Master of Interior Design

Tell us about your background. I graduated from LSU with a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design in 1979. I landed my dream job six months after graduation with Interior Planning Associates, the interior design group for Perez Architects. John Chrestia, now my business partner, was head of that group at the time. John and I started Chrestia and Staub (now Chrestia Staub Pierce), Inc. in 1989. We share a similar design philosophy and have worked on projects in New Orleans, across the Gulf Coast, New York, Colorado, Florida, Arizona, Illinois and the south of France. Our firm offers commercial and residential design services. I concentrate in space planning and commercial design and have designed corporate offices, banking facilities, hotels and restaurants.

Who are the principals of your firm/business? John Chrestia and I are owners of the firm and Denise Pierce is a long-time associate and colleague.

How does New Orleans affect your profession? What are the benefits and challenges? I was born and raised in New Orleans and have always been fascinated and inspired by our rich history and architecture. The benefit is working with so many talented people in our industry and with our clients. The challenge is that our profession is always affected by the economy and after practicing for 35 years, I have seen both the highs and lows.

Tell us about your current projects. John, Denise and I are currently working on the renovation and addition to the New Orleans Country Club. I have just completed the offices and pharmacy for a pharmaceutical company in Baton Rouge, luxury apartments at 800 Magazine St. and executive offices for Iberia Bank.

What else would you be doing if you weren’t doing this? I would probably be a florist. My family, the Chopin family, was in the floral business for three generations.

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