On any given day, 19-year interior design veteran Dayna Rasschaert, right, of Dayna Flory Interiors in Bloomfield Hills, is juggling “20 design projects, give or take,” she says. Add a busy family life with husband Dan Rasschaert, an attorney, and two children ages 2 (Piper) and 6 (Oliver), and you get one busy designer. Oh, and we can’t forget 13-year-old Cholula, a Chihuahua, and Remy, a yellow Labrador who’s 9.
Here, the multiple Detroit Home Design Awards winner and Royal Oak native, whose design work is featured on the cover of the spring issue of Detroit Design magazine, chats with editor Megan Swoyer about everything from wallpaper borders (yes, they’re in, at least for Rasschaert) to one client she can’t seem to get rid of — herself!
Megan Swoyer: Is it difficult to have your office at home, given that your kids are young and are often there while you work?
Dayna Rasschaert: No! Having kids makes me stop working and focus on family. I love work so much, I feel I’d never stop! And I’m lucky that my parents watch the kids quite a bit.
MS: What does your in-home design studio look like?
DR: It’s a space off my main living room — it’s an office, but it feels like a sun room. Three walls in the room are all windows. The wood windows’ muntins are stained ebony; the black framing resembles the look of metal. Against my white walls, it’s a great, classic contrast. The fourth wall is reclaimed exposed brick. My desk is a very large, honed white marble slab of stone. I love having an unusually large desk — it’s actually more like a “project table” to work on. It helps to lay out entire projects and see all elements at once. I just put up a black-and-white (Greek Key pattern) wallpaper border from Cole & Son in my office. I’ve never done a border in my professional career. The last time I had a border was in my bedroom, growing up. I love it. It added a really nice pop off of the crown molding.
MS: What are some of your favorite elements in your home office?
DR: My black leather chair. It’s sentimental; it’s one of the first things I bought. And I love my Pindler leopard-print pillow and cashmere throw. I feel like offices should always have an element of hominess. The custom layers elevate the design process and inspire me daily. I can’t stop accessorizing my own office!
MS: What inspired you to go into design work?
DR: I was an apparel and textile major at Michigan State University, and I learned about their top-notch interior design program. My two favorite things in life are math and art, and interior design is a good balance of both. So I switched!
MS: What’s the style in your own home?
DR: I’m a traditionalist at heart, but I like to explore different styles throughout my home. I have a ton of tribal graphic fabrics. All my art is modern, but I like vintage rugs.
MS: How do you feel about color, personally?
DR: My house has every color in it. I couldn’t exclude any color. It’s traditional at its core, but with a fun spin. It’s youthful-feeling and fresh.
MS: Does your love of color transcend to your wardrobe?
DR: No. I don’t wear a lot of color.
MS: What would readers be surprised about when it comes to your family’s lifestyle?
DR: Ha! Well, my husband buys all the clothes for the kids. He’s Mr. Fashion. He’s a great dresser. He trusts me with house design, and I trust him with kids’ clothes.
MS: What’s something we would not find in your home?
DR: A bathroom without wallpaper. In fact, three-fourths of my house has wallpaper.