Interior designer Cheryl Neumann says she’s never worked on a project that didn’t spill outside. That kind of experience comes in handy here in Santa Barbara, where outdoor living spaces provide year-round comfort and function, especially throughout much of 2020 as a precaution against the coronavirus pandemic.
For example, the pictured Giffin & Crane remodel features seamless transitions between interior and exterior spaces, highlighted by custom furniture designed to look good and withstand the sun, wind, and rain.
Recently we caught up with Neumann, who partners with daughter Courtney Jordan Bindel and the Jordan Design Crew, for her take on work, talent, and some of the people she admires.
What drew you to design early on? I always wanted to make everything more beautiful, even as a child.
What has been your favorite work-related field trip or vacation? Working in Europe. Wandering the Huntington Gardens.
What is your favorite public space in Santa Barbara? The Mission.
Where do you find design inspiration outside of home projects? Nature.
What do you most like about your work? Working with teams of creative, talented people for wonderful, appreciative clients.
Go back in time and pick another profession. I was a dancer for 25 years. I would do it again in my next life. Landscape architecture would be a strong second.
What is your current state of mind? Grateful.
What is your idea of perfect happiness? Working and creating with my daughter … and I do that every day!
What is your greatest fear? Danger to those I hold dearest.
What is your greatest extravagance? Books.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Honesty without tact. Pride.
Which talent would you most like to have? To speak several languages.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? To not get so excited when talking that I interrupt.
What is your most treasured possession? A silver ring my daughter picked out for me when she was 3 years old. I have been wearing it ever since.
Which living person do you most admire? Michelle Obama.
Which living person do you most despise? 45.
What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty and honesty.
Who are your favorite fictional characters? Atticus Finch and Harry Potter.
Who are your heroes in real life? RBG, Robert Kennedy, and Christo.
On what occasion do you lie? To avoid hurting someone.
What is your most marked characteristic? My enthusiasm.
What word or phrase do you most overuse? “At the end of the day …”
What do you consider your greatest achievement? Bringing my daughter into the world.
What unasked question would you like to answer? What is your hope for the future?
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