Q & A: Vanessa Brennan Interiors
Vanessa Brennan is the Director and Principal Designer of Vanessa Brennan Interiors, a full-service interior design firm with offices in New York and Connecticut. Vanessa is known for designs that embody an eclectic range of styles, and are sophisticated and inviting. An avid traveler with over two decades of experience in design, her success comes from curating the right balance of color, texture, and proportion to create unexpected homes that are beautiful and practical.
What was the first moment in which you really noticed the design of a space?
I grew up in a wealthy suburb of Syracuse, NY. My friend lived in a 12,000 sq ft Italianate style home built in the late 1800s that I covet to this day. As a kid, I would be so happy to score an invite to her house and wander the halls to look at all the moldings and architectural details. While we were choreographing our next Purple Rain dance, I was taking in every detail of her coffered ceiling, praying no one thought I was a weirdo.
You initially gained your experience in property development, designing exclusively for a high-end New York developer specializing in the rehabilitation of historic Brooklyn brownstones. What was that like?
Amazing, actually. I was coming from a background in fashion design and was given an opportunity to be creative in a completely different way. Most properties we bought were highly distressed and required a lot of work to bring back to life. I was tasked with understanding the neighborhood’s emerging buyer’s market, while creating a home that would attract as many of those buyers to get the most competitive resale price. I’m a preservationist at heart and so were the buyers. I loved the intersection of psychology, architecture and microeconomics to create something beautiful.
You love to travel. How does travel influence your designs?
I’m a design junkie. I drag my kids to artist studios, galleries, and antique stores everywhere we go. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet amazing people doing amazing things around the world. I have a great wealth of knowledge and connections to artists and designers that I try to incorporate into my projects as much as my clients will let me!
You spend time between New York City and Litchfield County, CT – what does your portfolio of projects look like now?
I have a great mix of classic modern New York decorating projects as well as more serious antique Connecticut homes in the pipeline which has been a lot of fun.
Dream project that you have yet to do?
Safari Game Lodge.
What are some current design “trends” you are excited about right now and what are some you are not loving?
Furniture is trending more rounded and sculptural, and I’m here for it. There are some great influencers in the market that have helped shape even mass market furniture trends to be more detailed and thoughtful. The modern farmhouse is not my favorite trend, but it’s probably the most requested. The trick is to help a client see beyond that to something more unique and everlasting.
What are a few small updates clients can make to their apartment or home that are relatively inexpensive but make a big impact?
For that cheap + chic revamp some paint and new lighting go a long way!
For more info visit www.vanessabrennan.com.