Designer Crush: Heather Deragon

1. How did you get your start in design?

My cousin is also an interior designer who participated in the 2012 decorator showcase. I visited her and toured showcase, and saw interior design as a real career for the first time. I moved to the bay area soon after to intern and learn from her while going back to school to get my degree in interior design. I worked for several other design firms before starting my own company.

2. Why the decision to start September Studio and what was that process like?

Working for other designers is valuable experience, but I had my own ideas I wanted to implement, both on how to run a company and stylistically. I had potential clients I wanted to work directly with, and it was just a natural next step. All the official paperwork to file can make your head spin, but I hired professionals to help me. I will never forget going to city hall to make it official, it felt very empowering.

3. How has your signature style in terms of design evolved over the years?

I’m always learning about new materials and techniques to apply to design projects. Over time I’ve gained more resources to pull from, and can filter out what doesn’t work. Lately I’ve been focusing on the importance of materials, where they come from, and how products are made. I see pieces of furniture as a story, and appreciate knowing how it began and where it will end up.

4. How do you get to know each client’s unique personality and goals?

We have a lot of in person meetings at the beginning of the design process. I ask a lot of questions, see what they currently own and love, and learn how they spend their time. It’s all about creating the most functional and beautiful space for them to enjoy life in for years to come, so I learn what brings them happiness and comfort.

5. How do you find the specific artisans and builders to work with?

I have a running list that I add to whenever I discover a new company or artist. I’m always researching, reading articles online or in magazines, looking for tagged resources on Instagram or Pinterest. I’m part of a few design networks where we trade information and advice, it’s the best!

6. How has your background in psychology influenced your work?

When I first decided to go back to school for interior design, I was frustrated that I hadn’t considered it the first time around. Now I am so grateful that I have a background in psychology. Working with different types of people and personalities is a large part of the job. I listen well, and apply the information to form design concepts. It’s a lot of problem solving.

7. What are some of the ways you implement eco-conscious practices?

I prioritize sourcing from local artists, fabricators, and manufacturers. I try to support the local community. I also try to select furniture made with materials that are sustainably grown and harvested. I love solid wood furniture since it’s long lasting and durable. I shop vintage as a way to reuse, and look for materials made with recycled content. I try to be mindful of what I’m selecting. Implementing eco-conscious practices extends beyond interior design. I’d like to contribute to the well-being of the earth.

8. Describe your ideal Sunday.

My favorite Sunday mornings are spent with my boyfriend walking along the beach with a cup of coffee. The sound of the ocean is so calming. We call it our morning coffee walks. I might read a book, go for a run, try a new recipe, or do some house or yard work. I enjoy quiet mellow Sundays.

Lightning round!

9. Crossword or sudoku?

Ah! Can I say neither?! I did recently order a few 1,000 piece puzzles that I slowly work on in my free time.

10. Real news or real housewives?

Real news. I listen to the podcast “The Daily” and watch “VICE News Tonight”. With a healthy side of Real Housewives of New York City.

11. Pancakes or waffles?

Homemade pancakes. I love a recipe I found on Valleybrink Road for whole wheat chia pancakes. They are delicious!

12. Hiking or biking?

Hiking. There are so many beautiful coastal trails in the bay area. It’s a nice way to disconnect and breath in some fresh air. My designs are inspired by the outdoors and the simple beauty of nature, so I get out as often as I can.

13. Britney or Xtina?

Britney.