Vanessa Stern is the Los Angeles based interior decorator and owner of the boutique design firm Vanessa and Valentine. She is also my sister. At a very young age, Vanessa envisioned the potential beauty of the residential space providing warranted and unwarranted design advice to family and friends. She directed our shared room redecorating projects with her sharp design eye and eclectic style range for 12 years.

Vanessa attended the all girls’ college preparatory school, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, in La Canada Flintridge, where her natural talent for design flourished while emphasizing studies in Fine Arts. Our parents realized Vanessa’s true artistic abilities and provided her with blank canvases, brushes, and paints to encourage her self-expression. It was during this time that Vanessa merged her preppy and bohemian personal styles, drawing on inspiration of her conservative roots and music interest in Pink Floyd,
The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jazz, Electronica and House Music.

Vanessa’s passion for the arts led her to pursue a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Media Arts with a Double Minor in Art History and Graphic Design from The University of Arizona. During her summers home from college she worked for various Graphic Design firms, large Entertainment studios, and Prop Houses exposing her to many areas of design. In 2001, she returned home to Los Angeles to pursue a career in the Entertainment Industry, but quickly learned that her creative passions and talents were left unfulfilled by grunt work as a Production Assistant. In 2002, she was presented with the unique opportunity to work as a Design Consultant creating a Willy-Wonka-esque inspired children's candy store from the ground up, which set her on a path to pursue Interior Design.  Determined to work at The Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, she landed her first gig in 2003 as Showroom Assistant at J.H. Minassian and Co.  From there she went on to work as a Project Manager for the high-end luxury outdoor brand, Janus et Cie, managing large scale Hospitality and Residential projects. Determined to go into sales, she worked at The David Sutherland Showroom as an Associate assisting LA's top designers and celebrity clientele with furniture, fabric, and accessory choices.  Learning the trade and truly honing her design skills inspired Vanessa to establish her own firm. Somewhere between redecorating our posh Hancock Park apartment and entertaining our twenty-something friends in 2004, we combined her first name and my middle name to create Vanessa and Valentine. In the fall of 2008, while planning for her spring wedding, Vanessa established the Vanessa and Valentine blog showcasing her personal style, inspiration, design projects, and obsessions for interiors, fashion, art, travel, and good old-fashioned love. She combines elements of style from traditional, glamorous, preppy, bohemian, modern, high end, inexpensive, and thrift store vintage. Vanessa lives with her husband Josh in Brentwood, and is a new mommy to her son Barron and daughter Serena.

– Chelsea Valentine Tefft


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