Follow Friday: 6 Questions with New Orleans Designer Regina Correa of Studio Riche Designs
Regina Correa was lured to New Orleans by friends she met in her hometown of São Paulo, Brazil. When she came to town for what was meant to be a short visit to new friends, she loved New Orleans so much that she stayed for good. Over 20 years later, Correa now has an associate degree in interior design, a bachelor’s degree in art history, and a busy local design business. She uses color and inspirations from her travels to influence her style and esthetic, loves a challenge, and describes her design technique as “fearless.”
Bon Vivant: How are you navigating the COVID-19 crisis (in business or personally)?
Regina Correa: The best way I can. Not stressing out is really vital for my mental and physical health. It also helps keep my immune system high, which is essential. Also, meditation has been very helpful. Business has slowed down a bit, and that is giving me plenty of time to organize my processes and services, as well as to work on the business. Personally, the break has been welcomed. Also, I’ve been catching up on some overdue reading. Lastly, my daily check-in calls with my friend and designer Dana Perkins have been great. We check [in on] and encourage each other.
BV: What creative methods are you discovering in order to continue to serve clients?
Correa: May I say, thank goodness for the internet? Since we are in this together, people already know that the best, safest way is virtually. Also, being able to serve a few clients electronically is great. Interestingly, there are those still moving forward with their design projects. I’m able to either do a presentation via Zoom or record and send it for them to review whenever possible. It has somewhat depersonalized the process, but it’s all we’ve got at the moment.
BV: Who or what is inspiring you right now and why?
Correa: The whole community rallying to sew masks for healthcare workers fills my heart with hope. I’m proud to say that the interior design community is showing up by mobilizing sewing rooms or part of their upholstery productions to sew masks for them. I love this!
BV: What is the most helpful piece of career or life advice you’ve ever received, where did it come from and why was it so impactful for you?
Correa: Growing up, my mother used to tell us, ‘First work, then play.’ That resonates with me [to] this day. I didn’t like it then, but I realized its importance when I became an adult.
BV: Guilty pleasure?
Correa: Traveling! Getting to know other places, culinary [traditions] and cultures is part of my being. Europe has been my sweet spot for the past seven years. And I regret not getting there sooner.
BV: If readers did only one thing to enhance their interior, what would you suggest?
- Large budget: Hire a designer.
- Medium budget: Have a designer do an eDesign plan for you (she/he will make selections with clickable links for you to purchase).
- Small budget: Consult with a designer (she/he will tell you what to do, and you can implement it).
- Shoestring budget: Paint walls or accessorize.
- No budget at all: Rearrange the furniture layout.