Designer Crush Q&A: Geoffrey De Sousa


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

I recently sold a modern home I had built for myself here in SF up in Clarendon Heights with lots of glass, amazing views, stacked stone and walnut. Right now I’m completely changing gears and I’m renovating an 1874 Italianate Victorian Row House in Pacific Heights. It’s a total three-floor renovation and digging out a garage. I’m working with Architect Lorissa Kimm and we are giving the house and updated modern look but still paying homage to the classic SF home it is. I’m hoping to move in later this summer.

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

To work on Casa Encantada in Bel Air. It would be amazing to bring this incredible home back to it’s original grandeur and return all 200+ custom pieces that T.H. Robsjon-Gibbings designed for the home back in the mid 1930’s. Unfortunately, they were all sold off in the 1980s. I’ve been fascinated by his work for years.

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

I would have to say my first project in Manhattan. It was a wonderful apartment in an Upper West Side high rise right off the park, it had been owned by Grace Mirabella’s mother. I was in my 20’s and thought i knew everything… boy, was I in for a surprise. Dealing with the co-op board, a New York contractor, his subs, and an absentee client forced me to make quick decisions. It was an amazing learning experience. I hear from the client from time to time and she always tells me how happy she is to return home.

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

Well I have two arms so I’m filling them both! Under one arm is my John Dickinson plaster table that always makes me smile. Under the other arm are all of my irreplaceable family photos 

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

Well I truly love the interior architecture of a space, making a room work, flow, focal point, drama…I tend to see the room completed when I walk in. I then love to really be in the space alone, get a feel for it….After that the scouring of books, on-line searches and the Pinterest board begins. 

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

Well I’m a design junkie. Whatever city or town I’m in, I’m always on the hunt and if I’m feeling lazy or sitting on a plane, is the best furniture porn on the web!

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

Well, it wasn’t a disaster but a few years ago, when I first bought my weekend house Palm Springs, I decided to lay new new rock throughout the yard. I mean how tough could it be? OMG 100 degrees, one cheap wheelbarrow, a shovel, and a rake… it was back breaking work. NEVER AGAIN!

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

I’m not a huge lover of trends. Whether modern or traditional, good design can hold its own for the years to come. I’m going through a bit of a lacquer phase at the moment, either on furniture, walls or, best of all, on ceilings!

9. Lightning round! (pick one)

Beach or mountains?   Beach

Twitter or Facebook?   Facebook

Instagram or Pinterest?   Pinterest

Architectural Digest or Wallpaper? Elle Decor

Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen? Kitchen

Would you rather shop new or vintage? I can’t chose! I own a showroom,  so new. Or maybe vintage… no new. I just like to shop.

Great view or perfect pool? View

SF or LA? SF

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

It’s 10% design and 90% paperwork and follow through!


Want more Geoffrey?

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