Principal & Owner | Savvy Surrounding Style
Diane’s interest, or “obsession,” in interior design began years ago when she and her husband, Tim, conceptualized and built their vacation home on Alpine Lake in the Innsbrook resort community. 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 Surrounding Style.
With a background in finance and a passion for beautiful interiors, Diane has created a premier interior design firm and showroom. Savvy's interior designers take a unique approach to the process of design: upscale, relaxed, solution-driven, and always budget-conscious.
As a local business owner, Diane is an active member of the St. Louis community and is involved in many philanthropic endeavors. She feels her staff is unsurpassed in this market and is always excited to work with new clients, many of whom have become dear friends. Savvy Surrounding Style is Diane’s ‘dream come true.’
In her free time, Diane loves long walks with her pups, traveling with Tim, listening to music, meeting friends for dinner, cheering on the Cardinals, and hosting game nights for her ever-growing brood. An avid reader of every design magazine she can get her hands on, Diane also tries to fit in a good novel when she can.
Interior Designers St. Louis MO (314) 432-7289
Savvy Surrounding Style
Director of Operations & Accounting
An indispensable member of the Savvy team since the firm’s inception, Becky holds a degree in business with a concentration in accounting from the University of Phoenix and brings 18 years of accounting and business management experience to the Savvy table. She is that rare combination of finance expert and effective ‘people’ person.
Becky is the queen of saying “financials are fun!” and finds interesting new spreadsheets “exciting.” Needless to say, in Savvy’s sea of creative energy, Becky is the perfect person to oversee all of the firm’s daily operations and finances. Becky has a ninety-minute commute each way and always arrives with a smile on her face! That’s dedication.
An Illinois native, Becky is an outdoor girl at heart and spends many happy weekends camping, boating, waterskiing, and swimming with her husband, Mike, their three children and large extended family. Becky also loves to relax with a Starbucks skinny vanilla latte whenever possible.
With a degree in Interior Design from William Woods University, Kathleen has spent her 25+ year career creating beautiful and functional interiors for a wide range of clients. She has worked with many of St. Louis’ top industry professionals on a wide variety of projects. In 2014, Kathleen joined Savvy and is the perfect addition to our team of talented interior designers.
Kathleen’s sunny personality and sweet demeanor paired with her desire to listen to her clients result in a rewarding collaborative experience. Her interior design expertise and her passion for making design dreams come true, makes her the perfect match for anyone wanting to begin a design project.
As one of Savvy's interior designers, Kathleen’s experience runs the gamut from one-room redesigns to whole house remodels to new construction design. Kathleen also enjoys creating sophisticated and functional working spaces for commercial interior design clients.
In her spare time, Kathleen enjoys cooking, gardening, spending time with friends, volunteering in various community events and spending time with her husband, Claude, and their two beautiful daughters.
With a BFA in Interior Architecture from Columbia College in Chicago, designer Brett Clark began his design career in the Windy City at a high end residential design firm. Brett has also held positions as a design consultant for a furniture retailer/design studio and a curated furniture showroom representing the most sought after European furniture by world-renowned designers. “I have had the unique opportunity to travel throughout Europe, discovering and studying the handmade details in made-to- order-furniture,” says Brett. He has also worked alongside set designers on furniture selection for TV shows, such as Empire and Shameless.
Back in his hometown as a Savvy designer, Brett focuses on both residential and commercial interiors drawing inspiration from his previous work both nationally and globally, as well as his travels. Fluent in AutoCAD, Brett’s detailed renderings make a space come to life for his clients.
An active resident of the vibrant Central West End community, Brett enjoys exploring all of St. Louis’ neighborhoods and discovering new and trendy restaurants and shopping venues. He is also a dedicated uncle and regularly cheers on his nephews at their little league games.
Therese has been rearranging the furniture in her home since she was big enough to move it. Apparently the business of interior design would end up suiting Therese perfectly. Now she uses her passion and skill for creating beautiful spaces every day as a project manager for Savvy.
A graduate of Kansas University, Therese is fluent in AutoCad, making her an indispensable member of the Savvy team. An organizational guru, she enjoys working with clients and vendors, building new relationships and helping to ensure all design projects run smoothly and are completed on time and on budget.”
“I also love collaborating with our interior designers to help them select furniture and finishes,” says Therese, who especially enjoys mixing modern and vintage pieces to create unique looks. “My personal style is mountain home meets bohemian with a bit of modern thrown in, too. Sounds crazy, but it works!”
“I find inspiration in everything around me, especially nature” says Therese, who enjoys spending her free time outdoors, skiing, exploring the city and traveling with family and friends.
Rachel Ess is a graduate of Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in interior design and a minor in construction management. A St. Louis native, Rachel has obsessed over all things design since she completed a career project in the sixth grade.
Rachel understands and enjoys all stages of the design process— from idea conception to the creation of technical drawings, using AutoCAD, Revit and SketchUp, to furniture selections, final presentations, and installation. Her eclectic style is a blend of bohemian mid century and Spanish modern, nestled inside a strong architectural background. She likes the juxtaposition of a more traditional backdrop with modern clean-lined furniture pieces.
"My hope as a project manager is that I'll be able to use my skills to help Savvy’s designers incorporate our clients’ personal style in fabulous and functional residential and commercial spaces,” she says.
When Rachel isn’t fantasizing over a "to die for" velvet chair, a beautiful antique find, or the newest Architectural Digest, you can find her either wandering through the plant aisle (she’s a devoted “plant mom”), reading, traveling, embroidering, shopping at thrift stores, doing yoga, or exploring the great outdoors with friends.
Visual Merchandiser and Buyer
Lisa was smitten with fashion and interior design from a very young age. Raised in New York City, one of Lisa’s favorite pastimes as a child was gazing at the beautifully styled store windows in Manhattan. “They were magical,” she says.
Often called upon to help friends and family “put things together” in their homes, Lisa’s passion for design has led her to various positions in retail merchandising and eventually to Savvy.
Her exceptional eye for making a retail environment enticing and inspirational, is what makes her the perfect fit for the Savvy team. Her extensive knowledge of product lines ensures that Savvy will always have a showroom full of fabulous furniture, accessories, art and gifts; always displayed in a beautiful way.
Besides design, Lisa’s other passion is yoga. She is a certified yogi and enjoys instructing others in this ancient practice.
A navy wife, Lisa, and her husband, Mike, spent four years in Honolulu, Hawaii before returning to St. Louis in the summer of 2015. They enjoy spending time together hosting parties, relaxing with friends and catching up with their three beautiful adult children.
Judy brings a wealth of experience in marketing, social media, and publishing to Savvy’s team. The founder and publisher of a digital design and lifestyle magazine, Judy has also helmed a local design publication, as Editor in Chief. As Marketing Manager for Savvy, Judy focuses her efforts on branding, content creation and production for all social media channels, including the Savvy website and blog, advertising, public relations, and event planning.
Judy has also held copywriting and account management positions with Fleishman-Hilliard Public Relations, Concordia Publishing House, KMOX-Radio, and Jefferson-Smurfit Corporation.
A book lover, Judy enjoys relaxing with a good read or design magazine; Veranda is her favorite. She and her husband, Mike, also like to spend time outside gardening, going for a long run, or sipping a nice glass of wine on the patio or in front of a warm fire.