Sisterhood of the Traveling Designers: Classica Design

After moving from Israel five years ago the sisters behind Classica Design have worked hard to bring their home country and the influences of Europe into homes across Texas.                                   

Thanks for joining us, Debra and Dafna! Tell us a little bit about how you two got your start in interior design.

Debra and I are sisters, we grew up in Israel and we always had a passion for design and aesthetic. Our education is in the fashion industry, we have started working together in our twenties and we had our own business in Israel for a few years. After that Debra started doing home staging and home decorating and I joined her a few years later. We got to the US five years ago when Debra’s husband relocated to Houston because of his business. We started our own business in Houston and we have decided to name it Classica because in Hebrew that basically means good style and high quality.

Texas is consumed with the idea of being the biggest. How do you try to incorporate the Texas lifestyle into your designs? How do you try and limit it?

Our major influence in style comes from Israel and Europe, with most of it coming from Italy. Basically our design style is very different from the local one – we think it is much more contemporary and modern.  Designing a home must be according to the size of the rooms. We found that most people in Texas are buying big furniture that most of the time are consuming the rooms and making the space feel smaller. We believe that the design should reflect the needs, style and atmosphere that the client need as well as it needs to be according to the room size.

Describe some of your most challenging spaces? Would a unique layout always benefit the designer by expanding their ability to be creative? Or could it limit your options?

In the last year we found that lots of customers would like to keep some of their furniture but still wants to have their house looking like it was designed in a magazine. We have come up with a new design concept and we call it “Design Touch.” With the Design Touch we actually design a room that already has furniture adding to it designed items like more/designed furniture, accessories, drapes, rugs, chandeliers etc.

That way we save money for our customers is to have them consider items that they already have and would not want to throw away because of a sentimental value or other. Design Touch is actually very challenging, not only we need to conceder the space size and shape, but also furniture that most of the time we would not add to our design, but seeing the results is most rewarding.

Open floor plans are more popular than ever and many clients are consumed with the idea of flow. How are your designs patterned to help the occupant feel that the space is stress-free?

We love open floor plans and we believe that there has to be a flow in the house in every room even if the colors or the styles are different. A good flow in a home will result in a good felling even if the space is open and big, creating coziness in big spaces can be by dividing it with furniture or accent items into a few small spaces.

Area rugs, our specialty, are versatile. Texas homes and businesses have open spaces with traditional hardwood floors. Explain how you tend to incorporate the rugs into your design.

Rugs are very important to create coziness, beauty and also to define spaces, we love adding a rug to any room in some cases if the floor is old and not pretty rugs can be used to cover the floor as well as make the place look beautiful. In some cases when we design a room we starts with the rug and then choose everything else, the rug has a big impact on the design and the right rug can make the design flow and look complete. We also like to use outdoor rugs for outdoors spaces.

Do you have a type of area rug that you lean on most? Or is it a case-by-case basis? Are there price limits when it comes to rugs? 

We choose a rug for a design according to the style and the design colors, incase we are doing a contemporary design we believe that graphic patterns are beautiful and can have the impact that we are looking for in the design. If we need to work with a traditional style we will choose a traditional rug with contemporary colors.

Do you have any final words of design advice?

Always start a design with the item that you have less variety to choose from. For example start with the fabric for the drapes and accent chairs, or start by choosing the rug you love and then choose everything else, wall color can be found in almost any shade but choosing a wall color and then looking for a fabric or a rug to match it, will be much more difficult.

Where can readers see your work, or make an appointment for consultation?

You can see our work on our website: For making an appointment, you can send us an email to: or fill in the “Customer Form” on our website

Thanks for your time!

Our pleasure!

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