Bette Abbott, founder and principal designer, is an interior design professional with an extensive background in project management. Bette Abbott Interior Design is a full service residential and commercial design firm in Napa, California.

We sat down with Bette to discuss her former life in fashion, what inspires her and how collaborating with others is her happy place.

Can you tell us how Bette Abbott Interior Design was conceived?

I owned a couple of clothing stores in a past life and one of my former clients asked me to help furnish her home. It sounded like fun so I jumped right in and began choosing fabrics and rugs, designing custom furniture pieces and window coverings…selecting tile, paint colors and countertop materials. It was a learn as you go situation, which was quite exciting and terrifying at the same time. Luckily I am diligent to a fault and everything worked out beautifully. After that, I decided to get certified and invested in my future and confidence by studying interior design.

It makes me happy to see people in our industry work together and commit to uplifting one another.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from my peers & clients, my uber-talented trade partners & furniture makers, traveling, architecture, art, movies, the ocean…

Who would you consider to be your biggest influences?

Vincent Van Duysen for his elegant simplicity, Axel Vervoordt for his effortless genius in layering texture, Noz Nozawa for her epic use of color and flair, Brigette Romanek for her spirit and talent for creating the perfect mix for every single project.

How does environmental sustainability factor into your projects?

We try to be very mindful with the materials and pieces we select for our projects so they remain timeless. We want our clients to enjoy our installations for years to come and not feel the need to replace to “keep up with the trends”. We also work directly with our furniture suppliers and makers to ensure our pieces are made to last and of the best quality at each price point.

How has the global pandemic impacted your business—any silver linings?  

It has brought a more discerning eye to some clients and future clients as they were acutely focused on their living spaces. It has definitely made me more grateful to do what I do everyday – grateful to have a job!

What would you consider to be the most substantial change in the field of design since you opened your firm?

It has gotten much easier for clients to educate themselves on all aspects of interior design. It’s easier to find inspiration and learn how things are sourced and made. It’s really expanded the conversations we have with our clients.

How do you see the world of design changing for the better in the future?

It continues to get easier to find and connect with so many talented artists, artisans, furniture makers and designers. There is an infinite pool of talent out there – being able to collaborate with some of these talents and see our ideas and the ideas of others come together is stimulating. It makes me happy to see people in our industry work together and commit to uplifting one another. There was a time where people held their cards close to vest and could be so competitive. I feel like that time is coming to an end – there is enough work out there for everybody!

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