Savvy Interiors with Susan Wintersteen

Designs that flow have function and can be suitable for the whole family are difficult to create, but Susan Wintersteen knows how deliver on all those promises and keep your space savvy.

Thanks for joining us, Susan. Tell us a little bit about how you got started in interior design.

Like many people, I was interested in how I could create spaces that were aesthetically pleasing and functional. I seem to have inherited both my interior design and entrepreneurial talent from my grandmother — a respected interior designer in Orange County, who also ran her own interior design business. What started as my interest in designing interior spaces — often in my own home —grew into working for friends and neighbors with remodeling, updating and renovating.  Now, with more than 10 years experience, Savvy Interiors is a full service interior design business, offering a wide range of interior design services and specializing in remodeling, re-flooring and re-design.

Southern California definitely has a cool vibe. What elements of the SoCal lifestyle do you try and incorporate into your designs?

In Southern California we get an eclectic blend of Tuscan home sites with warm tile and finishes and a strong coastal influence seen in interiors designed around contrasts of light and dark, cool hues of blues and greens, and textures of linen and silks.

Describe some of your most challenging spaces? Does a more unique layout always benefit the designer? Hurt?

A unique layout or space helps the designer define boundaries, work within parameters to achieve a space that maximizes its’ potential. Creative, “out of the box” ideas apply best when there are challenges to overcome.

The idea of flow is huge in design. How are your designs patterned to help the occupant feel that the space is stress-free?

I believe that each space does not necessarily need “flow” to create a pleasing stress free environment. Sometimes, working within my clients’ needs for functionality, and incorporating that into a design they love, may not include what is traditionally thought of as flow. A stress free design for a client with small children may be forgiving fabrics and surfaces, but at the same time include elements appropriate for youngsters. A spa like retreat to a master bedroom may not “flow” in a traditional sense. I design for the whole family, the whole space, both aesthetically and functionally

Area rugs are versatile and since SoCal has plenty of loft space with hardwood floors, I’m sure you see a bunch. Tell us how you tend to incorporate them in your design?

Area rugs are one of the grounding foundations of a space that helps unify the elements of a space. Many clients are turning to solid surface flooring like wood and tile for function. Area rugs can provide the cozy, and warm qualities missing from hard surface flooring.

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

Many of the area rugs I create for clients are custom cut and bound rugs. I believe all family room spaces should have a durable, playful rug underfoot. By incorporating texture, twist, and density, I can play off a texture or color in the something like a sofa. I use patterned rugs mostly in the dining rooms to add color on an otherwise wood filled room.

Any final words of design advice?

As a designer, I try to engage in all types of design and styles. My first priority is to create a floor plan or space that is pleasing to my clients. I’ve been sharing my work not only with my clients, but with the design community and others through Facebook,, and now I’ve found others are attracted to the look I am creating. The reception and enthusiasm for my design aesthetic and balance of form and function is very rewarding.

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

I invite you to find out more about Savvy Interiors by visiting or our Facebook page at and our web site at


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