Designer Spotlight: The Modern Farmhouse Feel of De Risi Designs

Photo Credit: De Risi Designs

This month, we sat down with Dara De Risi of De Risi Designs for an enlightening conversation to learn how her early career as an MTV wardrobe stylist crossed over into her love for fabric and textiles—ultimately launching her into the world of interior design!

Get ready for an inspirational story and discover how her adaptive design styles and love for comfort and color have elevated the homes and lifestyles of her clients.

One-on-One with Dara De Risi


Q: From a stylist at MTV to interior design, it sounds like you’ve always loved the creative process. And, from looking at your home designs, there’s no doubt you have an incredible eye! Tell us a little about what led you to ultimately choose a career in interior design?


I have been in some version of textiles from the very beginning of my career. After commuting to Manhattan for 13 years, I decided shortly after 9/11 and the blackout that my quality of life was not what I wanted it to be. I had to figure out something that would save me from my daily commute into Manhattan and the travel that my job at the time required. Believe it or not, my first design job was working at a carpet and flooring showroom! I fell hard for the interior design business instantly and from that moment, I planned all of the steps that would get me to where I am today.

Q: What would you say is your interior design style? Do you like to mix and match different styles?


As a designer, I have to mold myself into whatever esthetic my client dictates. However, I personally have jumped on the “Modern Farmhouse” bandwagon! I love the blend of neutrals with pops of color. I love mixing modern and rustic elements, too. I appreciate every design style and have created homes spanning from traditional to modern—and everything in between!

Q: Do you have a signature touch that you use in every project?


It’s hard to leave a notable mark on every project. There are clients that are not as daring as others. I love to add a quirky element to every house if the client allows! It can be anything from a light fixture that may spark a conversation one day or even put one tile in a bathroom or backsplash that is different from the others. I do not think I am predictable as in—“Oh, Dara did this house, you can tell”—but I hope that works in my favor.

Q: What are your feelings on using color and patterns in home design?


Color is the new neutral! I love using color and pattern. I also love mixing patterns that may not seem to work together, but then as the project starts to come together, it all makes sense.

Q: What is a trend right now that you fully embrace? What is a trend that you think should retire?


One trend I am on is the color green. I have embraced it with my whole heart! There are so many shades to work with. You can use the color green in any style of home and it always looks elevated, rich, and sophisticated.  A trend that needs to retire is the overloaded dining room breakfront! There is vintage and then there is outdated. Two very different ideas!

Q: Name three things you consider must-haves for a family room everyone will love.


A few things a family room must have are games. I am not talking about your boxed childhood type of games. I am talking about a beautiful wall hung chess set or a handmade wooden Tic-Tac-Toe board. I think providing easy access to games is a necessity. If they are out of sight, they are out of mind!

Another must have in a family room is comfy seating. I love the use of oversized sectionals and comfortable but stylish accent chairs. Comfort is key in a heavily used room where family tends to gather.

Lastly, a family room has to have lots of pillows. When there is an overflow of guests, just grab a big down pillow and lay on the comfy area rug!

We hope you enjoyed our conversation with Dara De Risi. Whether it inspired you to venture out of your comfort zone and try blending modern and rustic elements in your home or adding a touch of green to your décor, we are here to help you design the room of your dreams. And who can resist the temptation to use more pillows?

We invite you to visit our showroom to explore the many design options that are available. You can either schedule an appointment or walk-ins are always welcome. We look forward to seeing you!

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