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Designer Brings The New Into The Old

Dawn Gepfert was always partial to newer styles rather than older ones. Part of it came from growing up in the Chicago suburbs, where modern architecture was "built into the curriculum in high school." Then, when Dawn went on to study interior architecture and design in Arizona, newer construction was practically all she knew.

So when she moved her family to Fairfield 17 years ago and began plying her trade in Connecticut, she needed to adjust — to say the least.

"The first time I went into a traditional home, it was such a novelty," Dawn says. "It kind of gives you a perspective of how the different influences in your life affect you."

So she eased into residential work, starting with a few projects while raising her children. But with the kids now in high school, Dawn decided to set out on her own, founding her own interior design and architecture firm , Dawn Pasinato Gepfert Interior Architecture & Design.

Now, her stock and trade is renovating classic New England homes. But she insists her work depends on the families who hire her. Before beginning any project, she sits down with her clients and makes sure her designs fit their needs.

"You learn idiosyncratic things about people and how they really live," Dawn says. "Not everybody lives in a center hall colonial and has a formal dinner every night."

Though Dawn has adjusted to an old-school style, she still prefers to create the brand-new herself. If Dawn had her preferences, her clients would contact her as soon as they begin looking for a new home, so she can begin plotting renovations and designs from scratch.

"I think that's the gratifying part" of my job, Dawn says. "You can see the potential in any space and have that come to fruition."

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