Shawback Design: When Passion Turns Into Design

It is Tuesday and you know what that means? One more article for you to fulfil your inspiration levels after the weekend and we are so excited to present you our new series about inspiring design professionals that offer to the world breathtaking interiors every day. And this first one is special: Shawback Design

That’s right, we had the opportunity to talk with Julie Savoia, the Principal Designer of Shawback Design that runs this family business in partnership with Damon Savoia. It was such a memorable interview and that is why we decided to share it with you!

Trilogy, Napa Valley | Lighting: Brightbound

Shawback Design is an interior design studio based in California that conceives beautiful interior design projects in the residential and hospitality fields. It was founded in 1981 by Penny Shawback, Julie’s mother-in-law, who has developed a singular passion and enthusiasm for the relationship between design and the feeling it exhales. This passion was broadcasted quickly through her enthusiastic design team. 

Julie Savoia is the behind-the-scenes magician of Shawback Design. The child who constantly rearranged her bedroom furniture and looked at home decor catalogues dreaming of floral bedding is now the person who takes the narrative approach and turns it into material colour language for fabrics, furniture, and rugs.

“Interior design is very creative work but running your own interior design firm takes a savvy business mind as well. I love the creative freedom, but the day-to-day managing of a team and general tasks of running a small business are very challenging.”

When developing a project, one of the most important aspects is getting to know the client: what they like, what they hope for, and their dreams – everything that influences the outcome. For Shawback Design’s clients, family and leisure time comes first and they look for spaces that make them feel special and Julie knows exactly how to do it. 

Also, the interior should reflect the surroundings of the space, so the Principal Designer has in count the sense of place and location of the project, especially in California where there is a lot inside/outside living.

Julie Savoia

Finding inspiration in nature and art, Julie immerses herself in a world full of craftsmanship, colour, and texture to translate a desire into design. She carries special details from fashion and travel into her designs, always avoiding design trends. “We want our spaces to be timeless with a sense of longevity”, says Julie. The result is always charming.

 “Projects we are most proud of are the ones where we went above and beyond to meet the clients’ expectations. To see the look on their faces after the final installation is what keeps me going in this industry.”

Butterfly House, San Francisco | Architect: John Maniscalco Architecture | Photographer: Joe Fletcher

Shawback Design is changing the world by degrees. And the next one is all about its upcoming hospitality projects, such as wine-tasting rooms and a boutique hotel, which provides the liberty of having fun and taking some interesting designs, especially with bold colours and patterns. The team’s keenness for detail is known in the design world, so we advise you to be up-to-date with their projects – the amount of inspiration will be infinite!

Julie Savoia always brings a human touch to the business and not even the challenging moments, such as the pandemic, stop her. After all, she gets to tell the story of peoples’ lives and takes a lot of strength and creativity to work really hard for projects that are featured in multiple design magazines, right? And there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing others recognizing our work.  

For the future, Julie Savoia aims for sustainability. Construction and interior design industries are really wasteful: “We want to see more sustainable building products, furniture made out of recycled materials, non-toxic dyes used for fabrics and wall applications, and more things made locally”. And we couldn’t agree more. 

Above all qualities she has, Julie Savoia’s creativity is mind-blowing and so it’s Shawback Design. This soul-stirring is visionary and dedicated to delivering spaces that make people feel happy and satisfied, so every project is taken in count as it was the last, which makes us proud to work with them. 

“We are so happy to have formed this relationship with Domkapa, and we are excited to install this first furniture order into our project, which is a very popular wine-tasting space open to the public. The workmanship and design of the Domkapa pieces are impressive. It has been a very big challenge getting the items from Portugal to California though. We are hoping to smooth out those logistics so that the next orders arrive with more ease. We are always excited to share new vendors with our community, and to present things that are new and interesting.”

Forest Aerie, Napa Valley | Architect: Signum | Photographer: Adam Rouse

Featured Image: Trilogy, Napa Valley | Architect: Signum | Photographer: Cesar Rubio

This article is the first of a new series where we bring to you professionals worth meeting. We would love to know your thoughts about it, so feel free to send us an e-mail at [email protected].

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