The curves of a wooden art nouveau staircase, the purple and deep blue feathers of a bird or the textures of a haute couture handbag—inspiration can strike anywhere for interior designer Lissette DelVecchio.
“I love to look in my clients’ wardrobes and understand how they dress because I believe fashion and interiors share a lot of commonalities,” she explains.
The one-woman show behind Chez Lissette, the New York City transplant has 20 years of experience in the design world, working with some of the top luxury design firms. She’s harnessed the know-how to guide clients through a highly refined design process, whether it’s reimagining a single room, taking the lead on a brand-new build project or maintaining historic features in a renovation.
“To have an interior designer come in and alleviate the stress that comes with a design project is so invaluable,” she says about taking on major projects. “I’m going through every detail and process with a fine-tooth comb; I don’t want you to have any regrets in the end.”
After leaving Long Island and having lived in the Charleston area for a year now, DelVecchio is offering a new clientele her unique brand of marrying classic and modern design elements. While New York and South Carolina may seem worlds away, the designer has found threads uniting the two regions: beaches and waterfront experiences, and both cities are teeming with the arts and historic architecture. DelVecchio and her family came upon Summerville during a road trip in 2022—her husband insisted they make a stop in the Charleston area, and she fell in love with the city.
“One of the things I love about Charleston so much is the history,” she explains. “I really have an interest in preserving that. I love the old homes and the old architecture and the historic details.”
She studied interior design at Cornell University and worked with luxury residential and commercial design firms—it was these experiences that taught her how to work on a project from soup to nuts, reading blueprints and working alongside building contractors and architects, and refining details like millwork design and lighting plans. She also worked in the retail and home furnishing industry for some time. However, once she had her first son, seven years ago, trekking back and forth from Long Island to Manhattan became all-consuming. DelVecchio took a leap and opened her own design firm, Chez Lissette, where she could focus on the most rewarding projects for her: residential.
“There’s something so fulfilling about connecting with a family on a personal level and creating a beautiful home for them,” she says.
No matter the scope of the project, clients are expertly guided through the interior design process with DelVecchio’s refined yet personalized system. First, clients provide background information on the project and meet with DelVecchio in what she calls the lifestyle audit. Here, she gets to know the clients, their day-to-day lifestyle, aesthetic preferences and their design dreams. What’s most helpful, she says, is browsing their closet—it reveals a lot about a person, including their style and colors they’re attracted to.
“Sometimes that’s really indicative of a style that they like,” she explains. “A lot of times clients have trouble verbalizing this.”
Next comes the architectural review, where instead of getting to know the client, she gets to know the house and its nuances, measurements and architectural plans. She also takes photos to help with the next step, the concept design. DelVecchio works to create a first draft of the design vision, proposing floor plans and initial material selections. Here, she can make sure that she and the clients are on the same page and make edits as necessary. Then, a detailed design plan is formulated, pulling the entire design together, down to the very last finish, accessories and artwork. “Nothing is left on the table,” DelVecchio says.
From here, the procurement and implementation take place. DelVecchio leads the project with placing orders and coordinating deliveries, and in new-build or renovation projects, she works alongside the construction and architecture teams to ensure that everything is on track for the best part of the whole process: the final reveal.
“The pure joy, the excitement on their faces. That’s everything; that’s why we do this,” she says about being an interior designer. “We’re helping clients create their dream life, the lifestyle they dream of through exceptional design. It allows them to live the way that they want to live in their home. Function is so important, just as much as the aesthetic.” *
Christiana Lilly is a freelance journalist in Pompano Beach, Florida.
See more of her work spanning the arts, community news and social justice at christianalilly.com.