Melissa Rufty

Interior designer Melissa Rufty relies on a tried-and-true approach to her design projects, but her approach doesn’t come from the design world at all.

Rufty has a background in marketing and advertising, and while an approach originating from that world may not immediately appear applicable when it comes time to design a new space, Rufty finds a way to tie it all together.

“I feel it’s very parallel to my former career,” Rufty said. “Instead of working with writers and graphic artists, I’m working with seamstresses and painters and a lot of artisans, all to sort of solve a problem for my client.”

Since her approach is rooted in solving a client’s problem, Rufty said it doesn’t matter if she is ordering an ad buy or picking out artwork.

“It’s kind of a strange parallel, because you’re almost ‘branding’ people,” she said.

Rufty said having a solid procedure in place also allows her to dive into a wide variety of projects. One of her favorites is a barn at a client’s getaway house in the country that was turned into a perfect spot for parties and large gatherings.

“I had never done a barn before, but I’ll try anything once,” she said.

Rufty dove into researching barn uses and trends for converting barns before really honing in on what the client wanted.

“It’s just a phenomenal space,” she said. “That was really cool to do because I didn’t even know if I had that in me. It’s fun to kind of push yourself out of your comfort zone, and I feel like we kind of nailed it.”

Melissa Rufty Design Studio, 504-899-7020, melissarufty.com, @melissarufty.

Melissa Rufty
Rufty uses slideshows and presentations to determine the goals of each design project. She and her team then create mood boards to narrow down the feel of individual rooms. All of this allows everyone involved to clearly see what direction a project is headed every step of the way.

“I visualize it done, and I think anyone who is visual can relate to that,” she said. “I have to see it done so I can then go back and create it.”

Melissa Rufty