About Carolyn Rebuffel Flannery
Growing up by the beach, studying art, and practicing hospitality have made Carolyn appreciate nature, creativity, and conviviality as some of life’s greatest gifts. She grew up in Northern California, has a B.A. in art history from UC Santa Barbara, and a master’s in hospitality from Cornell University. These three facts have greatly influenced her aesthetic values.
By marriage, she luckily fell into the antiques world. She worked for over ten years in the antiques business, importing French antiques, and moved into interior design after helping so many clients with interior design solutions. Since she had been puzzling out design solutions in her head for as long as she could remember, it was time to put her fixation for beauty and order to work for others.
She is part artist, part sleuth, part therapist, part organizer, part task-master, part problem-solver.
Home is our haven and should reflect calm, peace, and beauty while making our life easier. One of her favorite designers is Ilse Crawford, who says in her book, The Sensual Home, that "Home is our emotional heartland—a place to restore our balance...the place where you reconnect your mind to your body and bring order to your surroundings." Carolyn believes that we can create a place for everything and put everything in its place, creating grace, order, and balance in the process. She believes that peace starts at home, and we can create change only on our own scale, but when it all adds up, peaceful change in small increments can impact all of us.
Her job, as she sees it, is to take your ideal aesthetic (literally pulling it out of your head) and turn it into a reality beyond your happiest expectations. Honesty is key to client collaboration. It cannot be what you think you should want but what you really want. She is not going to tell you what she thinks you want to hear but what you really need to hear. She will take your vision and ideas and put them into reality for you.
Her clients describe her as:
"patient, fun and creative" ... "thorough, playful and sophisticated" ... "fresh and original" ... without having "preconceived notions of design so that each project is fluid and dynamic and changes with the client and the room."
About Mara Penny
Mara grew up in Lake Tahoe.
She loves color. She loves prints. She loves texture. She loves juxtaposition in design. Placing contrasting pieces together makes her go weak in the knees.
She studied both interior design and jewelry design in college. She received her BFA from CCA(C).
She is a mother. She is a wife. She is a sister. She is a daughter.
She is inspired by all things. Nature. Humanity. The heavens.
She likes to draw. She likes to paint. She likes to sew. She likes to read.
She does not like to cook. Or garden.
Her husband is her best friend.
She is happy.
About Belinda David
When she was a kid running around the small antique store in Pakistan where her grandmother worked, she never could have dreamed that her path would lead her to the world of Interior Design. When her family immigrated to Toronto in her early teenage years, her parents constantly reminded her siblings and her of the many opportunities that were now at their fingertips.
Not knowing what she wanted to do as a career when she started school at University of Western Ontario, she pursued an Economics degree and landed a job at an investment company. It didn't take long for the light bulb to go on and for her to realize she was meant to be a designer all along. Back to school she went to get her Interior Decorating Certificate that opened some fun doors with some interesting clients.
A few years later, when the universe reunited her with her childhood love, she quickly jumped at the opportunity to move to the Bay Area to be with him. Besides basking in the sunshine these past 7 years, she also gained experience working as a design consultant for a custom cabinetry company, earned a degree in Interior Architecture and Design from the Academy of Art University and worked for a couple of interior design firms until she landed her dream design position at Carolyn Rebuffel Designs. Doing what she loves every day with the other inspiring individuals on this page is far from ‘work’. She currently resides in Oakland with her husband Mark and their two puppies while they anxiously await the arrival of their first child due later this year.
What she knows for sure:
~Your reality is only as big as your dreams.
~It is never too late to re-invent yourself.
~Life is an easy and fun road to travel as long as you follow your heart, stay happy and surround yourself with like-minded people!