Designer Crush: Carolyn Rebuffel


1. Who is your biggest role model?

Audrey Hepburn.

2. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?

As Good As It Gets or The Other Boleyn Girl or Marie Antoinette or the series, The Tudors.

3. What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project? 

I often ask clients during the interview phase or at the beginning of a project: “Give me three words that describe your finished project.” This always helps to understand the client and their objectives.

4. What new design elements are you excited to integrate into your work? 

Technology and all that it offers. The trend of combining different materials in one piece – concrete and wood, brass and marble… 

5. How do you completely unwind?

A glass of wine on the patio with my husband, talking about our day.

6. If you hadn’t become a designer, which career would you have pursued?

Marine Biology.

7. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why? 

Working in a pizza takeout shop in college — I constantly burned my arms taking pizzas out of the oven.

8. What’s your favorite recipe?

Grandma’s cheesecake: 

  • 1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 C melted butter
  • Combine and press into springform pan, cake pan or pie dish
  • Bake unfilled crust at 375 degrees F for 5-6 minutes. Let it cool.


  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 12 oz cream cheese 
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Combine all four ingredients and blend well in an electric mixer.
  • Pour into cooled crust. Sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees F.
  • Cool.


  • 1 1/2 C sour cream
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • Blend all three ingredients.
  • Pour over cooled cheesecake.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 5 minutes.

9. Create your perfect playlist for us.                                                    

10. Who is your designer crush?

Thomas Jefferson

Lightning round!

11. Would you rather shop new or vintage?

I love shopping vintage but right now, clients are more interested in new.

12. First celebrity crush?

Sean Cassidy.

13. What’s your hidden talent?

Marine biology.

14. Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?

For dress-up date night, Kokkari in San Francisco is a huge favorite but for wrapping up the end of a week, Rocco’s pizza in Walnut Creek is awesome and one of my weaknesses is being unable to resist their fabulous pizza.

15. SF or LA?

SF. Duh.

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