Sylvia Thompson-Dias, Master Artisan and Owner of Sylvia T Designs, was recently acknowledged as a “Design Master” in the “Decorative Finishes” for 2022 by New Orleans Homes Magazine! This prestigious award is given to a single individual each year across a few design categories. Others include “Preservation,” “Lighting,” “Interior Design,” “Architecture,” and more. Honorees are recognized for their expertise, quality of work, and longevity as a leader in their field, among other criteria.
Sylvia Thompson-Dias of Sylvia T Designs shows off her New Orleans Magazine profile for their “2022 Design Masters” awards at the magazine’s recent ceremony.
Sylvia Thompson-Dias receives her “Design Master” award from New Orleans Homes Magazine editor, Melanie Warner Spencer.
Having a great time at the New Orleans Homes Magazine “2022 Design Masters Award Ceremony!” From left Tess Riehlmann – Artisan Apprentice, Jess Pottker – Artisan, Tyler Wyche – Sylvia’s eldest daughter, and Sylvia Thompson-Dias, Master Artisan and Owner.
“It means a lot to be named a ‘Design Master’ by New Orleans Homes Magazine! It is an honor to be recognized for this distinguished award along with the other talented winners.” Sylvia said.
“After more than 25 years in the business, with a lot of hard work along the way in developing our finishes, it is extremely gratifying! Of course, it takes a crew, and I am lucky to have such talented people working around me including our amazing all-female applicator team! So much of our success comes from empowering our team to do what they do!”
“As a decorative artist and as a firm dedicated to ‘honoring tradition and progress,’ we are always working to learn new finishes, refine existing ones, vet new products, and stay on top of design trends and materials,” Sylvia added. “Thanks to New Orleans Homes Magazine for this terrific award!”
Celebrating Sylvia Thompson-Dias for her New Orleans Homes Magazine 2022 Design Master award for the “Decorative Finishes” category. Pictured from left – Jess Pottker – Artisan, Tess Riehlmann – Artisan Apprentice, Sylvia Thompson-Dias – Master Artisan and Owner, and Tyler Wyche – Sylvia’s eldest daughter at the “Design Masters” award ceremony.
Here is the text from the original article in the magazine’s Autumn 2022 edition:
Tell us about your work. Sylvia T Designs is a full-service decorative arts firm in business for over 25 years. We specialize in decorative and functional plaster finishes, murals, custom and classic stencils, gilding, cabinetry and furniture refinishing, custom signage, and more. We seek to #HonorTraditionandProgress on every job we do – commercial or residential, historic or new construction, large or small. We “make your space a work of art!”
Why and how did you become a decorative artist? I have a degree in architecture from LSU but decided to pursue my love of art. I have been a gallery artist in the past but pursuing the decorative arts has allowed me to combine my education and artistry in the perfect fashion!
Who are you mentors and what are your influences, inspirations? I draw inspiration from various sources – plaster finishes and other decorative arts disciplines and artisans from times past as well as the present. My father, who was in construction, was also a major influence on me, taking me along when he worked. He taught me, among many other things, about the value of being able to work with and respect everyone on a jobsite. We are always proud to say we work “in the trades!”
Tell us about one of your favorite or most important projects. There are so many, and they all matter to us greatly, including many historic and hospitality spaces! One highlight is we had the honor of doing the finishes in the “organ room” of the Historic New Orleans Collection’s expansion in the Seignouret-Brulatour House on Royal St in the French Quarter. It is the only space in the museum that was returned to the home’s original finishes.
What has being a decorative artist taught you? Our artisan team is all-female. This is a point of pride and has taught me the importance of building careers for women in the decorative arts. Also, importantly, our work involves us delivering our artistry to achieve our clients’ vision in their spaces. We take that trust very seriously and it is always a pleasure and privilege, of which we remind ourselves of everyday!
– Original Article by Lee Cutrone and appeared in the New Orleans Homes Magazine Autumn 2022 edition.
See their online article here.