The MNY Spotlight

Meet Danielle D. Rollins: Decorator, Lifestyle Expert, and Author

Danielle Rollins is a well-known decorator, author, and lifestyle expert with her own interior decoration and design firm, Danielle Rollins Interiors, located in West Palm Beach Design District. She's recognized for her fearless use of color, eclectic patterns, and approachable yet glamorous interiors suitable for modern living. Additionally, she runs a curated design and gift store called "POP West Palm" adjacent to her design studio and store. Continue reading to see how she first got started in design, details from the party she threw for Oscar de la Renta, and more!

Danielle wears the Victoria Convertible Gown

You launched your own design firm without having prior experience of starting a business. How did you get the wheels turning? Where were you and what was going on in your life during this time that motivated you?

I haven’t had an exactly normal trajectory for my career. I didn’t go the design school path and always know this would be my lifelong career. I graduated from school with an English degree and got married. I was a stay at home mother, corporate wife and community volunteer for 17 years and launched my own lifestyle design firm following my divorce and the release of my first book Soirée Entertaining With Style. Much to my everlasting disappointment, my separation and divorce wasn’t what I had wished it could have and should have been, and I was treated in a very hurtful, harmful, dishonorable and disrespectful way, but I am a survivor and wasn’t going to be destroyed. I went on a book tour speaking about lifestyle and entertaining when I didn’t have much of a life or even own paper plates and living in a series of less than glamorous places for a couple of years. Instead of caving in and feeling insecure about the subject, I focused on the lasting impact that we all can make through our own effort to make things, no matter what they are, the best that they can be. I launched my own design firm at Miles Redd urging and encouragement and I am thankful every day I followed my dream to make it possible to do what I love. I’ve always been incredibly creative, with an entrepreneurial spirit but I was emotionally beaten down and after years of verbal abuse I believed the things were true. Through a lot of self work, therapy and flat out immersing myself in work, I began to realize I had a gift.

Order your signed copy of Danielle's must-have book, Soirée, Entertaining with Style here!

We read that you threw a party for Oscar de la Renta, wow! Were you at all nervous taking charge of this event?

Of course I was nervous, it was Oscar de la Renta, after all. I believe that entertaining is not really about you, but it is a gift you give to other people so I focused on creating an evening filled with things I knew he loved mixed with Georgia specialities, so it had a very personal touch. I knew white dahlias were his favorite flower and they were at the height of the season, and fried chicken was one of his favorite foods. Elevated Southern hospitality never fails. The other part of the story not that many people know is that I was hosting a dinner for Children's Healthcare of Atlanta after my daughter had a terrible life threatening accident that partially severed and crushed her leg and a blood clot in her lungs, resulting in hundreds of surgeries, ECHMO and multiple years in and out of the hospital so it was a very personal cause to me. He was an extremely kind, sensitive man who was very generous of heart and spirit and he not only helped me with the start of my career, he helped introduce me to a myriad of specialists who helped my little girl. It was actually Mr. de La Renta who suggested I write a book on lifestyle, decorating and entertaining. Veranda Magazine around that same time had asked me to be a contributing editor. I decided to follow my passion and I am forever grateful for that however brief moment the seed was planted and it lead to believing in myself enough to step out of my comfort zone, leading ultimately to where I am today.

For those thinking to do major redecorating to their homes, what three tips would you give before starting a project?

Create a fully thought out and well thought through plan, a realistic budget and time frame to accomplish a project before you start on anything. Too often people buy or build a place and don’t factor in the things that need to go into it, and find themselves shorted once they’re in it. Realize you don’t have to do it all at once, I’d rather help someone create the backgrounds, invest in things that give them long term benefits, advise them on the things they can save on and do over time, than see a just add money, instantly “decorated” home filled with soulless, impersonal, and impractical things.

Invest in good quality upholstery because it can last a lifetime by easily being recovered to move and grow with you. Large rugs or carpeting and quality curtains or blinds not only visually create a structure to make spaces feel finished but they provide sound softening, retain and reflect temperatures and give you a way to control light.

Working with a decorator might seem expensive but in the long run it saves money because we can help clients avoid time wasting missteps and costly mistakes. We think through the elements of function, space, scale and budgeting, not just the fluffy stuff.
A lot of time and energy went into designing your home. Do you have a favorite room in your house? Why is it so special to you?
Rooms are like children- they’re all my favorites at different times for different reasons.
You’re currently wearing the Victoria Convertible Gown by Mestiza. What is it that draws you to this style?

I know clothing and I have owned couture. It is one of the best made dresses I have ever owned, fully lined, beautifully sewn with boning and structure. And the piece de resistance was the most pleasant surprise discovering the zip off bottom ruffle taking it to new levels of wonderful! Day to night, black tie or cocktail and in a polished cotton. Practical perfection.

How does wearing your Mestiza piece make you feel?
There’s a certain confidence that comes from wearing a beautiful, well made dress, and it’s even better when it evokes that little girl wanting to twirl feeling! I absolutely adore this cleverly constructed, impeccably made head turning, stand out stunner of a piece.

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