ANELLE GANDELMAN kitchen and dining nook with lantern


From Parsons to DwellStudio, Sotheby’s to A-List Interiors, talented interior designer (and savvy businesswoman) Anelle Gandelman has been on the fast-track to success since immigrating to the US at age 17. Read on to find out about her inspirational journey, why travel sparks her creativity and her biggest challenge as a designer

1. How did you get started as a designer?

I did not take a direct path in becoming an interior designer. I was an artistic child, constantly painting and drawing, but I always knew I wouldn’t be happy as a fine artist and wanted a career that combined creativity with aspects of business. After high school I entered Parsons School of Design, thinking I wanted to be an art director at an advertising agency. However, while at Parsons I landed an internship with DwellStudio, a home furnishings brand founded by Christiane Lemieux, while it was in its start-up phase. I ended up working there for a few years after graduation, designing textiles, developing furnishings, and falling in love with all things home. I received an incredible hands-on education in both design and the running of a small business during my time there, but left DwellStudio to pursue a graduate program at Sotheby’s. While at Sotheby’s I developed my knowledge of antiques and contemporary art which led me to open an art gallery, representing emerging artists, in 2007. When the economic crisis of 2008 hit though, art sales became more difficult and I started providing in-home art consultations. These art consultations quickly morphed into interior design consultations which in turn developed into larger interior design projects and in 2012 I founded A-List Interiors.


2.Where do you get your inspiration?

It sounds a bit cliche, but my biggest inspiration is travel. I think it’s so important to leave my comfort zone and see things from other people’s perspective. I believe the more I see, the more trained my eye becomes at picking up on details and nuances that elevate the design of a room. Books and images are great but they can’t replace actually experiencing a space, whether that’s a luxury boutique hotel or a period room in an historic house.  


3. Do you have a favorite project to date? Or a favorite type of project that tends to be your favorite?

My favorite type of project is a large scale renovation or new build where we are involved from start to finish. It’s very fulfilling to take a home all the way from just a set of plans to a fully furnished turn key space, down to the last coffee table book. 


4.What is the biggest challenge you face as a designer?

The lack of standard business practices within the interior design industry and educating potential clients, who have never worked with an interior designer before, in what we do and the value of our services. This can be especially tricky, when furniture stores offer “free interior design services” and e-design platforms advertise low cost design packages.


5. What do you consider your biggest accomplishment to date? 

My biggest accomplishment to date is immigrating to the US from South Africa at 17 years old. That single decision set a completely new course for my life and made so many things possible, including the opportunity to grow the business I have today. 

6.Are there any designers that particularly inspire you?

I am inspired by Thomas Pheasant – his projects span a wide range of styles, from traditional to very contemporary, but they always feel classic and timeless. He has a way of creating rooms that are filled with beautiful details, yet they are never overstuffed and feel carefully edited which aligns with my own philosophy towards design. I also love the work of Parisian designers, Jean-Louis Denoit and Joseph Dirand. They both have such a strong point of view and I admire their ability to mix styles.


7. Go-to paint color?

Benjamin Moore China White


Ebooks or hardbacks?



M&Ms or Skittles?



Coffee or tea?



ANELLE GANDELMAN kitchen with lanterns over island


ANELLE GANDELMAN white kitchen






Check back tomorrow for more of Gandelman’s good taste and a super chic farmhouse tour

Thanks so much for spending your summer with Design Chic. We always love seeing you here!

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