Erin Pitts was 12 when she experienced an epiphany about her future career. Her mom, frustrated about staying at home, took interior-design courses and was creating a rendered perspective drawing for an assignment.
“I was mesmerized as I watched her draw,” Pitts says. “I remember feeling what she was feeling and understanding the concept of space and shape. After that I never thought of doing anything but interior design.”
Her mom never finished school, but Pitts earned her degree from The Bradley Academy of Visual Arts in York, Pa. Pitts, who recently opened an office in Delray Beach, was honored as one of Traditional Home’s “20 Young Designers to Watch” in 2010. Her work has been published in Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Kitchen and Bath Ideas, Renovation Style and Coastal Living.
City & Shore: Why did you decide to open an office in Delray Beach?
Erin Pitts: I always have focused on coastal projects and coastal homes, not just in Maryland [her other residence] but also in California and other places. My husband and I wanted to buy a second home in a warmer climate. We took a couple of jaunts and drove around Florida to see what felt good. Miami is too big, too international and didn’t have a level of intimacy. Palm Beach is too hoity-toity and glitzy. Delray is a real town. It is not overrun with high-rises. It has a strong arts community and a great downtown with a lively nightlife. It felt good.
C&S: What is your design mantra?
EP: Elegant coastal homes for families. I have always been about creating beautiful elegant homes that are comfortable for families with nothing so precious that you can’t sit on with a wet bathing suit.
C&S: Who are your design idols?
EP: I was saddened by the death of Oscar de la Renta. I love the Dominican Republic and what he did in his Punta Cana residence with natural materials such as coral stone and bone. I also love the uncluttered clean aesthetic of Victoria Hagen. I try to have an interesting mix between the two.
C&S: What is your personal style at home?
EP: My interiors are always approachable and warm, not precious. We live on Gibson Island with white fabric and dark floors. People are always stunned that we have three children and a house full of white upholstery. It is all Sunbrella. [An acrylic fabric that cleans easily.] I am doing similar white and off-white upholstery in Delray. The design is very elegant and also warm and approachable.
C&S: What are you sorry you didn’t buy?
EP: A wood klismos chair in an antique store in Paris. They wrapped it in natural rope, and it was extraordinarily beautiful. I remember going back a few times but the shop was never open. I have always loved that chair and I have a picture of it in a file. It is something I want to design in the future.
Erin Paige Pitts Interiors, 1310 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach,