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Style and Substance

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Designer Steve DabrowskiSteve Dabrowski’s rooms were among the most innovative ever designed for the Vassar Show House. Vassar is no more, but the Newtown Square-based interior designer is still in high demand for his comfortable, livable elegance. “I love when someone tells me, ‘It’s exactly what I was hoping for,’” he says. “It never gets old.”

Personal decorating style: I collect American and French Art Deco furnishings, and industrial design objects from the 1930s. I gravitate toward the early modernists of the 20th century.

Favorite room in his house:
My bedroom, which has no television, iPod or computer. It’s my refuge from an increasingly insane world.

Most prized possessions:
My collection of American impressionist and WPA-era paintings—nobody famous, but I enjoy them just the same. The colors inspire me.

Designers who inspire him: Pierre Chareau. His Maison de Verre in Paris was his magnum opus.

Color he couldn’t design without: Yellow. It’s such an upbeat color.

Element he loves to incorporate into a space:
I like mixing antiques with contemporary furnishings, or a modern art piece with a period collection. It’s the element of the unexpected that creates a counterpoint to an otherwise homogenous room.

Favorite design trend of the moment: I like the idea of personal relaxation spaces—the “man cave” or a pampering spa bathroom.

His definition of good taste:
Someone who hires me. Seriously, a client who knows when enough is enough without being told so.

Three words that best sum up his design style: Comfortable, livable and unpretentious.

Favorite project: Currently, I’m launching a new aspect of my business geared toward customized table settings, and arrangements for special occasions and events.
 

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