We had the good fortune of connecting with Dee Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Dee, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
My success as a brand and as a designer comes from staying true to who I am, and from taking “style” risks. Any designer can follow what is “trending” on Pinterest, or succumb to the aesthetic of the moment, but that would be a bit too easy, right? I hope that what I create, is something that hasn’t been seen before, and I believe that is why my specific clients seek me out!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My designs are full of color, and warmth, and layers and texture. In a world where many designs have leaned minimalistic, it has been hard not to think, “well maybe I should be doing that too”. But then I get a phone call from a new client who specifically found me for my talents and wants to create something truly unique, and colorful and fun in her new home, and it’s like a (welcome) slap in the face! There is a “niche” for everyone. There is space for everyone. We must all remember that! My best advice for someone entering the interior design business is to trust yourself, to be yourself, and to hustle! For me, in the early stages of my business, that meant attending design events and creating new contacts (even when, as a new mom, I was exhausted and didn’t feel like going out). Those contacts proved invaluable to me (as mentioned earlier). My next piece of advice is to just design the hell out of everything. Keep trying. Make mistakes. I look back at some of my early work and wonder, “what the hell was I thinking?”, but you can’t grow if you don’t experiment. I’m really looking forward to expanding my brand into some type of home goods. I don’t know what that is yet… but I’m putting it out there!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would start in West Adams where I live and take them for a drive around the neighborhood to show them the amazing, historic homes (and give them the stories behind them). We’d have lunch at Johnny’s West Adams, and then head to Kneeland & Co to look at some of the most beautifully curated treasures from around the globe. We could end our day at Bee Taqueria with some of the best tacos around and a chat with chef Alex! My next adventure would be a drive to Malibu Lagoon for a surf session, followed by smoothies at Sun Life Organics. Then we’d drive up the coast to take in the views followed by dinner at Neptune’s Net!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to my fellow designers, in particular women like Emily Henderson and Betsy Burnham who were kind enough to answer my questions as I was growing my business! It’s so great to see an industry that was once considered “stuffy”, become much more open, warm, and willing to share information.