Designer Friday: Darla Powell

Darla Powell is an expert at handling crimes, both in life and in design. As a former Miami police sergeant, Powell decided to change directions to unleash her creativity in the form of interior design. Inspired by a childhood of rummaging through her grandmother’s antique shop, her taste for aesthetics and art were unfulfilled on patrol. After establishing Darla Powell Interiors in Miami three years ago, she began serving justice by redecorating houses in need of rescuing. Aside from her design firm, Powell partners with marketing maven Natalie Grafe on the Wingnut Social, a bi-weekly podcast (which I may or may not have been a featured guest on) and social media branding service tailored to the design world. Welcome Darla to #DesignerFriday, and get to know her a bit better below.

Andrew Joseph: What’s your wakeup ritual?

Darla Powell: Open eyes. Drink all the coffee. Work out with my trainer and bitch the whole time. Then get to work.

Andrew: What modern design trend makes you cringe?

Darla: I’m pretty over Shiplap.

Andrew: What’s your favorite time of day?

Darla: Twilight.

Andrew: What is one thing no one knows about you?

Darla: I like to count my steps. OCD.

Andrew: Dream country to work in? Or dream project to take on.

Darla: Would love to do a kick-ass home theater.

Andrew: Vintage or new?

Darla: Both!

Andrew: Who do you want to write your obituary?

Darla: The writers of South Park.

A minimal, modern Darla Powell Interiors space in Brickell, Miami.

Andrew: What are three things you can’t live without?

Darla: McDonald’s, Good Running Shoes, My iphone.

Andrew: What’s your biggest fear in life?

Darla: Ultimately failing. Not little failures but big picture.

Andrew: What’s your current TV obsession?

Darla: Gentleman Jack.

Andrew: Favorite app?

Darla: Slack.

Andrew: Secret talent?

Darla: I can do a mean Yoda impersonation.

Andrew: Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?

Darla: I was a cop in Miami for 19 years.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?

Darla: Stay the course. You are exactly where you are supposed to be.

Andrew: What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?

Darla: A Well Designed Business. LuAnn Nigara is the one who got me all fired up to switch careers and go for starting my own design company.

Andrew: You are stuck on an island, you can pick one food to eat forever without getting tired of it, what would you eat?

Darla: Hamburgers. Fully loaded.

Andrew: A dessert you don’t like?

Darla: Cheesecake.

Andrew: A skill you’re working on mastering?

Darla: Organization.

Andrew: Favorite scent?

Darla: Vanilla.

Andrew: If you made a documentary, what would it be about?

Darla: The Life and Times of the Madagascar Beetle.

Andrew: Last piece of content you consumed that made you cry?

Darla: That Futurama episode with the dog. Seriously, bawling.

Andrew: Sweet or savory?

Darla: Sweet.

Darla’s wildly popular podcast, Wingnut Social, is available for free on iHeartRadio.

Andrew: Song you can listen to on repeat?

Darla: Pretty much anything Daft Punk.

Andrew: If you could switch lives with someone for a day who would it be?

Darla: Lady Gaga.

Andrew: What are you most excited about at this time in your life?

Darla: Recreating myself in mid-life.

Andrew: What’s one thing that is always in your refrigerator?

Darla: Skim Milk.

Andrew: What is one Instagram account you can’t live without?

Darla: Brie Larson.

Andrew: Who is a contemporary inspiration in your field?

Darla: Widell & Boschetti.

About Darla Powell | Darla brings a fun, genuine, down-­to-­earth approach to designing beautiful spaces. Since she launched her career in 2016, clients have fallen in love with her work, growing her business almost exclusively by word of mouth. That’s right. In her past life, Darla spent almost 20 years as a Detective Sergeant in Miami, Florida.

The two careers are more similar than you may think. Of course, as an interior designer there are 100% fewer shots fired (well, maybe 99%). One might say she is an expert on the importance of having complete tranquility at home after a stressful day at work.
Her background has carried over so many hidden perks including a strong sense of integrity, accountability, and a ready-for-anything-ness that is key for home renovation projects.

Her career transformation was fueled by a need to express her boundless creativity.
After endless childhood summers spent rummaging through her grandmother’s antique store, she developed an extensive knowledge of antiques, collectibles, and pieces that look perfect together. Darla’s refined eye definitely sees those diamonds hiding in the rough. Or maybe you prefer the rough over diamonds. She sees that too.
Above all, Darla loves creating rooms that are gorgeous, elegant, and soothing. Get ready to fall in love with your space.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here

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