Photo credit: Dina Konovalov
Dunstable, MA — Since her family owned a plumbing/heating company that specialized in kitchen and bath remodeling, Denyne Sanville was born into the industry, officially starting in the family business at the age of 16.
Early on in her 30-plus-year design career, the CKD/CBD focused on aesthetics, flow and function, balancing her degrees in business management – which provides proficiency in budgeting and project management – and interior design with construction knowledge gained by growing up in the industry. “I came from a world where we were taught that good design should be functional,” she says. “It should flow. It should look good. It should work ergonomically.”
But since starting her own firm – Denyne Designs in Dunstable, MA – in 2003, she has focused on going beyond just good design to creating warm and welcoming spaces that align with and support homeowners’ goals and desires for their lives, their businesses and their families.
“I take a holistic approach to design,” says the designer, who has added certified interior alignment practitioner to her credentials. “I create spaces that help people connect to their homes.”
Design for all of the senses
Surviving the first decade of business – several years that were some of the toughest the industry has seen – Sanville has increased sales year over year and now employs a part-time design assistant. Together, they create designs that focus on kitchens and family rooms – mostly for busy, professional women between the ages of 35 and 60, some with families, others who are single.
Because of her clients’ busy lifestyles, she is often asked to complete the entire space, doing everything from the floor plan to selecting tile, countertops, cabinetry, etc. as well as soft furnishings like furniture and window treatments. She also does color consultation, all the while keeping in mind Feng Shui to create positive spaces that look – and feel – good.
Sanville believes this methodology sets her apart, giving her an advantage, especially with the increased interest in complementary and alternative medicine. “The holistic industry is here to stay,” she says. “By adding holistics to my design approach, I have poised my business to be on the cusp of great things.”
While some clients seek her out for her unique design approach, Sanville indicates that, oftentimes, it’s more of a ‘bonus.’ “Most of my clients come to me because of my design expertise,” she says. “But then they find out what else I can offer. Time and time again, my holistic design approach has helped me land a project. Not only do I bring design and construction knowledge to the table, I also bring another element that more and more people are gravitating to.”
Holistic design incorporates the whole person, Sanville explains. “It’s about all of the senses, not just sight,” she says.
To create an ideal space, Sanville takes her clients through a proprietary process based on synchro alignment to determine how they respond to space, color, texture, material, etc. “It’s a sort of guided meditation,” she explains. “Some people are more sensitive to and respond differently to various elements.
“The feeling that a person gets from their home is very individual, as are the elements that are used to create the ideal space which, when achieved, not only looks good, but supports them in every way,” she continues. “It is a space that will help reduce stress and allow my clients to become their best selves. It can help them lead healthier, more productive lives.
She continues: “I’ve seen people create better relationships with their family members because of the way the space is designed. I’ve had some clients successfully achieve a promotion at work, or start their own business. It’s all interconnected as far as how the home supports the individual. It’s more than just a cabinet coordinating with a countertop. In reality, it’s about serving my clients to make their lives better through the spaces I design. And the beauty of it is that it doesn’t cost anything extra.”
Sanville works from a design studio in her home. “Clients don’t usually come to me,” she says. “Ninety percent of the time, I go to my clients. I work my schedule around them.”
The absence of a showroom gives her the flexibility to incorporate whatever products and materials her clients request. “My product lines consist of anything I can get my hands on,” she says. “I have agreements with many showrooms and distributors where I can take my clients, or where I can get samples to bring to them.”
Because of her longevity in the business, many projects are attained via referrals. She complements them with a strong online presence through her Web site – where she also writes a blog – and participation in social media. Houzz has been a source of leads for the designer, as has networking with peers and conducting community adult educational programs.
She is also active in the community and stresses the importance of giving back. “I am first and foremost here to serve my clients, and mankind in general, with the gifts I am given,” she says. “I believe in giving back to others. By doing this, I receive the ultimate gift…success and fulfillment not only in my business, but also my life.”
The designer has also been involved in several ‘extreme makeovers’ within the community, as well as for halfway homes for young mothers and their children. “For me, it’s about treading lightly and giving back,” she stresses. “We have to help each other out.”
At a Glance
Location: Dunstable, MA (metro Boston)
Principal: Denyne Sanville
Showroom: independent design studio
No. of employees: one plus a part-time design assistant
Product lines: “Anything I can get my hands on.”
Design software: Chief Architect (full version)
Business philosophy: “I am first and foremost here to serve my clients, and mankind in general, with the gifts I am given. I believe in giving back to others. By doing this, I receive the ultimate gift…success and fulfillment not only in my business, but also my life.”