Problem Solver

At home with decisive decorator Mara Ciervo of Wayne.

Interior designer Mara Ciervo.One day, you might see Wayne’s Mara Ciervo helping bachelors and bachelorettes solve their interior design quandaries on HGTV. “Successful men and women appreciate the finer things in life but are not interested in spending their weekend decorating; they simply don’t have the time,” she says. “That’s where I come in. These are always my favorite projects.”

When she’s not on-site with a client, Ciervo can usually be found at the office loft space in Manayunk that she shares with costume designer and stylist Teresa Binder-Westby. “It’s a great space to meet with clients, and it definitely inspires me,” she says.

Personal decorating style: It’s not always what I bring into a client’s home. I can appreciate the beauty in all styles and choose to decorate in a style that reflects the taste of my client.

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Favorite room in her house: My bedroom. It’s an eclectic mix of everything I love, including my custom-made bed—a vision of mine made into reality with the help of talented carpenter Stephen Berke of Create, Design, Build in Bala Cynwyd. I would describe it as transitional/modern with an Asian flair. It’s pure bliss.

Design advice she loves to offer: Buy what you love and you will never be sorry. I can make almost any piece work in a room, and an elegant mix of styles is what makes a home interesting. Don’t be matchy-matchy.

Biggest design inspiration:
My mother was a woman with amazing style and charisma. My entire life, she always believed I should be an interior decorator. It was after her sudden death, and a few life-changing experiences that followed, that I realized we get one shot in this lifetime to fulfill our dreams.

Design element she loves: An old architectural element, or an interesting piece of furniture with some history or a story behind it. My headboard is an 80-year-old hand-carved wooden gate from India. It shares my bedroom with a beautiful, modern white leather chair.

Her definition of good taste: Achieving a room that feels like a warm embrace.

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