Style and Substance

At home with interior designer Steve Dabrowski.

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.

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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.

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