Cynthia Prizant: Design in the Mood:

When it comes to finding the right design for a client, Cynthia Prizant believes that mood helps dictate style.

Thanks for joining us, Cynthia. Tell us a little bit about how you got started in interior design and how you ended up in design?

I’ve been an artist for most of my life – painting, sculpting, & drawing. My first career was in software development where I learned the art of project management.  I decided that I wanted to redirect my career into an area where I could apply my love of color, composition and design, while still applying my knowledge of how to run a project. I went back to school to earn my degree in interior design, and subsequently, started my own firm.

You live and work in Southern California. What are some themes you carry into your design that might have originated in the city?

The architecture and environment always play and important role in my designs. Many of the homes in this area are based on Spanish & Mediterranean architecture. The color palette and materials that I choose in these cases might be warmer & chunkier.  If a space is near the beach, or we are trying to emphasize a beach-y vibe, I will often select a more casual and cooler design scheme.

All spaces are unique, but with a green concentration you must find that there are items you tend to repeat. What would they be? Which are most dependable? 

Sourcing from local manufacturers is a huge benefit to the environment by reducing the impacts of shipping.  As for particular green design elements, there is now a great wealth of truly green and well designed products available so that it is much easier to choose interesting and unique materials and still maintain an environmentally conscientious design.

What are you first priorities when meeting a new client in a new space? How much are you matching their needs to your education and inspiration?

Top priorities for creating the ‘perfect’ space for a client are understanding how they live, how they want to use their space and what they love and dislike, while considering the architecture and environment in which the space exists.  My education and knowledge of solid design principles enables me to design a space that fits their needs, while my artistic and creative skills allow me to create a space that they love.

Southern California has some nice hardwood floors and that usually means area rugs. Tell us how you use some of these in your designs.

Area rugs are a wonderful means for defining a space. On the other hand, I consider them a vital part of the overall composition.  Sometimes a bold rug paired with more neutral furniture can create a dynamic statement in a room.  Other times, a quieter design in the rug can create a sophisticated ambience.

Do you have a type of area rug that you lean on most? Or is it a case-by-case basis?

The mood of the design dictates the type of area rug that I select, whether it be casual, formal, playful, or edgy.

How much is too much when it comes to rugs

The area rug should work as a component of the entire design. If multiple area rugs are used within the same space, they need to relate to each other in some way.

Any final words of design advice?

Many clients are looking for the ‘right’ answer and absolute rules when it comes to design. The beauty of design and why I love doing it every day is that there are so many variations that are ‘right’. ‘Right’ is when you feel good living or working in a space, and you are happy to be there.

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

A portfolio of my work is available on my website,  I can be reached by email at or through the contact page on my site.


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