Be Inspired! Interview with Florencia Turco DeRoussel and Within Studio
Updated: Jan 30, 2018
The View from 17th and Riggs
I’m super excited about this week’s interior designer interview. To me, she is the ultimate combination of entrepreneur and humanitarian. Florencia Turco DeRoussel is a wildly successful interior designer who also is super passionate about helping others. She is one of those rare people that just bubbles with excitement about the world around her. Its a beautiful thing and you can see it resonate in her work. Here are a few images from across her online portfolio that includes some impressive residential and commercial work, ranging from restaurants, office and medical spaces, and retail.
The talented Florencia graciously agreed to answer a few questions for us. She shared some great design tips and incredibly important advice about passion and helping others that we can all follow! Enjoy!
Q: You describe your firm as “full service” offering “interior architecture, space planning, marketing and graphics all joined by one common core, in-ergy”. Can you tell us what this means as a business philosophy and how it affects how you work?
Florencia: Great question! This is a little play on words… mainly because our tag line is “Get Involved, Get Inspired, Go-Within!” When we first were developing the Within name and brand I did a lot of research on IN words.. Insight, Involved, Inspired, Innovation, Interactive, integrity …. and being that I typically tend to have a lot of “energy” it worked… we have INergy! This is how we attack every project..with In-ergy… that is involved, and inspired, and inviting… and interactive… our IN-words come out! It is our company’s integrity! It’s what we believe “in”. We believe that every project no matter how big or small deserves great design and to have Fun doing it!
Q: What impact do you think interior design and the current state of our interior surroundings has on us mentally and emotionally?
F: Interior Design plays a HUGE role on our surroundings. Believe it or not, we play with your mind! We make you feel good or terrified! We help you lose track of time and we help you relax in a spa…. Think about a casino..interesting how you can never find a clock or a window to see what time it is or what time of day it is… and that they are designed in such a way that you can get lost and perhaps…Play more machines and use more money! It’s Brilliant. Think of Ikea, an amazingly well designed store. You get inspired the minute you walk in… you then take a break and have some lunch..then continue your shopping adventure.. when you get to the end you can see all the SALES..you feel so great and it’s such a bargain you buy them all and THEN just when you think you can escape, you see the Swedish meatballs that you had for lunch and are reminded about how good they were..so you buy a bag or 12. Genius! My favorite part of Interior Design is when I design a doctor’s lobby or child’s dentist office. When I worked on a pain clinic a few years back, I put myself in the patient’s shoes… they were in so much pain! I chose my lighting and my furniture and my textures and my colors in such a way to create a soothing and relaxing atmosphere. If I can take away someone’s pain, even for just 30 minutes… then I’ve done my job as a designer. When I work on a kids dentist office, I bring myself back to being 5 or 6 years old and how terrified I was of the dentist. I think…”what would have worked for me then to make me feel ok?” and then…that’s what I do! We have the power to impact thousands and thousands of people in one day… we do! Both commercially and residentially… We can make a house into a “home”…
Q: Can you share one design tip for those of us who want to re-energize our home?
F: The most cost effective and FUN way is PAINT!!!! So many of us live with white or cream walls… so here’s your homework… look at your most favorite piece of art work.. perhaps it’s a Birthday card…or maybe it is a book cover… find your inspiration and ask yourself WHY do you love this? Does it make you feel a certain way? Is it the color? Is it the shape?… then sit down with some colors and re-create that feeling. The beauty of it is that it’s just Paint! You can always paint over it… A beautiful yellow wall… a soft ocean blue room… a tea green… an olive green… tomato red… pastel pink… It can be anything that you want! Quick tip: buy a quart or sample jar and paint a section of your wall first. Watch the color for 24 hours… watch how the light changes and how the color will change… take note of the surrounding colors in your furniture or the plants outside… all of these colors will bounce around and change your sample… you may need to tweak your decision according to what you see. Quick tip #2: paint a piece of cardboard and carry it around to different parts of the house… that way you can see what it will look like with different flooring and different furniture.
Q: I know that environmental impact is something that you are conscious of in your work. How has this affected your approach to projects?
F: Some of my clients still are not aware of LEED and Green Products..so number one is to start with education. Then, I introduce samples that are cradle to cradle, or perhaps made of post consumer products, or made with renewable resources… I try to do my part as often as I can and as much as I can. If we all do a little bit, we will live in a new world!
Q: You are passionate about your organization, Ella Group, and making helping others a priority. What words of encouragement or advice do you have for those who have the desire to help but may feel as though they don’t have the time or special talents to commit to worthy causes?
F: I truly believe that anything is possible. Some of us don’t think we have the “time” or the “money”… I was one of those people. Then I realized that I just had to “make” the time…and the money would just come! If you share your beliefs with others, if you share your thoughts and your dreams….then you will attract others that believe what you believe…the money will come… I promise you that. My sister and I had only dreams of starting our nonprofit ELLA Group…and we shared and shared until a group donated $10,000. It was amazing! As for the talent…we all have the talent to give back…we all have the talent to love and commit ourselves to change…it’s there… What might keep us from doing these things are our own fears, fears of “doing it wrong” or fears of “not looking good”…or fears of “FAILURE”…. but if we don’t try we will never succeed. I met a pro golfer named Maria a few years back and she said this “If you don’t play, you can’t win” …. and I had heard this many many times but it wasn’t until this pro-athlete said it… that it made sense. She was constantly going out to train and would have really bad days…she would lose and lose and lose…. but then, She Won! I knew, that if I didn’t go PLAY in this game of my Life then I would never win.
And so, I’m playing! It’s so much more fun than regret and there is no failure in my world… if something doesn’t work, then I try something else. It doesn’t mean that I failed…it just means that I need to find a different way. So my encouragement… is to find your passion and go out and PLAY! and invite your friends!
*** Many many thanks to Florencia for making today an inspired day. Visit Within Studio’s website for more information on their interior design services. Do not miss Within Studio’s blog, where Florencia keeps us up to date on interior design, fashion and more! Like Within Studio on facebook and follow Florencia on twitter @TucsonDixie. And of course, don’t forget to visit Ella Group’s website, www.ellagroup.org, to learn more about their efforts to prevent violence for women and children.
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