New York-based interior designer Vanessa DeLeon describes her design sensibility as “glamilistic,” combining streamline with minimalism to result in both richness and glamor. Her art deco styling is rooted in cultural composition from her Cuban heritage, and she’s always a step ahead of trends. She draws inspiration from many things, including walks through New York City, people watching, museums, architecture, trips to Paris and Italy, new restaurants, and new hotels.
Beginnings and Career Path:
DeLeon found her passion for home decor at an early age, designing for customers in her family’s furniture business. In an interview with Freshome, she says, “I lusted over the field of interior design, and loved the idea of breathing new life into a room.” Immediately after graduating from New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, she landed a job designing window displays for Ralph Lauren, but high demand for her services compelled her to return to her family’s business to design full-time. After that, she pursued her passion further by continuing her education at Berkeley College for Interior Design, where she developed a fascination with feng shui. While still studying at Berkeley College, she started her own design company in SoHo, Vanessa DeLeon Associates, specializing in both high-end residential and commercial designs. Since then, she’s opened another office on New Jersey’s Gold Coast.
In 2014, DeLeon received the Latina Trailblazer Award for her extensive community involvement. Her interior designs have been featured on television shows, including HGTV’s Generation Renovation, Designer’s Challenge, Bang for Your Buck, and Design Star, among others.
A Day in the Life:
Running her company and working on projects makes DeLeon’s life both busy and exciting. She tells Freshome, “From the moment I step in the shower in the morning, I start planning my day, from the morning meeting with a client to the afternoon meeting with the contractor. I’m always thinking of my next step, project, meeting, or phone call. There is never a dull moment, which keeps my day fresh and exciting.”
Vanessa DeLeon’s Advice to Young Designers:
“In order to be successful in this business, you need to have Drive, determination, and discipline!”