Making a house a home
If you’ve ever been inspired by the fresh, warm interior design looks by Dianne Davant and her team, you’re in good company.
In January, Dianne Davant & Associates was awarded top honors in design and customer satisfaction by the 25 million monthly online users of Houzz, a top home design and remodeling site.
Davant, who has offices in Port St. Lucie just west of Palm City and in Banner Elk, North Carolina, was selected from more than 500,000 industry professionals for the prestigious “Best of Houzz 2015” badge.
“The site makes it easy for people to see how we accomplish different looks, from transitional to more contemporary,” she says from her showroom and retail space off Becker Road in the Shoppes at Veranda Falls. “My design team has been with me for almost 20 years, and we have so much fun when we’re working together.”
The warmth and laughter shine through on the team’s collaborative design projects, which extend throughout the nation. In Miami she has designed the home interiors of high-profile names like Miami Dolphins part-owner Wayne Huizenga and his wife Marti, and former Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese and his wife, Shay. In Dallas, she recently updated a home from a country French interior to a transitional look of pale blues and grays with clean, classic lines.
As vice president of interior design with City Furniture, she recently created the interior for the new home of the University of Florida president in Gainesville.
“The home is done in neutral tones, with just a few of the blue and orange accents,” she says. “We are intending to put all original Florida art throughout the house, and the art is the focal point.”
In North Carolina, where Davant grew up, she recently completed the design of an 18,000-square-foot castle using stained glass and unusual architectural pieces salvaged from the demolished Wackenhut mansion in south Miami.
The trend toward reuse and environmentally conscious design may be the next phase of the industry, says Davant, who is soon embarking on a project in Palm City to create a sustainable design for a private home seeking a rigorous LEED certification.
Having started her business in 1979 fresh from design school, Davant’s work has been shown in Florida Design Magazine, Architectural Digest and Carolina Architecture and Design. The key, she says, is listening to her clients and allowing their lifestyles to dictate the look.
It helps that Davant lived in Europe, the Carolina mountains and Florida, and also spent time in Montana near her longtime office there. Living in different places helps her appreciate varying styles.
“In my designers, I instilled that love of different designs and encouraged them to work with clients and help them achieve whatever style they wanted, and not try to gear them toward their own personal style,” she says.
She works closely with designer Priscilla Hyatt at her shop, which offers gifts, home accessories, clothing accessories and pieces from Pam Huizenga’s jewelry line. The retail space isn’t far from her riverfront home on the St. Lucie River, which she shares with her husband, H. Lee Moffitt, founder of the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives.