Q&A With Deri Washington
Casaza: How did you get your start?
Deri Washington: My home was built in 2001, and I found myself redesigning each room in my home every chance I got. My husband thought I was crazy because to him, it was an excuse for me to spend money.
I remember a time when the siding on my home became damaged and I decided to look for someone who specialized in siding repair. I arranged to have a few contractors stop by the house to bid on the job. There was one contractor in particular that my husband invited into our home who was impressed and, in his words, completely blown away by the decor in my home. He asked my husband who did the work and my husband said it was me. He gave my husband his business card and told him to have me give him a call to join this business networking group. It took me about a year to contact him and understand my true talent, but I eventually did. I joined the group and Tranquil Designs LLC was born. The rest, we can say, is history.
C: How would you describe your style?
DW: My style is transitional. I love to mix different styles of classic, traditional, contemporary and modern, furniture, finishes, fabrics and materials to get that timeless look.
C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
DW: I am always researching my craft, but I love to visit all the different model homes built by different builders. There is an annual event called the Parade of Homes. The homes featured in this parade are all newly built. I love going to see all the new trends and design ideas that keep me inspired and passionate.
C: Favorite room in the house?
DW: My favorite room in my house is my family room. There are beautiful photos of my grandchildren all over. When I have a difficult day, just looking at them reminds me of my "why." They are my true purpose and the reason why I push myself to great limits every day. Tranquil Designs LLC is their legacy, my gift to them.
C: Design rule you don't subscribe to?
DW: I don’t believe in using the same metal finish throughout my designs. I love mixing metals because it keeps everything so current and fresh. I hear from others all the time, “You can’t mix metals, they all have to match!” In my opinion, no, they do not!
C: Recent project that inspired you?
DW: I just finished an entire home design and I really love the way this project turned out. Although each room is designed differently, they are cohesive in that they all complement each other. I love projects like this because not only did it challenge in ways that I didn’t know were possible, but it allowed me to be to be creative along with meeting the client’s vision and needs.
C: Favorite texture/pattern/color?
DW: My favorite color, believe it or not, is black. I also love a variety of texture and patterns.
C: What is “good design” to you?
DW: A good design to me is a design that relates to the clients while also complementing the bones and heart of the home. When I design for clients, I strive to match their design style and taste with my creativity to give them a home that they will not only love and enjoy but a home that can be lived in. Good design is a lifestyle which incorporates everyone in the design plan, the adults, the kids, and the pets.
C: Pack your bag! You're moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
DW: I would be moving in with Oprah Winfrey. She has an amazing yard and garden among other things. I am an outdoor kind of gal. I grew up in Trinidad where we were such free spirits. I love getting my hands dirty and will definitely be planting my own produce in my very own garden someday.
C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
DW: Always be ready to greet your guest. How many times have we been invited to an event where the host or hostess is not ready when we arrive? One of the easiest mistake to make when hosting an event is to ask people to arrive at an appointed time when to an event that has not been set up yet. At least have the proper courtesy to have the drinks and hors-d’oeuvres ready.
C: Best advice for DIYers?
DW: Don’t be afraid to ask questions. You would be surprised that people who know the most and more than you are often really good at sharing their wisdom and knowledge. It is a sign of excellent leadership.
C: Best advice for those hiring a pro?
DW: Do your research. Make sure you interview each potential designer, and be aware of the vibe during the process. If it doesn’t feel right then it may not be the right fit. The same way that not everyone is a client, not every designer is your designer.
C: What is one design trend are you most excited about this season?
DW: The trend that I am most excited about this season is the use of more natural materials. Concrete countertops, live edge dining tables, and stone fireplaces. It helps bring an organic and peaceful feel to any space.
C: How do you take your coffee?
DW: I am all about my teas. I love all flavors of tea. Tranquil!