Vanessa Deleon is one busy woman. The renowned interior designer runs the Manhattan-based design firm Vanessa Deleon Associates, where she and her team focus on residential, commercial, and hospitality interior design. And while she’s had plenty of celebrity clients over the years, Deleon has become a celebrity in her own right thanks to appearances on design-inspired series like HGTV’s Generation Renovation, Designer's Challenge, and Design Star as well as Food Network’s Restaurant Impossible. Now, she’s about to add a new position to her impressive resume: mom.
We caught up with the design diva – who will soon be welcoming a baby boy with restaurateur husband Bobby Bournias, owner of the wildly popular Brownstone Pancake Factory – to get the scoop on everything from her plans for bringing her new addition to work with her to the totally amazing nursery she’s created at the couple’s Edgewater home.
What do you love most about being an interior designer?
What I love most is the look on my clients’ faces after the design concept becomes a reality.
What makes you good at it?
Experience! If you do something long enough you can do it with your eyes closed. I breathe, eat, and live design.
What do you think will be your biggest challenge as a new mom?
The biggest challenge will be trying to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. I think the way to handle this is to make sure that I have a support system in place at all times.
You’ve mentioned that you and your husband both accompanied your parents to work when you were kids. Will you be taking your own offspring to the office?
Yes, of course! In both our lives the experience had a positive effect. Both our moms were fortunate enough to bring their kids to work, but I'm a little bit luckier in that department. I'm fortunate enough that my mom works with me. It will be an excellent experience for my son to be in a profoundly loving environment. Just having the extra support is a real blessing. Although, it may be a tug between both work venues since Bobby may want to start him in the restaurant business at the age of five!
What's been the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
My mom is full of advice, there are so many, but the one that comes to mind at the moment is “Never let the baby sleep in the bed between you and your hubby.”
You’ve designed an amazing the nursery for your little one. Can you tell us about it?
The inspiration is a vintage car collection mixed with adventure. The nursery colors are from Sherwin Williams Harmony Interior Acrylic Latex paint, a zero VOC formula that helps reduce common indoor odors from your pets, cooking, and smoke to help rooms stay fresher longer and are very easy to clean. Non-toxic paint! Yay! I used hues of blues and white, and I'm incorporating fabric trims in cognac. It will feature a stunning rug by Castelluxe and Ducduc furniture. It’s going to be a beautiful nursery.
What are some nursery must-haves and what do you find people don’t use?
Books and storage are must-haves, for sure. Wall decor and murals, such as birds, butterflies, animals or trees are usually removed or painted over after a year or two.
And finally, you’re a Bergen Mama! What do you like best about living here?
I love the restaurants, shopping and the people in Bergen County. I was raised here, went to school here, and now I'm raising a family here. I love Bergen County. There's no place like home!
Vanessa Deleon Associates, 601 West 26th Street, Suite M227, New York New York, 212.706.9724