By Charlyne Varkonyi Schaub
Joseph Fava, a devoted Baltimorean, eventually realized he left his heart in South Florida.
He studied marketing at the University of Miami and went home to work at the G. Fava Fruit Co., his family business. Five years later he returned to study at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. After working with Steve Hefner at Design Works in Delray Beach for five years, he opened Fava Design Group in Fort Lauderdale. Then he heard the siren call of Miami about two years ago.
“I like all that Miami has to offer,” he says. “I like the fact that it is international. There is a lot going on year-round. I like the vibe.”
Clients and trade sources laud Fava for his creativity and attention to detail. He received the Rising Star of Design Award from the Design Center of the Americas in Dania Beach and the Ornare Miami Tastemaker Award.
Why did you decide to become a designer?
Design has always been something inside of me. My mother likes to tell stories of us going to a dinner party and how I commented on what the women wore, the artwork in the living room or the fabric on a chair.
What is your design mantra?
Go bold or go home. I like to try to push the envelope and take chances. I like to use vibrant colors or colors in different ways. If I push a client to do something they normally wouldn’t do, that turns out to be what they love the most.
What are you sorry you didn’t buy for yourself?
I am a fast shopper. I know the chance of something being there again is slim. During season when Lincoln Road has antique shows on Sundays, I go there frequently. One of my friends laughs because I don’t negotiate. I go in, I see it and I buy it.
Why did you get involved with the Kid Sanctuary Campus, a charity that is building homes for abused, neglected and abandoned children in West Palm Beach?
I was invited to become one of the room designers. Next I became design chair recruiting 15 designers to donate their time and gather free furnishings from showrooms. These children never had a safe environment to grow up in and a place to feel secure.
Fava Design Group, 7636 NE Fourth Court, Suite 103, Miami,