6 Things with Linette Dai Founder of Linette Dai Design

Linette Dai, Founder of Linette Dai Design, began her interior design career from a serendipitous opportunity of flipping homes with a friend and has since then developed her style, eye for sophistication, and a timeless, modern taste to her interior design firm is both the culmination and expression of her creativity and passion for craft, while helping homeowners create their dream abodes. 

1. What started it all for you?

I have always been driven by curiosity, so upon graduating with a degree in Art History from UCLA, I explored multiple careers. It wasn’t until I was asked by a friend to help design flip homes that I organically discovered my passion for making dreams homes come true.

I went back to school to study interior design and simultaneously gained a tremendous amount of experience on construction sites. Prospective home buyers who toured the remodeled homes began to inquire about the “designer” and that’s how I unintentionally ended up with my first clients!

I decided that to truly excel in my field, I needed to first work under more well-established designers who had the caliber of projects I aspired to have, so I freelanced with multiple designers for a few years before finally going off on my own. I’m now the Principal Designer of my studio Linette Dai Design in Belmont Shore, with a talented team that works alongside me.

2. What drives your creative spark?

So much, but mostly novelty and the uncommon. The excitement of a new concept that I haven’t seen implemented yet, and the rest of the design unfolds from that starting point. Whereas most clients initially want something they’ve seen often, I’ve always been drawn to share ideas I haven’t seen before, and I strive to produce work that is a visual expression of the clients’ individuality.

What entices me most is being able to facilitate an elevated version of what we experience on a regular basis, that can surpass in its way of serving one’s ideal lifestyle. Also, meeting the clients, learning their personality and walking into the space. The combination of the two usually already tells me what the vision calls for. Nature, art, and travels keep my mind continuously open to fresh perspectives. Last, but not least, I am constantly inspired by the different time periods of architecture across various cultures, resulting in a timelessly curated and highly personalized home.

3. Most treasured home decor item?

I have a gorgeous ceramic cup with ocean-like waves that was a gift from the owner of a Japanese restaurant in my home country of Taiwan. During dinner, each guest was served hot tea in a different cup, and I found mine so exquisite that I asked where I could purchase one. Turns out the owner had collected different handmade ceramic cups throughout her travels to Japan, and as I was leaving, she wrapped it up for me as a gift because of how much I admired it. It just speaks to the hospitable and generous nature of our Taiwanese culture, and also holds special meaning for me being that I was born in Japan.

In fact, there’s a deep sentimentality attached to any pottery I own that’s been handcrafted. Each piece is irreplaceable due to the nuance of its craftsmanship, the artistry, the history and story behind the maker, the moment in time. The originality, love and energy bestowed upon each handcrafted production makes it one of a kind and precious. 

4. What’s the best advice you've ever received?

There’s a lot of great advice out there, including those that contradict one another, and they can all come from successful people. I’d say at the end of the day, the one that proved most valuable to me is “Don’t be afraid to try different things and figure out what works for you.”
In business and in design, there is no one size fits all. The adventure and beauty is in the journey of discovering your own optimum workflow and how you’re best able to operate your business and support your team to deliver the ideal results and experience for your clientele. As an entrepreneurial creative, it’s an ongoing evolution of both artistic refinement and personal growth.

5. It's 5 o'clock at home. What would you be pouring?

It really depends on the occasion. If it’s been a whirlwind and I just want to unwind, a glass of bold Cab or Bordeaux. If I’m getting ready for an evening workout, then a protein shake. If it’s a happy hour, one of my fave cocktails is a Lychee Martini with Grey Goose La Poire and St Germain served in chic glassware!

6. What are your 6 favorite accounts that you follow for inspiration?


"Don’t be afraid to try different things and figure out what works for you. In business and in design, there is no one size fits all." -Linette Dai