Our approach to interior design is rooted in real life. 

It’s about the right fit, and the simplest solution.

Joan and Maureen met through a book club. It was near the end of the recession in 2009. Both designers had their individual practices. But both were looking for a change. They started to talk about creating a new design studio. They wanted a studio that would bring a hands-on perspective to problem solving and empower the client to think creatively and realistically about design requirements and solutions. 


DESIGN IN REAL LIFE opened its doors in 2010. Since that time, the studio has developed and completed numerous renovation, new construction and build-out projects.  The studio provides full interior design and project support services and specializes in new construction and major renovations for both residential and commercial spaces.


Both principals are highly experienced professionals and their accreditations include: California certified interior designers (CID); sustainable building by USGBC as LEED AP BD+C (Building and Construction), and NCIDQ certification. In addition to their knowledge of furnishings, textiles, draperies, and wall and flooring materials, they are well-versed in the  requirements of the CAL Green Building Code and Title 24, and also are ADA specialists.

Joan Vaccaro

Joan brings an openness and clarity to the process of developing interior design projects.  This approach combined with an impressive history of firm and design management results in highly successful projects.  


As vice president of two national architectural firms, Joan's commercial design projects included office buildings, law firms, medical and scientific laboratories, retail and trade showrooms, among other professional spaces. As principal of her own design firm, she worked with WestEd (an educational research and developments company), LACCD (the construction consortium for the nine community colleges), Chevron, and Otis Spunkmeyer on their test kitchen facilities, as well as other projects.


Joan attended Duke University and received her design degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. She holds a NCIDQ accreditation and is certified in California as an Interior Designer #1181.

Maureen Fisher

With a passion for casually elegant design, Maureen has integrated her creative background, and planning and development experience to lead two design firms. Her work includes residential projects in California, New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Colorado, and Vermont.

Prior to her life in the design world, she held executive positions in finance, strategic planning, and business development for ESPN, Warner Communications, WNET, and Madison Square Garden Corporation. The latter led to an opportunity where a Vice President, she oversaw a $250 million renovation. 


With degrees in literature and art history, a master's degree from Syracuse University, Maureen brings a variety of talents to her work. She holds an accreditation as a LEED AP in Building & Construction and is certified as a California Interior Designer #6548.

Los Angeles, CA, USA


©2020 by Design In Real Life with WiX

  • Instagram Design In Real Life
  • Design In Real Life FaceBook
  • Pinterest Design In Real Life
  • twitter Design In Real Life