“The place we live in can and should do three things: reflect who we are, bring out the best in us, and contribute to a better world.”
This mantra is the basic, driving principle behind the work of interior designer Deborah DiMare, founder of DiMare Design in Miami as well as VeganDesign.org, two businesses that strive to create a healthier world and save animals. We spoke with Deborah DiMare who discussed everything from her passion for vegan interior design, her daily inspiration, and her new book titled “Vegan Interiors.”
What image comes to mind when you think of vegan design?
I imagine ultra luxury such as a beautifully made crisp white bed or a fabulous living room with beautiful sumptuous fabrics. The feeling of any vegan space should always emit good health, comfort, happiness and an overall “feel good” environment, a space you never want to leave. Vegan design focuses on optimal health and well being.
How did you come to be a designer, what led you to this career?
How I became a vegan designer was initially from the love of animals that my family and I share. Animals are a very important part of our lives. We also do our best to maintain a healthy, optimal lifestyle. We are very active and love nature. When I discovered the term “dog leather,” it was a pivotal moment for me personally and professionally. … It changed me, It had a deep effect on me. How could I continue to be such a hypocrite? … I did a 360 in my business and refused to continue designing spaces with products originating from animals.
Vegan design is not just about saving animals. It’s about putting an end to the inhumane treatment of desperate people forced to work in dangerous, deplorable conditions. It’s about saving the planet. It’s about healthy design and well-being. Animal based textiles and materials such as leather, wool, silk, fur, down and treated woods etc. are laden with poisons and toxins that penetrate our skin. Thankfully, today, consumers are demanding compassionate, healthier alternatives in a majority of industries.
What do you think are some key things to remember when outfitting a home with vegan design stylings?
Use as many natural materials as possible — cork, linens, bamboos and blends. Keep it clean and as low on toxicity as you can.
Where would you draw inspiration from when outfitting a home in this style?
Everywhere, everyone and everything. I travel a lot with my family and I soak up the architecture and materials I see in other countries. I get inspired by the color of the ocean on a gray day or the way a woman’s red lipstick looks against her skin, or even the blue spot on my dog’s eye. Everyday life inspires me. But, most importantly, getting in tune with my clients is my true inspiration. … Starting new projects is like detective work. I have to uncover a client’s true needs and taste. It’s so much fun.
Tell us about your book and what readers can expect from reading it?
“Vegan Interiors — Home Edition” is a first of a series of books that focuses on the beauty of humane design. The book is filled with stunning images portraying compassionate design as luxurious and healthier for everyone from newborns to seniors and simple to embrace. It provides facts about how many animals, workers, trees, etc. are saved in each vegan room or piece of furniture. There are pages dedicated to the future of textiles. “Growing materials” are fabrics made out of fruits and trees that will be readily available to consumers soon enough. “Vegan Interiors — Home Edition” is a beautiful way to show others through demonstration and education that no living thing, including humans, animals and the planet need sacrificing for beautiful interiors.
All images courtesy VeganDesign.org