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Profiles in Design: Shannon Scott

Interior Designer Is Expert in Tasting Rooms, Hospitality, and Senior Living Complexes


Firm: Shannon Scott Design, 2353 Hollister St., Los Olivos, (805) 688-6286, shannonscottdesign.com

Notable Projects: Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn & Spa, Tengri Ranch (a Bhutanese-inspired home), and Sea Cliff (a private castle in Newfoundland, Canada)

“I’m one of those people who’s known what they wanted to do basically their whole life,” explained Shannon Scott, a Big Sur–born, Burbank-raised interior designer who studied at Allan Hancock College and the UCSB Extension program in the mid-1990s. “Since 5th grade, I’ve been changing my bedroom every few weeks.”

After some post-college work in antiques — there weren’t many interior design firms in Santa Barbara back then — Scott found work with SFA Design in 1996 and was assigned to the hospitality sector, working on projects such as the Lake Las Vegas resort and Ventana at Big Sur. Upon being let go in 1999 while pregnant, she started her own firm out of her mother’s office and soon focused on wine country, designing Eli Parker’s Epiphany tasting room. That led to a long-term relationship with the Fess Parker family, who have tapped Scott for her services many times. “A lot of my clients have done multiple projects over the years,” she said. “That’s always a nice validation.”

Other winery clients include Tre Anelli, Stolpman, and Byron, so Scott is a bit of a specialist in tasting-room design. “That work is really focused on creating something that represents their brand, giving a sense of who they are,” explained Scott, who makes spaces that encourage exploration. “You want to make them walk around the space versus just having them stand around the bar.”

Residential and hospitality design also remains a big part of Scott’s portfolio, and those two are somewhat combined in her work on senior living complexes, such as Valle Verde in Santa Barbara and Rona Barrett’s new project in Santa Ynez. But in all of her projects, Scott aims to do two things: one, get involved early so a client’s expectations are reasonable and the project moves smoothly; and two, make functionality primary. “What it looks like is secondary to whether it functions or not,” she explained. “Something can be beautiful, but if it doesn’t work properly, it will be full of frustrations.”

What’s Next: Five-star sustainable hotel project; 120,000-square-foot senior living community; and the Spear Winery and private residence, in a rustic/industrial style with Craftsman-inspired home.



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