Vanessa Rome is an interior designer based out of New York City. Originally, the New York University graduate pursued a career in the film industry. It was upon a job in Marrakesh, Morocco that Rome discovered her passion for design. Upon the completion of redecorating her family home in Sag Harbor, in 2013, a company was born.
What draws you to Moroccan design?
I just love the architecture, the colors, and the smells. Moroccan architecture has elements of African, Islamic, French, and even Art Deco influences. I love the patterns on the tile, the domes, the lavish doors, the mosaics, the lush gardens.
The first time I went to Morocco I was so overwhelmed by all there was to buy in the Souk I came home with lanterns, rugs, poufs, even wooden backgammon boards from a seaside town called Essouria. I couldn’t get enough.
When did you decide to start your own interior design company?
Looking back, I think I first realized that I loved interior design when I was living in my first apartment in Los Angeles and had to furnish it by myself. I loved the whole process, even though it mostly consisted of IKEA and finds from the Pasadena flea market.
After marrying my husband, Todd, we bought a house in Bridgehampton, hired a designer he had worked with in his past, and I ended up filling in all the rooms he started, using a friend’s resale number so I could open accounts!
Once we sold that house and bought land in Sag Harbor, my husband handed the whole project over to me and I designed it from the ground up. That’s how Vanessa Rome Interiors evolved. That was 2013.
What has been your most successful moment thus far?
Less than two years into having my own firm, I received a call for what turned out to be my biggest moment of success. I was hired to do a ground-up build of a 12000-square-foot home in Southampton. I was involved from the start and picked all of the architectural details, as well as the furnishings. It was such an amazing, hands-on learning experience. The clients were a pleasure to work with and are now friends.
What locations do you primarily work in?
For the past few years, most of my work has been in the Hamptons but I also do a few apartments every year in the city. Right now, I am just starting to work on two new projects, one in Water Mill and one in Southampton, while wrapping up some smaller projects in NYC.
Describe your creative process.
When I walk into a home, it just speaks to me. In a sense, it tells me what I need to do. From there, I ,of course, speak to the clients to find out what their vision is for their home. I keep folders of furniture, wallpaper, lighting etc., that I love so I always have that as a go-to when I am starting a room. Once I know the vibe we are going for, I usually start with that one must-have item and build around it. The rest just sort of happens.
What is your favorite room to decorate?
My favorite room to decorate tends to be the family den. I normally gravitate towards a soft, serene palette but in the family den, I feel like I can let myself experiment more with color. I like to go dark and cozy. If it were up to me, every project would have that one room with lacquered walls in a daring color.
What’s the Vanessa Rome signature touch?
People tell me all the time that they can now spot my work, which is amazing to hear. However, I don’t always see myself as having one specific style. Each home, and each client I work with, has its own unique attributes which sets the tone on a project by project basis.
My style tends to focus on more neutral, textured spaces that are calm in feel. Busy, colorful rooms stress me out and I don’t like clutter. My designs tend to have clean lines, soft colors, and several pieces that are unique. I’ve never been a trendy person and I feel that when I design a space I gravitate towards the classic. Something that my clients won’t get tired of.
What do you enjoy about the East End?
Our family home in Sag Harbor is my refuge. I love spending summers there with my kids doing all the simple things like shopping for our lunch at the farmers market in Sag Harbor, getting an ice cream at Olaf’s, and watching the sunset over dinner at the Beacon. Every summer, my husband asks me to travel and I always say the same thing, “The season is too short. I don’t want to leave.”
Visit www.vanessaromeinteriors.com or check out her Instagram @vanessaromeinteriors for more.