Mela Catanzaro is a modern day visionary, designing for over two decades. Catanzaro is originally from New York and has recently relocated to La Jolla in sunny San Diego, California
- June 2004.
Mela earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree, having majored in graphic design, at The School of Visual Arts - Manhattan, NY. Additional schooling took place abroad where she attended The University of
Florence, Italy. This was a huge experience in gaining an understanding of her family's heritage and what makes the Italian culture tick.
Nearly a year was spent studying the art and architecture of masters, Italian Opera, and enjoying a lifestyle that seemed to share an endless
appreciation for beauty. The artist feels that by first examining the work and foundation of those before us, one can then branch off, on their own
creative journey, springing from the roots of tradition.
Soon after her return from Italy, invaluable experience was gained by working "hands on", at an edgy art company in New York City.
1½ years later, fully charged with confidence, Mela opened a Visual Display and Design company of her own. It flourished as
it built and designed dramatically chic retail displays and sets for the windows of Saks 5th Avenue, Henri Bendel, the Disney Store and the Estee
Lauder Showrooms - nationwide.
Designing for the windows of such high caliber establishments was like having artwork in all the best galleries with all the best locations, ongoingly.
It was for the masses to enjoy and this thrilled Mela to no end!
"Many times I can recall, working on a special installation for The Christmas Windows at Bendels or a special event for In Style Magazine. It would be
late at night when the stores were closed. I'd be in the front windows with my crew, overseeing the unveiling and install of our work….
which could have been anything from colossal 12 foot "water-walls", to a suspended 34' long gilded mural depicting stylish women with
their sleek hounds from the French Forties...or even larger than life cosmetics with an 8 foot, faux mink, mascara as it's crowning glory. People
on the street, looking in at us, would literally be clapping in approval and smiling at us. What a rush!" - Visual Display
& Set Design 10 Years
Mela's creations were very much in demand and have been seen in, and on the covers, of many high profile trade magazines and books: Visual
Merchandising & Store Design, Great Windows That Sell, and Great Retail Displays.
As retail windows changed almost every week, Mela's interest began turning toward projects of a more permanent nature. Fans of her work,
often requesting that Mela design their homes, finally got what they had been waiting for. Interior design would become the next step in
the artist's career!
Mela's upbeat approach, sprinkled with the techniques she mastered on 5th Ave. NY, became a recipe for success! Going from visual display and
set design, to interior design, was a highly rewarding progression. As opposed to creating art for the public masses, Mela now enjoyed designing with actual
homeowners. She would soon find out that her interior design sensibilities were creating a dramatic difference in the way people lived. Making a
difference in peoples' lives was a natural expression of her unique talents and felt very satisfying to the young designer. Working with
architects, contractors and custom furniture makers would become the norm. Clients include: Corp. Presidents and VPs, lawyers, designers, business
owners and families with an appreciation for her passionate design ethic and magnetic personality.
Mela's design style shifts from client to client, yet her approach is always the same. She works with people in discovering what fully
expresses their specific needs, desires and most of all, their personality. Mela delivers quality with tremendous visual impact. She exceeds the
expectations of her clients every time. "The primary function of a space is to nurture its occupants. It is a constant support system for what
they are up to in life, both personally and professionally and must reflect just that". Mela creates environments that inspire the mind and
replenish the human spirit. - Interior Design Since 1996
Some adjectives that describe Mela's work are: original, inspiring, highly functional, happy, dramatic, comfortable, soothing, balanced,
peaceful, nurturing, warm, inviting and clean.
Throughout her experiences working with home/business owners, Mela has formed the strong belief that one's home (or work environment) is a
direct reflection of what is going on in one's life. Change the home. Change the life!
Eager to explore this notion further, Mela actively studied, trained and became certified in the practice of Feng Shui - the
ancient art of placement and how it affects and creates one's life and well-being. With Feng Shui, now under her belt, Mela feels that she has
come full circle and can provide both Feng Shui and Interior Design services with the maximum value for her clientele.
- Feng Shui Since 1998
With newfound words and wisdom to express what she had been intuitively practicing all along, Mela proudly incorporates the principals of Feng Shui
into her work. Continually in awe of the value it provides her clients, she makes herself available for consultations on both the East and West
Adding to her list of accomplishments, Mela has raised the bar by taking on designing for Home & Garden Television (HGTV). This multi-faceted young woman has been featured as a reoccurring interior
designer on several programs, the network offers to its viewers. Mela's charismatic personality, coupled with her strong design background, adds a
"no-nonsense" approach to TV that both the producers and viewing audience have embraced with open arms!