A League of Their Own: 5 Buzzworthy Interior Designers
With an artistic bent and an eye for details, these MVPs of the residential interior designer scene are transforming Pittsburgh.
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Vicci Franz Interior Design
For Vicci Franz, design is all about the details.
“I do a lot of very custom design elements in my projects — specialty ceiling elements, custom wall coverings, millwork, the woodwork and the molding, and how you detail all of that out,” Franz says. “That is something I’m really good at.”
Growing up, Franz, a graduate of La Roche College’s interior design program, says she also was really good at art — and really good at math. When a neighbor suggested she look into interior design as a career path, Franz was intrigued.
“I went to LaRoche and sat in on a class,” she recalls. “It was like you were taking geometry and mixing it with a creative aspect because you had to take all of these different spaces and fit them into a floor plan. You’re constantly massaging spaces. It really appealed to me.”
Flash forward to the present and Franz, 49, has been in the interior design world for more than 27 years. Her background includes working for large architecture firms designing commercial, hospitality, education, retail and healthcare projects.
Her real love, though, was residential design, something she decided to pursue by opening her own business when she was pregnant with her daughter Angalina, now 12.
“I also wanted the freedom of more time. I was having my first child,” she says. “I just knew I couldn’t keep up with the schedule that’s required when you work for the big firms. I’ve had some amazing projects, which I’m so thankful for.”
One of her more innovative projects was designing a four-story light fixture for a couple on the South Side that was featured in Pittsburgh Magazine HOME. She also coordinated the furnishings for the magazine’s 2015 Ultimate House project.
photos by chuck beard
“With commercial, you need a huge team of people to make the project successful in a short time period,” she says. “With residential, I can do a lot of that myself.”
Franz, who describes her style as transitional — a compromise between traditional and modern — points out that many people associate contemporary design with coldness. Her specialty is making rooms look up-to-date, but not so trendy that they’re out of style by the next year.
“I’ll do whatever the clients wants,” she says. “Some of my clients are very traditional and some of them knew what they like, but they don’t know how to describe it. I would say that’s 90 percent of the people. I love taking a lot of the traditional details and modernizing them.”
Throughout the years, Franz has retained many clients, who keep seeking out her work again and again.
“What I try to do is pinpoint what really speaks to you — and then give that to you,” she says.
Allison Park; viccifranz.com