Principal & Owner | Savvy Surrounding Style
Savvy is an award-winning residential and commercial design firm based in Ladue, Missouri. As the owner and founding member, Diane has established her firm and herself as leaders in the St Louis design community. Diane’s extreme passion for design, strong work ethic and ability to develop excellent relationships with clients are the foundations of her success. She is extremely client-focused and this is the basis of her design philosophy. She and her design team go the extra mile on every project.
Diane’s experience ranges from new construction design/build, to commercial space planning and commercial design, to smaller remodels. With a background in finance and a passion for beautiful interiors, Diane takes a unique approach to the design process: upscale, relaxed, solution driven and always budget-conscious. She is the driving force behind Savvy and their client-based philosophy.
As a local business owner, Diane is involved in the St Louis community in many philanthropic endeavors. She believes in giving back both personally and professionally. Her favorite room to design is a master bedroom, accentuated by her love of beautiful fabrics and textures!
Diane is a resident of the Central West End and has embraced urban living. She loves taking long walks, listening to live music, meeting friends or neighbors for drinks or dinner and spending time with her family. Her three children and two grandchildren are the loves of her life! She is addicted to coffee dates, and also loves architecture, classic rock music, and traveling, especially to her beach bungalow in Malibu.
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 60 mile 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.
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.
Ellen came to Savvy in 2017 as a part-time design assistant. After seeing her passion for design, acute attention to detail and strong work ethic, she was quickly promoted to Project Manager. Ellen works with the other members of the design team to create one-of-a-kind interiors. She makes the experience of transforming design visions into realities painless and enjoyable!
Ellen spends many long hours on the computer to simplify the ordering process for her clients. From sourcing materials, to tracking orders to scheduling deliveries, she makes sure projects move forward efficiently. She works with clients and the Lead Designers as well to manage not only ordering, but also scheduling, product sourcing and all pertinent details.
Ellen completed her studies at Fontbonne University in 1998. After attending Fontbonne, she began a career in the fashion industry working for a custom clothier. In recent years, Ellen found and managed a custom embroidery business. Creative endeavors have always been a driving force for Ellen.
In her free time, Ellen loves pouring through design magazines, practicing yoga, gardening, travelling, writing and most of all spending time with her husband Anthony and two children.