Where was your favorite place to live?
Taipei. It’s a colorful, vibrant city with great food and relatively few westerners and the people are notoriously friendly.
What’s your favorite room in your home?
My favorite room is any place where friends and family are gathered, which is usually the kitchen. I spend a lot of solo time in the studio so at home I savor time with people.
What are your interests outside of design?
Exploring and seeing places with fresh eyes, bike culture, flea markets, and food and wine with good company.
What are your sources of inspiration?
Inspiration is everywhere, but I especially love rust and the decay of abandoned buildings. Recently I got permission to photograph the inside of an abandoned Naval hospital built in the 1850s. My friend cancelled so I did it solo. I was terrified and trembled for the first hour but I was determined to look around. I was not disappointed.
Who are you design icons?
Ray and Charles Eames created undeniably timeless, beautiful designs that are still relevant today. Also, I have a lot of respect for the bold and fearless fashion designer, Elsa Schiaparelli, whose rebellious spirit paved the way for current trendsetters like Marc Jacobs.
What is your personal decorating style?
Clean, modern design with pops of color (usually orange) and a touch of Boho to add personality and warmth.
What’s your favorite possession?
A Kay Bojesen teak monkey that belonged to my grandmother. It hangs in my office next to the computer where I see it every day. I’m looking at it now and smiling.
What was/is your biggest indulgence?
I indulge my desire to get lost and follow my instinct.
What one item do you wish you owned?
A perfectly preserved 1960s Airstream trailer.
Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
There is no English equivalent for the popular Dutch word gezellig which loosely translates to cozy. A common and inexpensive way to make a room gezellig is with candles or multiple strings of white lights—they instantly make any room warm and inviting.
What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Don’t try to please or appeal to everyone. Find your niche and do it well.
To see all current designs by Deanna Fainelli for CB2, go here.