Today we continue our Meet the Experts series on the blog. Throughout this series, you will get to know Savvy’s design team: what they love in the world of design, decorating tips and tricks, and favorite things. Diane Fogerty is Savvy’s owner and its principal designer. Diane’s ‘obsession’ with interior design began when she herself was a design client. Her love for interesting and unique spaces and her desire to make the experience of transforming design visions into realities led to the formation of Savvy, now a premier, award-winning residential and commercial interior design firm in St. Louis.

1. Who is your favorite design icon? Oh gosh, there are so many, and I appreciate them all for different reasons. I think the innovations of American-Finnish architect Eero Saarinen are monumental. He designed the St. Louis Arch! I appreciate his influence and still incorporate his furniture designs regularly. Currently I am loving the work of award-winning British designer Kelly Hoppen. She took a non-conventional path to design, much like myself, and I enjoy her aesthetic and admire and respect her many accomplishments.

2. How would you describe your design style in 5 words? Balanced. Eclectic. Curated. Well-appointed. Functional.

3. What inspires you most? My greatest inspiration comes from my clients. Bringing their thoughts and ideas to life is the most rewarding part of what I do. But daily I find inspiration, whether it’s a beautiful sunset, a cool paint color, or an architectural detail. Life is inspiring if you take the time to notice.

4. What are your go-to paint colors? I prefer to start with a clean, neutral palette. Two of my favorite neutrals are: Sherwin-Williams Agreeable Gray 7029 and Sherwin-Willams Mega Greige 7031. I also love a metallic accent in the right space. Ralph Lauren Golden Buttermilk is a great one.

5. What does every room need? Every room needs to reflect the personality and lifestyle of its owner. It needs to include something personal and relative that the client treasures, such as family photos, travel souvenirs or art by a favorite artist. The options are endless!

An eclectic design mix of midcentury mod, rustic and traditional makes this space feel comfortable and collected.
Design by Diane Fogerty
Photo by Michael Jacob

6. What is the one design rule to break? One design rule to break is sticking to one design style or period. Mix it up! Variety makes a space more interesting and unique. You can infuse a space with different styles and elements to form a complete well-appointed design.

7. What is the best decorating tip everyone should know? Ceilings do NOT need to be white! In fact, color on the ceiling creates a more complete room. The ceiling is honestly considered the ‘fifth wall’ in a space. Going a step further, dark ceilings do not make a room feel smaller or closed in! Quite to the contrary. Think of the night sky … the darkness seems to fade away. If you try putting color on the ceiling, you will love it!

A deep gold ceiling creates drama overhead in this master bedroom.
Design by Diane Fogerty
Photo by Michael Jacob

8. What are two of your favorite design trends right now? Mixing several different metallic finishes is one of my favorite design trends. Using various metallics in a room adds shimmer and shine. Rules are meant to be broken, and I’m glad the day of matching is gone! Beautiful metallics can be the jewelry in a room, so mix them up!

A second trend I’m loving is the use of navy as a neutral. Neutrals no longer need to be limited to beige and gray. Navy is a beautiful, rich hue that can be an anchor in your room. It’s fresh and easy and can be a stand out or chameleon depending on the other design aesthetics and elements in a space.

9. What is your favorite leisure activity? Spending time with family and friends. Whether it’s having cocktails and dinner, traveling, hosting a game night or simply meeting for coffee! I have such a great support group in my life, and I treasure the time we get to spend together!

10. Dogs or Cats? Dogs!

My pups! Patty and Coach

11. What hotel would you move into if you could? SoHo House Chicago is one that comes to mind! It’s eclectic, unique and houses the creative industry. I am very comfortable there and always leave feeling inspired!

A private members club for ‘creative souls,’ the Chicago Tribune has deemed SoHo House the perfect combo of ‘glamour and grit.’
Photos: SoHo House Chicago

12. What is your favorite music/genré/artist? Impossible to answer! It really depends on the day or the time … I don’t think I’ve met a song I don’t like. I grew up with a mother who loved music, so my life has had a soundtrack as long as I can remember. You can’t beat icons like The Rolling Stones or the Beatles. Currently I’ve been listening to a lot of Billy Joel and Elton John. It’s all cyclical.

13. What are your favorite design magazines? Architectural Digest, Veranda and Elle Décor.

14. What is your favorite restaurant/bar? My new favorite is Scarlett’s Wine Bar in St. Louis’ Central West End. The place has a great vibe, excellent wine, and the chicken pot pie is amazing!

Scarlett’s Wine Bar
Photos: Scarlett’s Wine Bar

15. What is your favorite clothing item or style? Hmmmm, I’m not sure what particular item, but I’m pretty sure it would be black! It’s my go-to color and never fails me. So whether it’s a casual black t-shirt or a cocktail dress for a night out, black is the way I go!

16. What is your favorite design quote? My favorite design quote is by the iconic American designer Ray Eames. ‘Design is a method of action.’ I feel people look at a well-appointed room and think it just all falls into place. The truth is it takes a lot of knowledge, planning and work for that room to be beautiful, comfortable and functional.

Charles and Ray Eames were husband and wife American designers who made significant historical contributions to the development of modern architecture and furniture. Among their most well-known designs is the Eames Lounge Chair.
Photos: Wikipedia

17. What is your favorite space to design? In a residential project, my favorite room to design is the master bedroom. It is such a personal part of the home, and I love creating a homeowner’s sanctuary from the world. The use of lighting, fabrics and space can create the most beautiful and relaxing retreat.

18. If I couldn’t be a designer, I’d be … Oh my gosh, I don’t know! I’ve always thought it would be great to be an artist. But since I drew the short straw on talent in that department, I’m sticking with design.

19. What makes a great designer? The ability to listen. You have to hear and understand what your clients need. That’s the jumping off point for any great design.

20. Great residential design is … meaningful, comfortable and functional. It has personality and authenticity and enhances a homeowner’s lifestyle.

If you’d like Diane to help you transform your space, give us a call at 314.432.2789 and set up an appointment to meet with her or any one of our designers or click here to contact us.

9810 Clayton Road
Saint Louis, MO 63124
Call Us: 314-432-7289