Rewriting The Narrative On Interior Design
The story of Design Line Interiors began in the basement of a wonderful old brick building in 1985. The ’80’s, a decade forever recognized for its creativity, sparked a new era of interior design, and founder Dawn Ann Reynolds (Davidson) was there from the inception. Some designers abandon history, some borrow from it, while others design the future. From the beginning, Dawn aspired to create spaces which would inspire awe, dare people to take risks, and challenge the boundaries and norms of interior design. Yearning for a collaborative process where the greatest minds would merge to create magic, Dawn brought together a group of innovators and thought-leaders who have become what is now the most sought-after design team in the building industry. Design Line Interiors continues to work with builders, architects, landscape designers, ad agencies, and other talented creatives whose influence has been a mighty force over the years in bringing community together. Three decades later, Dawn and her team remain committed to redefining the boundaries and staying ahead of the trends. Welcome to the extraordinary world of Design Line Interiors.
MEET THE TEAM
Chairman & CEO
Frame-walking in Stilettos Since 1985
Have you ever been in a house you thought was haunted?
Yes! We have lived in two houses that had ghosts, and they were a nuisance! Once, I was on my exercise bike and my Walkman kept shutting off. I replaced the batteries twice and it still didn't work, so I bought another and the same thing happened! The ghosts got a kick out of irritating me. On many occasions, the TV would just come on at top decibels. Once, someone took a photo from the yard up to the house windows, and the photo showed three ghost-like shadows in the windows peering down. It was very clear and very shocking! My kids and I could feel them following us around. We learned to live with them, although they continued to mess with our electronics!
If you could be seated next to anyone in the world at a dinner party, who would it be?
My Dad. He died the year after I started Design Line. I was only 25 and I have a zillion questions for him now. He always gave me incredible advice when I was young, and I would love nothing more than to sit down with him as an adult, mom, business owner, and inhabitant of a crazy world and just talk.
What item are you never without? (cell phones do not count)
I am never without Wite-Out! I love it! It is evidenced by the palm of my left hand being covered with it constantly. The only way to get it off is with a rough brush or Brillo pad. On more than one occasion, I've been at an event and someone has asked me if I've been painting! I use it to correct plans and clean up messy paper marks. It has to be the liquid pencil type too.. it cannot be the tape or the bottle.
Executive Assistant to CEO
Dawn's Right Hand Woman Since 2011
What’s in your handbag that might surprise us?
Today, it’s Girl Scout cookies... Samoas to be exact. Yesterday, it was an avocado. I think my purses get larger and larger as I get older and I’m pretty sure it’s to accommodate for more and more snacks!
Describe your perfect Sunday.
My perfect Sunday is totally boring! I love to be cozy at home, lounging in pajamas all day, snacking on treats, and just hanging with my family.
What have you created that you are most proud of?
My son, Mason. He is, without a doubt, the best (and cutest!) creation that I am immensely proud of and so incredibly grateful for.
Collaborating and Creating with Industry Greats Since 1998
If you could have any superpower, which would it be?
Time travel. I’d love to be able to travel back in time and step into the 1940’s to experience the era when the Slinky and Velcro were born... and then fast forward into the future to see what kind of interesting things are happening... all while having the ability to return home to my cozy abode when I need a nap from all that action!
Describe your work environment in five words or less.
Inspiring. Social. Beautiful. Thoughtful. Zany.
When it comes to interior design, what is your number one rule?
Have fun with it! I consciously chose a career where I don’t have to be serious all of the time. I live a life surrounded with good energy, good people, and great amounts of fun! Every day I get to play, and my #1 rule in design, and in life, is to have fun!
Vice President of Operations
Spinning the Design Line Soundtrack Since 2004
What would be the title of your auto biography?
"Anybody Can Be Cool, But Awesome Takes Practice" – The Soundtrack of My Life, by Lou Garcia
Women should always... I’m not touching this question. (I know better!) Men should always… know that a strong women doesn’t need a man. They may want a man, but if that man slacks off, she’ll be running the world without us.
What is something we’d be surprised to learn about you?
Growing up with a single mom along with younger sisters prepared me in more ways than I ever expected. My workplace is dominated by strong, intelligent women. Growing up fast, I was quick to learn the importance of being a gentleman in every sense of the word. It’s been a blessing and privilege being surrounded by such inspirational women my entire life, both professionally and personally.
Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Mixing and Mingling Since 2017
Who would you choose to play YOU in a movie of your life?
Sandra Bullock. She has a wonderful sense of humor with a touch of feistiness and believes doing what you love is the most satisfying part of life. Her talent is portrayed in comedies and dramas, and truth be told, both are requirements to perform the Dramedy of my life.
What is something you still do the old fashioned way?
Dishes. I still wash them in the sink with soap and water. In fact, I considered not buying the dishwasher last year when I purchased new appliances. A wine refrigerator made perfect sense to me! Unfortunately, my heart lost the battle with my head as I contemplated resale value so yes, there is an ‘unemployed’ dishwasher taking up space in my kitchen.
What could you give an hour presentation on with no preparation?
My presentation on Properly Wrapping Christmas Gifts would include a demonstration showing the correct way to align the pattern on the paper using minimal tape in all the right places. I would also demonstrate the right way to make bows and curl ribbons. Sticky bows and sticky name tags are not allowed under my tree.
Director of Artistic Design
Treasure Hunting and Mess-Making Since 1999
When or where do you feel most inspired?
I am often drawn to a normal thing with something askew or different enough to catch my eye. It can be a flower, pattern, color combination, or a person. Something just a little special. I find inspiration everywhere and anywhere. It’s a feeling of excitement. Something that stimulates me to think; something that ignites a thought process. I love an inner "wow" mixed with a “what if?” and topped off with an “I could.” Then mix in an ounce of humor, and I am ready to go…
What band would you choose if you could go backstage to any concert?
Not so much a band, but I would love to get a backstage pass behind the scenes with any of the creative front-runners of today. I would love to meet the imagineers, creative teams, and visionaries.
What childhood fantasy has come true for you?
Finding a career where I can still play with Legos, create things, and use my imagination. And best of all, be surrounded by super creative peers that make me laugh on a daily basis.
Director of Creative Design
Creatively Composing Since 2011
What makes you who you are?
My family is the center of my universe! Growing up, my parents were always my biggest support system. They allowed me the freedom to find my own path, and set out on many life adventures that helped shape me. Having my husband by my side gives me the courage to take risks, while always knowing we are living this life together. Being a mom is a dream I have had since I was a young girl, and a true blessing that has changed me in so many ways. With all of these things, my inner creativity is allowed to shine, grow, and continue to evolve.
If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I love food, so it is hard for me to pick only one item! I have a sweet tooth, but love comfort food. So my choice would be a delicious, savory chicken pot pie! The individual chicken pies from San Diego Chicken Pie Shop are my absolute favorite – you have to go try them!
What luxury item makes a bedroom most comfortable?
All the lovely, luxurious layers of a bed. The soft cool sheets, with the thin quilted blanket, topped off with a fluffy feather duvet. Getting into a perfectly made bed is a dream!
Director of Accounting & Purchasing
Counting Our Pennies Since 2003
What is the coolest perk to your job?
Being able to review and look through design books; I love imagining those designs coming to life in my own home.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
A couple things: always be honest, and listen to people.
What is one of the things on your bucket list?
To spend a few days in a treehouse. No TV, no phones, and no traffic noise outside my bedroom window (people drag racing on La Costa Avenue on Friday and Saturday nights).
Adding Green to the Scheme Since 2006
What television show or movie set most excites you?
I fell in love with a contemporary Spanish-style Pasadena home, featured in the movie The Holiday. I discovered that the home was built in the 1920’s by architect Wallace Neff. I was inspired by the combination of straight-lined light wood and dark iron pieces, mixed with an occasional heavily carved collected piece. Throughout the home, vibrant lush moss potted plants and greens are amidst a very neutral color palette... the plants become the color.
What was your favorite vacation ever?
A year after getting married, we embarked on a two-week sailing adventure around the Croatian Islands. The vibrant and hospitable culture, pristine Adriatic coastline, and mouth-watering Mediterranean cuisine were amazing! I will forever remember waking up to the smell of the sea, with nothing but relaxing and exploring on our schedule.
What is your current favorite home accessory?
I was just given a mirrored jewelry box with a vibrant pink cross-cut geode on top. I put it on my nightstand and love seeing it sparkle. Amidst a very gender neutral bedroom with a lot of dark wood, it brings in a little bit of femininity, which makes me feel good.
DLI Nurse, Seamstress, Plumber, Klutz, and Jill-of-All-Trades Since 1999
What are your three must-haves?
Sleep... my genes are strong in the sleep category! Family... I am 4th of eight children, and my family is the best there is. I love them so much! Color...a world without color is a world I don’t want to live in. It is such a gift to see color!
If you could borrow a piece of priceless art for a year, which would it be?
Agony in the Garden by Frans Schwartz, 1898. I saw this painting a few years ago at an exhibit. It was on loan from a church in Denmark, and it is such a beautiful piece, it stirred up a lot of emotion. It physically captivated me... I stood there staring at it with tears welling up in my eyes. I framed a postcard of the piece, and every time I see it I am reminded of that beautiful experience.
What are your most memorable moments with the company?
Where do I start!!! The “glass incident” was pretty memorable,“cactus incident” was another… most of my best memories involve a lot of laughing so hard we cry. Installing a set of models with my friends is the best part of my job because it feels like the last crescendo to a beautifully written piece of music. Late nights, sore feet, exhausted brains... always lead to the most fun memories! There is no faster way to get to know someone than spending a week working side by side with them.
Perfecting Perfectionism Since 2015
Paris or Machu Picchu?
Paris, always Paris! I was fortunate enough to travel to the romantic city about 10 years ago…and while I always love to see new places with natural beauty like Machu Picchu, nothing compares to the timeless architecture and memorable experiences of Paris!
What is the nicest compliment you have ever received?
When someone I am meeting for the first time tells me that I must have really awesome parents. It’s a compliment because I do have a strongly connected and loving family that has influenced me in many ways, including design. It means a lot to me when other people recognize that from a brief encounter.
What is the soundtrack to your life?
From the top…as a baby I started crawling to the Beach Boys, Beatles, and Neil Young records that my dad would play from track to track. Younger years brought a brief interest in country…Dixie Chicks made the cut. Driving my first car, I sang along to some pop/hip hop idols that I am not even going to name. Working on projects in design school I moved into a folk acoustic genre including Mumford & Sons and Band of Horses. Now in my professional chapter I love live acoustic alternative playlists and I find myself crawling back towards the classics I grew up on. Who knows what the tune of my future will be…possibly podcasts.
We write poetry with color, make dreams come true for real lives... we believe in ourselves, and in our talent and our passion for creative design. We work under demanding deadlines in a world of fabrics, furniture, space-planning, and architectural details. We’ve moved furniture in driving rain, found the makings of a cocktail table in a chunk of discarded wood, and designed an entire room around a single found chair. We get excited about simple details and sometimes overwhelmed by our own desire to create something new. We laugh, we cry, and we find satisfaction in giving back to our industry and community. We are artists and business people who are experienced with the largest budgets, and have also accomplished miracles on a shoestring. We create not for ego, but for the moment a person walks in and says, "Wow, this feels great! I feel alive and comfortable, and happy here." Never will we turn away the possibility of doing our finest work. Central to everything we create is a simple idea: we care deeply about our clients, their vision, and making the lives of those we touch more worth living.
We have the most amazing and creative people with a wide array of backgrounds. They have worked in marketing, merchandising, architecture, interiors, and even education. People who have attended prestigious schools like Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Berkeley, Woodbury University, SDSU, Design Institute and The Art Institute. Some with deep roots in San Diego and others originate from across the world. Each brings with them their own unique life experiences to make our team whole. Lou likes to draw a line so that it is perfectly straight and does not rest until a space makes sense. Ericka is a passionate leader who never misses a beat when recognizing the positive efforts of her peers. Carree is an incredible trend-setter that makes us break down in hysterics during an insane week. Wendy, our Smilemaker, makes all of us feel secure knowing she is watching our back. Katy keeps her cool when the rest of us cannot, and is stellar with the details. These are just a few of the brainy and zany team that make us who we are. There are many others who strive to keep our studio current with the finest fabrics, furniture sources, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures and appliances, pay our bills on time, purchase goods, work with superintendents on the site making sure every detail is executed perfectly; all completing our circle of creativity. We stand united, watch out for each other, and respect each other’s contributions. Our team considers each other family. We’ve grown up together through the tough times and the good times. We have shared giggles, tears, winning & losing moments-- marriages, babies, divorces, and the loss of people we love. Many of us have been together for a very long time and we are proud of that. We are told it is very rare to have an environment where working together brings such joy. We love what we do and we don’t take it for granted for one single minute.