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In Conversation with Duet Design Group

Devon Tobin and Miranda Cullen are the creative power behind the success of Duet Design Group, a full service interior design firm in Denver, Colorado.

Multiple brains always are better than one, and their team is a proof of this.  Their projects are not just beautiful, they are well executed, and truly reflect the lifestyle and personality of the home owners living in them.  Their success secret is simple!  They are truly a dream design team.

The Duet commitment  is not just to create beautiful interiors or to have a brilliant business model, they also believe that success is being part and support their community.  This is the reason why they have created The Duet Design Group Foundation.  Devon and Miranda are firm believers that an environment can really change lives.  I have seen this more than once in  my career, but to extend a hand to those in need showcases their real talent.

These ladies are definitely ruling the design scene in Colorado for a reason, and they are exemplifying what a real designer needs to do, not just to be.

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Miranda Cullen and Devon Tobin

Iván Meade – What was your first experience with design?

Devon Tobin – It was the summer going into my senior year of college. I spent two months interning for my mom’s interior designer at the time. It took only a couple of days to realize this was going to be how I spent the rest of my professional life!

Miranda Cullen-  I was 21 and applied for an internship with a company in CA.  I was with that company for 10 years!

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – When did you know you wanted to be an interior designer?

Devon Tobin – It was actually my mom that enlightened me to the fact that it was my passion to design interior spaces… I spent my first four years of college enriching my mind with art history and painting. I strongly believed that was the best route for me. It was towards the end of college that I realized I was more obsessed with the way the art studio looked and felt, and less concerned with the canvas I was painting or the symbolic meaning behind an art piece I was studying. I opted to return to school after receiving my first BFA and attended three more years of college to learn the ins and outs of interior design.  

Miranda Cullen- I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be!  I was that kid ripping up my mom’s design magazines and putting together my own “look books” of what my future homes would look like.  I also had every ounce of Barbie furniture and would use my families Pool Table as a penthouse and move the furniture around creating new layouts and spaces.

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – What is the story behind Duet? Who is the other crucial part of your Duet?

Devon Tobin/Miranda Cullen – A former client of Devon’s and a friend of mine introduced us.  It’s kind of a great story and we tell it on our new video.  The firm Devon was working for was let go from a project but still maintained a relationship with Devon.  This client then hired Miranda to finish up the project.  This project is literally ½ of Devon’s ideas and ½ of Miranda’s without ever knowing each other and subsequently became our first publication!

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – While I was doing my research for your interview I found out that your studio philosophy is very similar to mine.  You care about producing the best work possible, supporting your community and you want your team members to be feel that they are part of Duet family.  As a business owner how do you achieve this?

Devon Tobin/Miranda Cullen – It is our responsibility to create the most epic work environment as it’s critical in our industry to allow the creative ideas to flow.  We also know that we need to mentor and empower just as we were to help each designer that we touch come into their natural born talents.

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – What is the best piece of advice you have received as an interior designer?, and what will be the best advice you can give to somebody who is new in the industry?

Devon Tobin/Miranda Cullen- It’s ok if there is something you do not know and don’t be afraid to acknowledge it.  We always say “we know what we don’t know.”   We would too give that advice, and also…before you “jump in with both feet” make sure you LOVE interior design and ALL aspects as it’s not always as “glamorous” as its made out to seem.  

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – What do you think has had more of an influence on your work?

Devon Tobin –Art and fashion

Miranda Cullen- Fashion!

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – Your designs propose a contemporary and innovative approach to luxury – After all you have been published many times in Luxe Magazine, What is luxury to you?

Devon Tobin – a luxurious space or experience is exuded when you immediately feel an elevated sense of self. Your senses become incredibly heightened and more aware. You can’t always pinpoint why you feel “special” in that very moment, but you do!

Miranda Cullen- ummmm….good question!  It’s obviously different for everyone, for me luxury is being able to appreciate what I have worked hard for and live the way my husband and I want.

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – Do you have any self-imposed rules that you live by?

Devon Tobin –I try and practice mindfulness. While I am a very type a personality, I also have an artistic and at times wandering mind. I can easily get lost in thought and distracted by all the beauty that surrounds my profession.  I have found however that when I consciously focus on what is actually occurring around me, I enjoy the moments, experiences, and people more thoroughlyJ

Miranda Cullen- Always treat others as I would like to be treated.

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – What is your current favorite material, and why?

Devon Tobin – Pierre Frey has a new embroidered linen fabric that just hit market which I am obsessed with!

Miranda Cullen-  I love all the natural textiles these days…tie died fabrics, wool weaves…texture= yes!

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – What is the main element that, in your opinion, any home should have?

Devon Tobin/ Miranda Cullen: Personalization…it’s the only way to turn a house into a home

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – What is your favorite project, and why?

Devon Tobin – It tends to be the ones I get to collaborate on with Miranda! I trust her so much that we tend to push our design comfort limits when we work together on projects. They always have that little extra zest to them!

Miranda Cullen- ummm…I pretty much love all of them!!

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – Living in Canada, everybody has the dream to retire either in Colorado or in México. I guess people crave the hot weather. How is life in Colorado?

Devon Tobin –great question! I am a fourth generation Colorado Native. My love for this state runs deep! While it’s quickly evolving into a mini-metropolis, at its heart, it will always be a small town. The four seasons are amazing. The balance of lifestyle is without a doubt key to the overall culture and vibe of this city…and its unequivocally one of the most beautiful states in the country!

Miranda Cullen- Fantastic!  Being a CA native Colorado is a wonderful change of pace for our family!  What we love most about being here is we don’t “work to live” anymore…we “live to work” J  the pace of life here is so obtainable and the different seasons are great!  Although my CA blood does get tired of the cold by March!

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – You are an advocate for the Tiny House Nation – For those of us not in the know, is this form of small space living a growing trend or does it interest only a niche market?

Devon Tobin/ Miranda Cullen- We both live in small homes and utilize them to their fullest!  We don’t like waste… having homes that feel good, function properly, and have every square foot utilized is what we strive for.

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Interiors by Duet Design Group

Iván Meade – Lastly, you have already created a stunning body of work.  What would you like your legacy to be?

Devon Tobin –This question almost makes me tear up! I want to be remembered as leader. I want people to look back on my work and see true skill and talent. I want them to think of me as a kind person that worked hard, played hard, and loved those around her to the fullest. I want to leave behind a company that paved the way for successful, smart, and creative professionals to practice their craft in a fun and unique environment!

Miranda Cullen- WOW!!!  To be known as a successful leader, business owner and have been a pioneer in our industry.  To give my daughter the knowledge and support to blaze her own path and do everything she wants to with her life!

I invite you to visit the incredible body of work of Duet Design

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Photographs by : Eric LuceroDavid Lauer Photography  and Emily M. Redfield