Darlene Molnar always wanted to be an interior designer. When she was growing up in New Jersey, she shared a room with her sister. “Her side was a typical kid’s room, but mine would be perfectly staged as if a photographer were coming in,” she recalls. Her first design decision was to pick out a pedestal sink from Home Depot for the family bathroom. “My parents were the first clients who trusted me,” she says.
Molnar has an adventurous streak that has taken her around the globe to study, work and travel. After earning a degree in communications in Honolulu (where she interned for a design firm), Molnar enrolled in the graduate interior design program at DC’s Corcoran College of Art + Design. She has studied contemporary design at Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, took a furniture design course in Copenhagen and attended Parsons New School of Design in Paris. She also spent three months living in Kenya. “It’s always influential to get out of the city you’re in and see how people live. Travel has opened my mind up to a lot of different styles,” says Molnar. “It makes me more educated when I talk to my clients.”
Molnar is now an adjunct professor at the Corcoran. She launched her own design firm in Georgetown in 2011 and is currently working on a number of residential and commercial projects, including Quench, a new restaurant in Rockville.
Molnar’s mission is to avoid settling into one particular look. “I never want to get locked into one style or be a one-trick pony,” she says. “One of my best qualities is that of listener and observer. It allows clients to speak.”
INTERIOR DESIGN: DARLENE MOLNAR, ASID, LEED AP, Darlene Molnar, LLC, Washington, DC.
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