A conversation is happening in a Stephanie Rapp room – even when the human inhabitants are nowhere to be found.
It’s the way an organic pottery vase speaks to the sleek, acrylic handles of the side console on which it’s perched. Or how the subtle curves of a chocolate-brown couch pair with a low, oval table in a bedroom’s sun-dappled corner.
“There’s a suggestion of back and forth to the pieces, a counterbalancing,” said the owner and principal designer of Stephanie Rapp Interiors. “You want to go there.”
It’s that eye for understated, yet elevated sophistication that makes the award-winning Westport-based firm a largely referral-based business. Many of Rapp’s clients seek her out for the livable-meets-luxe quality they’ve enjoyed while at a family holiday celebration or lingering over dessert in a friend’s dining room.
In fact, some of Rapp’s favorite recent projects involve a mother and daughter who each wanted updates on Westport homes. The daughter, who was raised in Westport and came back with her own young family during COVID, presented the challenge of designing remotely. Her mother, who uses a walker, hoped to transform her space while keeping it both chic and functional.
The latter project, which incorporates a nod to the owner’s love of bubbles in the whimsical lighting, won one of the firm’s prestigious HOBI awards for interior design. Rapp’s vision is also behind a 2020 award for Design Market Innovators from Serendipity and her recognition as a finalist for the 2019 athome A-List Awards. A leading member of the Home Builders Remodelers Association of Fairfield County and president of the Professional Women in the Building Industry Council, Rapp was also HBRA’s 2019 Woman of the Year.
Westport Lifestyle Magazine readers named Stephanie Rapp Interiors Best Interior Designer in Westport in our most recent survey.
Born overseas and with an early advertising career in New York City, Rapp has an interior design education from Parson’s School of Design and more than two decades as a leader in the local design community. While she’s worked across the New York City region and beyond, the former longtime Weston resident based her team and her studio on the Post Road and she’s particularly fond of assignments in town.
“Westport is unique within Connecticut and Fairfield County because there’s such a New York influence,” she said. “There’s a sophistication and the arts drive it, but there’s also a casual, coastal vibe.
“It’s laid back – but wearing Prada.”