Behind the Design: Heather Deragon
“There will never be a point in my career when I ‘know it all’ – and I love that,” says Heather Deragon on her role as an interior designer. After moving to San Francisco in 2012 to start her career in design, Deragon trained under some of the city’s top firms before heading out to start a studio of her own. Now, her firm, Heather Deragon studio, focuses on commercial and residential projects in the Bay Area and creates clean and classic, livable interiors. Acting as your own boss can be overwhelming sometimes, she says, but with a little focus and her penchant for being a (self-proclaimed) neat freak, she manages to get it all done. The best advice she’s ever received? “Don’t just think about it, do it.”
*Headshot by Sarah Deragon, Portraits to the People
Why do you design?
I love working with people to create environments that make them feel good and function for their lifestyle. I feel incredibly honored whenever someone contacts me to design their interior. I enjoy translating people’s wants and needs into beautiful, simple, and thoughtful spaces. I’m also really interested in analyzing design elements to make my own work better. There will never be a point in my career when I “know it all” – and I love that. I’m constantly researching new artists, craftspeople, techniques, and technology, and gathering inspiration so I can present fresh ideas to my clients.
What is the most memorable space you’ve ever been in?
I visited Canada for the first time last summer. My boyfriend and I drove to Prince Edward County to stay at the Drake Devonshire Inn for a night. Our room had this amazing A Frame ceiling with a wall of windows looking directly onto the lake. I was in heaven to say the least. The furniture was a mix of old and new, some custom made and some found in local antique shops. It’s special when you stay somewhere and you can just sense the amount of thought and detail that went into the design.
Can you talk about your favorite project to date?
It’s impossible to chose a favorite, each project has aspects that I love! Right now I’m working on a classic SF victorian, which is definitely a dream project of mine!
I enjoy translating people’s wants and needs into beautiful, simple, and thoughtful spaces.
What is your favorite city for design? What shops or museums do you visit?
What are you favorite meeting spots in SF?
Share your favorite Pinterest board.
My Interiors board is where I look for inspiration regularly.
It’s special when you stay somewhere and you can just sense the amount of thought and detail that went into the design.
“When I design I feel…..”
What is your morning routine?
My boyfriend makes me coffee every morning and that’s what usually gets me out of bed. We created a little “espresso bar” in our loft apartment where we spend a few minutes each day. When he leaves for work our home becomes my office.
What is one thing you do every day, for YOU?
I’d be lying if I said I do this EVERY day, but I’m building workouts into my routine. Nothing helps clear my head like an outdoor run. I head uphill and take in the city views from the top.
How would you describe your personal style?
I dress pretty much the same for work as I do in my “off” time. My fashion style is similar to my interior style: practical, comfortable, classic, minimal.
My fashion style is similar to my interior style: practical, comfortable, classic, minimal.
What tips do you have for staying organized at home?
I’m a bit of a neat freak. I’m constantly organizing and cleaning so clutter doesn’t become an issue. I try not to collect too much stuff, and put a lot of thought into purchases I do make. Everything has it’s place and function, so it’s easy to stay mess free!
What’s always in your bag?
iPhone. Because apps. Burt’s Bees chapstick. Because I’m addicted.
How do you make time for design?
Design is incorporated into almost every aspect of my life, sometimes to a fault. I can’t help it – inspiration is everywhere! Leaving the city is the best way for me to actively put work aside to recharge. Weekends in Tahoe have recently been a nice escape!
Who are your role models?
Charles and Ray Eames. I have a deep admiration for their diverse designs that are still relevant today. Their work went beyond what I first recognized them for as furniture designers; into architecture, films, graphics, textiles, exhibitions, and photography. I’m also lucky to have supportive family members that offer expert advice whenever I need it. I look to them for guidance often.
Design is incorporated into almost every aspect of my life, sometimes to a fault. I can’t help it – inspiration is everywhere!
Do you have any business mantras or inspiring quotes that keep you going?
“Keep it simple” “Less is more” Notice a trend there? ; )
How would you define running a successful business?
Do good, quality work. Constantly evolve but stay true to yourself.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Don’t just think about it, do it”. Being your own boss can be overwhelming at times, and my to-do lists can get a little intense. My boyfriend always reminds me to break tasks down and focus on accomplishing one thing at a time. This helps to tackle the work and get stuff done!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned working in the interior design business?
Trust your instincts.