This talented design team trio, comprised of Senior Designer Jen Kravchuk (L) and Design Assistants, Heather Dovidio (front) and Kristina Utke (R), are “rocking” their face masks as they navigate the new reality of designing during a pandemic! Shown here in downtown Tampa, they are making up for lost time with one installation after another. Although highly qualified in all interior design styles, they are becoming specialists in the current Industrial Modern trend due to its popularity with many of their clientele.

Jen has been with Decker Ross Interiors for 14 years, following her graduation Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Interior Design from the International Academy of Design and Technology. With Jen’s award- winning designs in high demand, Heather Dovidio joined her team last fall, followed closely by Kristina Utke.

Heather recently completed her Master of Arts in Interior Architecture and Design at Academy Art University (San Francisco). Her multi-talented background includes event planning, 3D Modeling and Social Media proficiency.

In addition to completing her Interior Design degree, Kristina is an Associate Member of the International Interior Design Association and has 6 years of design experience in Wichita, where she won Parade of Homes awards multiple times.

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Click here to view our Decker Ross portfolio today!


New Design Considerations Due to the Pandemic

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal, by Nancy Keates, illuminated some of the design changes we may see as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Acclaimed architects from around the country were interviewed and articulated some thought-provoking ideas based on their personal experiences of suddenly being forced to work from home… a home which they designed.
Here are some of the highlights:
• A large open transitional living space created acoustical challenges for a family of four (all working and schooling from home), forcing one architect to be sequestered in a dark, isolated basement for phone calls and video conferencing. The solution calls for spaces that can be closed off as needed.
• The need for more expansive outdoor seating options became apparent when trying to safely socialize with neighbors while maintaining proper distances.
• Creating flexible work areas and the need to be able to see outside were other points of consideration made by the architects, along with the ability to isolate a sick person in a comfortable space that includes a bathroom and kitchenette if possible.
• With restaurant closures and more family meals prepared at home, a larger kitchen with additional food storage developed into an unforeseen priority.
• An entry vestibule creating a “hygiene station” and the opportunity for no contact deliveries was mentioned as an unexpected home feature needing to be addressed.
Throughout history, pandemics have inspired major changes in society and the impact on interior design and architecture is no different. If our Decker Ross Team can help you address any of these, or other design challenges, please let us know. We are here to help our clients and community in any way we can during this difficult time and beyond.
Project Designers: Jen Kravchuk and Marci Tempesta
Article by Shawn Tanney Richards

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Tampa Bay Magazine – Best of 2020

For over five years, Decker Ross Interiors has been recognized as the Best Interior Designer in the region by Tampa Bay Magazine.  We are very excited to receive this accolade again in 2020.

Featured in Tampa Bay Magazine May/Jun 2020

A Key West vibe is established in the living room through architectural  details, such as the custom designed painted fretwork of the staircase banister and the recessed tray ceiling, which is highlighted by the application of turquoise grasscloth and palm leaf belt paddle fans. An abstract watercolor rug anchors the seating area’s woven rattan swivel chairs, handpainted case goods and overstuffed, comfortable sofas accented with brushed nickel nailhead trim and custom palm leaf pillows.
This lovely coastal home features spectacular water views from every room and an eclectic “Key West meets British Colonial” décor to match. Following the real estate closing, the owners reached out to their “Go To Designer” Jen Kravchuk of Decker Ross Interiors to enlist her help on the large scale project. Having previously worked on their various properties, including a vacation home in Key West, Jen knew that they had impeccable taste and trusted her design capabilities. An intimate knowledge of their preferences and lifestyle informed her decisions on both the creative and practical aspects of this waterfront property.
Since this was a specially designed new build, Kravchuk was able to collaborate with the owners and contractor during the initial layout, design and construction phase of the project. Unique architectural touches and details can be found throughout, including a fretwork stair banister, oversized baseboards and crown molding, recessed tray ceilings, authentic hardwood floors and custom finishes. Her design plan for this expansive house allowed each room to have its own individual characteristics and ambience, while maintaining some common unifying elements throughout. This was accomplished through the creative use of color, finishes, art, accessories and lighting.
The designer’s expertise in combining various patterns and contrasting textures is quite evident in this project. The use of woven furniture pieces provides a tropical accent and variation in texture to the other selected furnishings. Beautiful designer window treatments in dramatic and bold patterns offer a “oneof-a-kind” quality to many of the new home’s vast windows.
The waterfront location informed the color palette, which includes various shades of blues, greens and soft yellows, along with some fun pops of color. Overall, the home has a colorful Coastal Key West design aesthetic with definite British Colonial/ West Indies influences. Jen incorporated an interesting mix of warm wood tones and rattan accents combined with painted furniture pieces. Selected lighting and fans add a vintage feel. The homeowners could not be more pleased with the outcome of their designer’s latest efforts and plan to enjoy their fabulously unique and comfortable home for many years to come.

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Featured in Tampa Bay Magazine May/June 2020 Issue – Click Magazine Cover to View/Print Article

Featured in Tampa Bay Magazine Mar/Apr 2020

This comfy boxed-back chaise with its panoramic view offers a respite nook for reading and quiet reflection, or maybe even a nap.

This plush island penthouse provides panoramic water views of Intracoastal sunrises and beachside sunsets. The artistically inspired interior reflects the work of Jen Kravchuk, senior designer at award-winning Decker Ross Interiors in Clearwater. Jen was elated to receive a call from a client she has worked with for many years who has impeccable taste, a discerning, artistic eye and the desire for a comfortable yet sophisticated high-quality design. At the time, Jen did not realize this waterfront penthouse would turn out to be her personal favorite design project of her thirteen-year career.

This grand living room has expansive water views and a variety of sophisticated seating anchored by a richly classic abstract dimensional area rug of pastel and neutral hues.

“It’s not often that I encounter a client who trusts me enough to allow me the creative freedom to develop such a plush, classic, elegant vision with few limitations,” she said. “It’s truly a designer’s dream.”
A mid-century modern luxurious design aesthetic with a soft pastel color palette was decided upon as the design direction. Blush pink, soft teal and neutrals, such as taupe and sand tones to be reflective of the panoramic beach and sky views, were used throughout. Adept at mixing materials and finishes to create an optimal design aesthetic, the designer incorporated
organic elements, such as wood, agate, brass, steel and glass in the furnishings, lighting and accessories. Her innovative designs also feature a variety of geometric shapes and quite a bit of textural contrast. In addition to leather, the rich elegant fabrics include chenille, shimmering linens, cut dimensional velvets, and faux fur to delight the eye and add visual interest in the rooms of this exquisite penthouse.

In the entry hall, a bronze sculpture titled Butterflies for Brains is perched atop a brass and marble pedestal base in front of framed lucite textural art.

With elevated ceilings and rooms as expansive as the views, oversized lighting fixtures were used to maintain balance and scale. Jen selected individual fixtures that blended nicely with each other for design cohesion. The open concept meant that each space needed its own individual identity, while tying into a seamless overall design.
The art studio’s views of the sand, surf and sunsets provide inspiration for the homeowner, who is a painter. There, as with the rest of this opulent island penthouse, the designer’s attention to detail, artistic sensibilities and use of elegant, yet functional, high quality, comfortable furnishings creates a timeless interior that reflects the owner’s taste and lifestyle.
By Shawn Tanney Richards

Project Images

Featured in Tampa Bay Magazine March/April 2020 Issue – Click Magazine Cover to View/Print Article

Press Release – Welcomes Heather Dovidio to their Talented Design Team


Award-Winning Decker Ross Interiors welcomes a new Design Assistant, Heather Dovidio, to their talented team of designers.  Heather recently completed her Master of Arts degree in Interior Architecture and Design at Academy of Art University (San Francisco, California).  Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Heather graduated from Duquesne University with a B.A. in Communication and a Psychology minor.

In addition to her interior design and architectural knowledge, Heather’s experience includes a variety of creative endeavors like planning and designing for large scale special events and creating 3D models of nursing facilities undergoing renovations to improve patient experience.  She also has a strong background in marketing, including social media, website management and photography.

“We are excited and pleased about Heather joining our staff,” commented Suzan Decker Ross, ASID and company owner.  “She is smart, talented, has a great personality and is a strong addition to our design team,” she added.

About Decker Ross Interiors:

Established in 1993, Decker Ross Interiors is an award winning, full service Interior Design firm specializing in both Residential and Commercial design. Our conveniently located showroom, at 1445 Court St. in Clearwater, has two showrooms featuring the latest design trends. Our professional design team can take a project from inception to completion, assisting clients in avoiding costly mistakes. From blueprints to finishing touches, we can create a professional transformation in any style – from coastal to transitional… contemporary to traditional.

Featured in Tampa Bay Magazine Jan/Feb 2020

This unique donor wall was designed by Suzan Decker Ross. She commissioned local artists Kathleen Bromley and Kara Ramdas of Katglass Stained Glass Studio of Clearwater to source and create the fused glass panels with hand-painted donor names. Waylon Smith of All Metals Custom fabricated and installed the welded aluminum powder coated frames in this two-story artistic focal point.

For over thirty years, Suzan Decker Ross of the American Society of Interior Designers has been preparing for the design performance of her life: being selected as the interior designer for the massive renovation and expansion of a regional cultural gem, Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. As the owner of award-winning Decker Ross Interiors, she and her team have skillfully undertaken a variety of projects in every style imaginable. From the historical landmark Capitol Theatre renovation to a contemporary, sleek high-end med-spa, Decker Ross and her team of talented designers possess the creative knowledge and attention to detail necessary to tackle a project of this magnitude and importance.

Decker Ross and senior designer Marci Tempesta worked closely with the Ruth Eckerd Hall board of directors and Susan Crockett, its president and CEO, to re-envision the overall design concept, color palette, flooring and surface finishes, and to add new upscale furnishings and artistic custom pieces featuring the work of local artisans.

Comfortable bench seating was custom made to fit the L-shaped half wall in the upstairs Dress Circle Lounge. Notice the accent tables reflect the circular motif of the architecture.

“My creative vision incorporates a sophisticated, elegant, timeless design aesthetic, which includes an art deco inspired colorful glass art suspended donor wall,” Decker Ross said. “Following many sleepless nights of 3 a.m. inspirations, I knew I had to find just the right person to bring my creative vision to life.” I collaborated with Kathleen Bromley and Kara Ramdas of Katglass Studio because of their forty-year professional reputation as a premier studio specializing in custom stained, leaded, Tiffany and fused glass creations as well as their historical repair and restoration throughout the Southeast.”

Decker Ross decided to feature the work of Safety Harbor artist Holly Apperson of GinHol Mosaics, who married vivid stained glass and shiny metal to defunct instruments to give them new life as wall jewelry. Apperson’s colorful upcycled creations become beautifully intricate mosaic musical instruments and can be seen in various locations throughout Ruth Eckerd Hall’s newly renovated Grand Lobby and Dress Circle Lounge.

Located in the Dress Circle Lounge, the Glass Donor Wall features traditional stained and leaded glass panels, along with 180 fused glass panels that incorporate painted donor names. While Katglass Stained Glass Studio of Clearwater was completing the glass art production, Waylon Smith of All Metals Custom was fabricating the welded aluminum framework to hold the glass pieces in place. “The biggest challenge was to be sure that all of the glass fit in the correct location,” Smith said, “along with the tremendous amount of time required for welding and installing this project.”

Katglass Stained Glass Studio encouraged Suzan Decker Ross, Marci Tempesta and Susan Crockett to create a custom glass piece to be included in the donor wall, and a framed quad set of dichroic fused glass art compositions that were created by Suzan hangs in the upstairs Dress Circle Lounge.

“Whenever possible, we strive to include the work of local artisans in our designs,” Suzan said. “Because the mission of a performing arts center is to enrich the cultural lives of the community it serves, I particularly wanted to bring in the work of as many artists as possible.”

A custom floating marble staircase ushers patrons past the colorful stained glass donor wall, as they ascend to the upstairs Dress Circle Lounge.

Decker Ross was inspired to bring in artist Stephen Palladino to paint two murals from his series known simply as Paparazzi Paintings. “I am beyond honored that I was asked to add my work to the walls of Ruth Eckerd Hall. It was surreal to paint these pieces in a place I visited many times in my life,” Palladino said. Decker Ross also playfully added the colorful, upcycled mosaic musical instruments made by Safety Harbor artist Holly Apperson of GinHol Mosaics to several locations in the Dress Circle Lounge and Grand Lobby.

“We asked Suzan to bring a breath of fresh air that would leave guests breathless from the personal touches,” said Crockett, Ruth Eckerd Hall’s CEO. “Ruth Eckerd Hall is renowned for consistent quality with joyful moments woven into the experience. We wanted the interior to reflect that. I knew we were in good hands with Suzan and Marci.” Suzan Decker Ross is thrilled to have played the lead in the design of a lifetime.

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Featured in Tampa Bay Magazine Jan/Feb 2020 Issue – Click Magazine Cover to View/Print Article


Designer Marci Tempesta, of Decker Ross Interiors, created the beautiful interior of the Carriage Home Model A at Belleview Place in Belleair.

This JMC Communities model won the Grand Prize in the $1.3+ category in the 2019 Tampa Bay Parade of Homes.  Marci’s unique design is sophisticated and elegant and appeals to a wide variety of home buyers.  Congratulations Marci!

How To Choose An Interior Design Firm For Your Home Or Business

By Howard Ellis & Shawn Tanney Richards

If you’re old enough, you may remember a popular band called The Lovin’ Spoonful. The lyrics from one of their hit songs went like this…

“Did you ever have to make up your mind? And pick up on one and leave the other behind?  It’s not often easy and not often kind. Did you ever have to make up your mind?” 

Choosing an Interior Design firm is kind of like that. So how do you make up your mind with confidence that you’re picking the right one and leaving the others behind? Here are a couple questions you may want to ask to begin the process:

Is the Interior Design firm licensed?  How long have they been in business? Ask friends, neighbors and professional business associates for recommendations. Request a referral from an Architect, Building Contractor, or Real Estate professional. They all interact frequently with Interior Designers and can steer you toward a well established, qualified firm.

Once you have this information, check out their website to view the quality and scope of their work and to learn more about the company. Call and speak with someone at the design studio you’re considering. Often the initial appointment is complimentary and it should help you determine if you’re comfortable and compatible with the designer(s) you have selected.

Writing down information about the scope of your project and bringing blueprints and pictures of the design style(s) you prefer, will expedite the process. And compile a list of any questions you may have.

Choosing the right Interior Designer can alleviate stress, save you money, and give you the home or business environment that suits your taste and lifestyle or business needs.

While this decision is not often easy and not often kind, hopefully this information will help you make up your mind.

Professional Interior Design Firm versus Furniture Store Designer

By Howard Ellis & Shawn Tanney Richards

So, the furniture store you were in today has a designer on staff.  And you’re wondering if you should just let them furnish your home or office, rather than calling in a professional interior design firm, right?

Before you make that decision, here are a few things to consider…

A professional interior design firm can take your project from, “Not exactly sure what I want, but I have a few ideas”… to… “Wow, that’s exactly what I had in mind, only better.”

Because they’re responsible to you and not to the furniture store owner, the design firm can’t be influenced by inventory issues or spiffs on certain items the store wants to move.

The design firm will give you access to more than a thousand assorted vendors that cater to every budget. The nice man or woman from the furniture store can’t do that. Nor can they specify fabrics from unlimited sources, as the design firm can.

With all their limitations, the prospect of  the furniture store designer creating an exciting,  unique, personalized design just for you, isn’t likely. And it’s not just about design, it’s also dollars. The design firm can shield you from costly mistakes in a way the furniture store designer can’t. Mistakes that can rob your budget of buying power and leave you disappointed with the look and livability of your interior.

It’s a great stress reliever knowing that, from blueprints to finishing touches, your design firm will handle preliminary planning, project coordination with architects, builders, and subcontractors and then complete the look of your project with art, accessories, window treatments, and appropriate lighting. Think of the time that will save you. Not to mention the sleepless nights.

In short, to appreciate the difference between having a design firm handle your project versus someone from the furniture store you visited, consider this little analogy: Would you rather have a meal planned and prepared just for you by a chef who goes out each day searching for the most desirable ingredients and the best values he can find in shops and stores all over…Or by Del Monte’s home economist, who prepares your meal solely from the company’s selection of  products?

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Decker Ross Interiors

1445 Court Street, Clearwater, FL 33756

Phone: 727.442.9996

Fax: 727.442.1935


Monday thru Friday - 9:00AM to 5:00PM

Saturday & Sunday - By Appointment

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