Designer Crush Q&A: Anastasia Faiella

Big thanks to Anastasia for taking the time to answer our Designer Crush Q&A!

1. Where do you currently live in CA and what's special about how you've designed your personal space?

I live in Bernal Heights in San Francisco with my husband who is an architect. I got married two years ago and moved into my husband's custom built home. In my previous home, I had free reign to design my space without having to collaborate with a partner. Currently, I have been educating my husband on ways to soften and enliven the minimal look of the home I have adopted (in other words, our home is currently a work in progress!).

2. What's your dream design project? Who would it be for (dead or alive)? 

I would love to design a beach house for my family. Any sandy location would do, but if it just happened to be somewhere in the Cote D'Azure, that would be nice too!

3. In real life, what's your favorite design project you've completed to date?

This is hard! It's got to be a tie between the SOMA Loft project and Eureka Street residence. SOMA Loft was fantastic for many reasons, but the main one is that the client really embraced and trusted the design process I presented to her. She also had a strong interest and love for interior design. Eureka Street Residence turned out to be this really lovely white, light, kinda dreamy design with a hint of glamour. This client, too, had a love for design and textiles! I believe it was a combination of these two details that allowed us to play with so much pattern and texture in the rooms.

4. You've been gifted a fabulously furnished dream home but can only bring one item from your current space. What would it be?

A large-scale abstract painting I did while in grad school at Berkeley. This painting currently hangs in our dining room and to me it symbolizes a sense of calm and tranquility.

5. What's your creative process when designing a space?

I always start with inspiration images. I ask the client to show me pictures of what they love, what inspires them. It's amazing how much I am able to learn about the client's style and design preferences from this simple exercise. I then map out the space with furniture layouts to determine the best furniture arrangement for the room's and client's lifestyle. I then move on to paint color selection. I believe the color of your walls are the foundation of the design, and, just like with painting a painting, it's that first layer of paint that sets the tone, mood, and feeling for what you are creating.

6. Where do you score prized interior design items? Any shopping tips? 

For original art I love Hang Art Gallery, for inspiration and way out there one of a kind pieces Coup D'Etat, Plantation Home, and Anthem SF are fantastic for accessories. And always make a list!

7. Ever had an epic DIY disaster? What project would you never take on again yourself? 

Well... it's not exactly a DIY disaster, but we had just finished putting the finishing touches on our powder room design for the 2009 San Francisco Decorator Showhouse and literally hours before the opening night party I had a call that the toilet overflowed! Not exactly glamorous. Thank goodness for a skilled staff at the Showhouse and an expert plumber - and we were able to get it under control.

Problems arise when you try to wear too many hats as a designer and small business owner. Sometimes you have to know your limits - saying "no" every now and then is actually okay.

8. What new design trend are you excited to integrate into your next project?

I love how fashion inspires interior design. One fashion trend I love to follow is the monochromatic look; the all-black ensemble with just the perfect accent color or piece of jewelry. So why not, for example, carry your wall cover onto the trim, base boards, doors throughout the room or rooms in a home? I am currently specifying one color for the whole room in a project where the wall color will also be painted on a set of built ins that will be used as a banquette or window seats (in a satin finish, of course) with cushions and pillows. I think it's going to look very smart!

9. Lightning round!

Beach or mountains?


Twitter or Facebook?


Architectural Digest or Wallpaper?


Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen?


Would you rather shop new or vintage?

A little bit of both.

Great view or perfect pool?


SF or LA?


10. What's one tip you wish someone had told you when first starting out in the design world?

That the practice of interior design is as much about business as creativity.


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