HABITAT: Designing Mind

Décor Maven

Décor Maven

After renovating her own home, Merion’s Maria Viola-Kuttruff left a career as a freelance writer/editor 12 years ago to follow her passion for interior design. Today she runs her own firm, Viola Interior Design, working primarily in homes throughout the Main Line. “I found something I truly love,” she says.


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Personal decorating style: Always evolving.

Favorite room in her house: The living room. It has a great mix of antique, modern and personal pieces that I love.

Most prized possession: A portrait sketch my father did of John F. Kennedy. After he died, I found it in the attic of my parent’s home under a pile of old papers.

Designer who inspires her: Britain’s Kelly Hoppen. Her designs are fresh and sophisticated yet always include textural and naturalistic elements.

Design advice she loves to give: Pay attention to your immediate reaction to something (a color, a piece of art, an antique, etc.). If you love it the first time you lay eyes on it, nine times out of 10 it’s the best choice.

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Colors she couldn’t design without: Warm golds, touches of red.

Design element she loves to incorporate into a space: Art. It brings a room to life and makes a statement about who the client is and what speaks to them.

A room isn’t completely decorated until: It contains something meaningful to the client.

Favorite rooms to design: All of them. Truly—because any space can be made better, aesthetically and functionally.

Her definition of good taste: Simple, comfortable, chic—timeless with an edge.

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Biggest decorating faux pas: A total disregard for scale and proportion within the confines—or expanse—of a space. Three words that sum up her design style: Elegant, intuitive and stylish.

Best part of her job: Meeting interesting people and being surrounded by beautiful things every day.


Our Best of the Main Line & Western Suburbs Party is July 25!