I’m excited to introduce you to a young interior designer, Diana Byrne, of DB Designs, who is making her mark – melding contemporary design into family homes and proving that modern designs can be fun, functional and full of warmth. Diana’s award-winning work has appeared in the WSJ, Luxe Interiors + Design and Serendipty Magazine and she’s just getting started!PPT: Tell us a little about your background and experience in interior design. Was it always your passion?
DBD: I actually started my career as a magazine editor. I worked at Vogue, Allure, Seventeen and YM, so I was always surrounded by extremely creative people in the office, on photo shoots, at fashion shows and scoping out cool new places in New York. I suppose that experience plus being aesthetic in nature translated into home design for me!
I had also taken classes in the city over the years and learned from helping out friends and family, just for fun. My first official project was a large beach house in the Hamptons (probably the craziest way to kick start a business). Since then, I’ve done all residential projects in New York and Connecticut working with clients who have varied tastes and styles, which I love. I’m constantly learning and discovering, whether it’s with my clients, architects, artists, or on adventures searching for treasures.
One of my best friends is also my business partner, Lynn Biase. She handles all the non-design parts of every project and she is absolutely an invaluable part of this job for me.PPT: What elements do you always include in a room you design?
DBD: I definitely don’t have a set of rules. I’d say balance is essential but them again, some rooms need to be thrown off balance to make them interesting. I love to have something in a room that makes people smile, widen their eyes or feel like they’re seeing something they haven’t seen before. I tend to think there should also always be a place in almost every room to sit, feel cozy or have a conversation. Lighting is obviously important, so I always try to take the most advantage of natrual light and address lighting fixtures and placement early on.PPT: Some designers start with a fabric or a carpet…what’s your jumping off point?
DBD: Usually, I first think about how the room is going to be used and the layout – if there is a central focus or purpose in the room, like a fireplace or tv, how to maximize light from windows, if there are any limitations, and whether any architectural elements or woodwork needs to be added or removed. Once the overall structure is set I like to know if we are working around any current art of furniture. From there I usually go to wall finishes, lighting and furniture and then the ball is rolling. I will say however, that sometimes I’m just daydreaming or hunting around NYC and find something I didn’t know I was looking for and that just kickstarts it all from a completely different direction!PPT: If you could design a room/home for anyone…who would that be?
DBD: Love this question! Kristin Wiig or Steve Carell. They make me laugh without saying a thing. And, if they’re busy…then a beach house for my husband. And, then he’d have to share it with me. If you’d like to see more of Diana’s work and learn more about her projects, visit her website.
Thank you, Diana, for sharing your insights and inspiration with us! I can’t wait to see what you dream up next!