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Prospect Refuge Studio founder Victoria Sass is an award-winning interior designer who has a rooted bohemian style inspired from her childhood spent in the California surf town of Santa Cruz. She now resides in the East Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis, where she is raising her two children. Here, Sass shares with us her personal design process at home, the decor items she’s loving right now and more.

Photography by Amanda Marie Studio

What’s your approach to design when it comes to your own living space?

I often say, “I know why people hire people like us!” Designing for yourself is not easy. Sometimes I fantasize about how wonderful it would be to hire our studio and have someone else do all the hard work. But alas, that’s not the life I chose. For larger renovations, I have to stay disciplined and treat my own project like one of our client’s. For furnishings, art and decor, I tend to let things develop naturally.

What are some of your favorite decor, design or architectural elements in your home? 

Our home had lived a lot of lives before we came along, from its turn-of-the-century beginnings, through multiple expansions and renovations, to a phase as a triplex, and now back into a single-family home. I like to joke that you can find an architectural precedent for just about any detail you want somewhere in my home, and I kind of enjoy that quirkiness. I like a home with a strong personality, and I’m not afraid of challenging spaces.

How did you approach the design of your home?

It’s always in a semi-transient state. Nothing is ever permanent; things come and things go. I like change, and I don’t have a strong attachment to anything. I think that’s part of why interior design is such a good fit for me: I’m not possessive, and I’m happy sharing my best ideas and passing along beautiful things to others.

What’s your process for finding pieces for your home?

When I find something I think might be a good fit for my home, I sit with it for a couple of days tops then just leap. If I fall out of love with it or forget about it in that time, then I can confidently know that it wasn’t “the one.” If I’m still thinking about it after a few days, I trust that I’ll find a way to make it work.

If you could add one design item to your home, what would it be? 

I’m kind of a ceramics geek and can always use another Ginny Sims piece. I’m also currently geeking out over Jordan McDonald and Claudia Rankin.

Do you have a favorite room?

My favorite room is the problem child in my home (I wasn’t kidding when I said I love a challenging space). Our formal living room has fantastic height, wonderful 12-foot ceilings and amazingly tall windows for the period. But with all that volume, it’s also hard to firmly design the space. But what fun is a space without room to grow?

What room do you spend most of your time in? How does this room serve you?

When we first moved into the home, we opened up a few smaller rooms off the kitchen into one larger space. At this phase of our lives, with small children, it’s so nice to have everyone together in one room at the end of the day.

How are your personal spaces bringing you comfort or joy right now?

We have lots of rooms with lots of different personalities, depending on the era they were added to the home. As we are finding our new normal through the pandemic, we often travel to rarely used corners of our home in search of a new destination.

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