If you’ve ever set foot in local boutique Suite Nine 1 Six, you’ve seen “the chair.” A golden bronze-y leather backdrop sets off the perfect complement to the beautiful depiction of a tribal face boring into your fashion-seeking soul.
“That chair gets me all sorts of work,” notes Darcel Moreno, business entrepreneur and proprietor of Bronzed Sugar Designs. “That was my first piece, and I’ve done other [similar] pieces with art work.”
I sat down for a chat with the Plain Dealing native to find out more about the story behind the deliciously named interior design company and the woman who runs it.
Helio: THAT CHAIR!
Helio: How did you get into it?
Moreno: I’ve always dabbled in the arts whether it’s acting, being a modeling instructor, or making chairs. I was just brainstorming one day and wanted to do something different. People tend to keep up with trends, and I just wanted to do something outside of the box. I love photography, and I love art. I thought – I’m not just going to put this on a wall. I’m going to put it on a chair!
Helio: Seems like it paid off! What can a client expect from you design-wise?
Moreno: I love doing custom work for people. Clients will come to me and show me pieces that they love, what colors they are into, and I’ll meet them in their homes for a consultation. I only accept a job [if I can have] complete creative control. I’ve never had an unhappy client!
Helio: What drives you as an artist or designer? Any particular tastes?
Moreno: [laughs] That depends on the day! I did a piece recently for an art show and spent two weeks on it. I took pictures and decided I hated the whole thing. It was a chair from the 1800s, but I completely ripped it up and started over.
Helio: Spoken like a true passionate artist! What sets you apart from others in the field?
Moreno: The chairs are [pretty distinct] to me. One of my main interests is working moms. All my working moms want someone to come in and make over their space – it has to be functional for kids but look nice and have that “it” factor that makes it a haven for them.
[Author’s note: Moreno speaks from experience. In addition to being a multi-faceted entrepreneur, she is a wife to actor and writer Fabian Moreno and mother to two children: Jullian, age 10, and D’Kameron, age 18 and recent scholarship recipient to Northeastern State University in Oklahoma!)
(Back to the interview.)
Helio: What about cost?
Moreno: I will work with any budget! When you think of interior design, you think, “Oh that’s for someone with a lot of money.” When people I find out I can work with their budget, it makes a difference. Everyone deserves to have a nice, warm space they can feel good in!
Helio: And the timeline people can expect?
Moreno: If I’m just doing one room, I’ll come in and knock it out in two days. I know how it is to have children and to have a life, and you don’t want people in your space for too long. I plan and prep and get the job done.
Helio: Interior designer, actor, talent scout, wife, mother, modeling coach…any other spinning plates you want to add to the list?
Moreno: [laughs] It actually all goes together. I love connecting with creative people, and with artists, and when I’m on location shooting somewhere, I’m looking for pieces to purchase from a design standpoint. I have a real passion and love for what I do!
Click through the photo gallery for some of Darcel’s favorite before and afters!