Interior Design – A Fashionable Q&A
In NewsWhistle’s weekly question-and-answer series, Clara Morgan speaks with some of her favorite influencers in and around New York and finds out more about their lives and careers.
This week, Clara speaks with Debbie Travin, founder of New York-based home remodeling and interior design firm DLT Interiors.
Since Debbie grew up in the world of haute couture accompanying her family on business trips to Italy to purchase men’s luxury fashion, she always had an innate sense of style and a keen eye for color. Her early career in the fashion industry led to the discovery of her passion for design and eye for detail in interior design. From then on, her keen sense of style began to grow and turned into a successful career.
Debbie currently lives in both New York City and Miami, Florida with her husband Michael and their three children. When she is not in the Decoration & Design Building (DDB) finding beautiful fabrics for custom furniture, etc she likes to travel, go running in the park or join an early morning yoga class.
Read about design, New York and more in this Q&A…
1. When and how did you first realize that you wanted to work in the industry and business you are in?
It all began when we bought our first home in Westchester, New York. We wanted a large backyard and that was difficult to find in the area. We found a magnificent park-like acre property with a gorgeous custom pool but the house had to be gutted and basically knocked down. After the house was completely reconstructed and we were finished decorating it, my architect took potential clients to see his work. Every person who viewed the property asked who the interior designer was – and that is when I realized that this was my talent and my passion. I went back to school to study at the New York School of Interior Design and started my own business. DLT Interiors has since been awarded “Best of Houzz” top interior designers multiple times. Our goal is always the same, to create a home environment beyond what our clients could ever envision or dream of themselves. Our key phrase is: “Your Life, Your Style, Your Home.”
2. What is a typical day like for you? And what do you like to do on a day off?
My typical day always starts with an early morning yoga class or a run in Central Park. If I don’t have a client meeting scheduled, I usually spend my days in the DDB searching for beautiful fabrics for custom furniture, window treatments, pillows, custom bedding, rugs, etc. for my client projects.
I don’t take many days off, but when I do, I like to travel.
3. What is the next big thing in your industry? What are people doing differently today, compared to 10 – 15 years ago?
People are living much more casually today than they used to. All the rooms in the home are there to use, entertain in, and enjoy with family and friends, in a way that they were not 10-15 years ago.
4. What are your favorite restaurants in New York?
Babbo for dinner – love all their pastas.
Maialino for brunch – their ricotta pancakes are to die for.
ABC Kitchen for lunch – everything is delicious.
5. What are your favorite bars in New York?
Rose Bar – all year long.
Nomad Bar – love the cozy, intimate atmosphere ,especially in the winter.
Catch rooftop – on beautiful summer nights.
6. What are your favorite locations to visit in New York?
Central Park- I cannot live in NYC without Central Park! I find I need to be amongst trees and nature on a daily basis.
The West Village- I love the quaint,tree lined, cobblestone streets and adorable, cozy restaurants with great outdoor seating for amazing people watching!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art – Not only do I love art, I adore all the special exhibits they have.
7. Which events on your annual calendar will you will absolutely not miss?
a. The NY Home Show
b. NY Fashion Week
c. TriBeCa Film Festival
d. US Open
8. What was your best New York moment? Your worst?
My best New York moment was when I did a biathlon in Central Park – biking and running.
The worst New York moment was of course 9/11.
9. Tell us something that people do not know about you.
Most people don’t know that I am an equestrian. I competed on the A circuit riding my show horses in Jr. Hunter and Jumpers from the time I was 9 years old, all the way through college.
10. How would you describe your personal style?
My personal style has always been classic with a modern/trendy twist. I design my interiors the same way. I design for longevity by creating timeless interiors with a modern twist/edge.
11. Who is your style icon? Where do you find your style inspiration?
I’m inspired by all well-known interior designers because each person has their own unique style which I can appreciate and pick up interesting ideas from.
12. Who is your favorite fashion designer, artist, or architect – and why?
My favorite fashion designer by far is Giorgio Armani. He optimizes true luxury and elegance.
I love Monet. His brilliant use of color is extraordinary. His paintings are extremely serene and soothing to look at.
13. Name your favorite… and tell us why:
a. Outfit? Skinny jeans, heels, a classic white shirt, and a fabulous statement necklace with a great handbag and a cool belt.
b. Perfume/Fragrance? I love Bvlgari Roses or Annick Goutal Rose Absolue in the summer and Annick Goutal Vanille Exquise in the winter.
c. Movie? Slum Dog Millionaire
d. TV show? Ray Donovan
e. Book? I have several: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay, and The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory, and my new favorite is Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
14. What is your favorite restaurant in the world? What is it you love about it and what is your favorite dish?
Jean-Georges in Paris – delicious food in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I am a seafood lover, so my favorite is any of their fish entrees.
15. Name your favorite vacation spot and hotel? What makes these places so special?
My favorite vacation spot is definitely Aspen because we can ski in the winters/early spring and enjoy the beautiful summers biking, hiking, and just relaxing by the pool. Aspen is very special to me because we have had many amazing family vacations there. Favorite hotel is the Ritz Carlton Aspen Highlands, where we own a fractional residence which is like our second home.
16. Which three items can you not live without?
Not counting the obvious (my husband – who is my rock and whom I cannot live without and my three beautiful children), I’d say my NARS Orgasm lip gloss which I’m constantly reapplying, my iPhone (I would be lost without it), and my favorite pillow.
17. What song, meditation or mantra can you listen to on repeat? And why?
I love music and especially love anything by Goo Goo Dolls and James Morrison. I don’t like to admit it, but… I like Taylor Swift as much as my daughters do!
18. What are three home accessories that will be fabulous gifts or will brighten up your home?
* Beautiful fashion/home design cocktail books;
* A special unique tray can be used anywhere–cocktail table, buffet, consoles, or vanities;
* A magnificent vase makes a beautiful centerpiece anywhere – fresh flowers of your choice always enhances a room!
19. If you could meet anyone in the world, who would you like to meet? And why?
That’s easy… the Dalai Lama. He has all the answers to living our most genuine, fulfilling, joyous life possible.