The Design Questionnaire with Nina Grauer of Dekay & Tate Interiors

Nina Grauer - Dekay & Tate Interiors - K Hayden Rafferty Ocean Ridge Living Room Detail

In this edition of Love Happens’ Proust-style Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek inside the creative design mind of Nina Grauer, founder and principal of Dekay & Tate Interiors. Utilizing their extensive expertise and unique design styles, Nina and her business partner Eleanor create living spaces that bring their clients’ dreams to life from their offices in Palm Beach, Florida and Denver, Colorado.

A Peek Inside the Fabulous and Inspiring Mind of Nina Grauer with the Lh Design Questionnaire

Nina Grauer, Founder & Principal of Dekay & Tate Interiors
Nina Grauer, Founder & Principal of Dekay & Tate Interiors

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Perfect happiness, to me, means being able to enjoy time no matter what, staying present, and most importantly, being able to love your alone time. I gauge my happiness by being able to recognize how comfortable I am in solitude. Loving yourself is the most important thing in life…and I LOVE when I can relax and unwind for me. Please, do not get me wrong! I love working with my clients and employees, love being around friends and family, BUT if you can’t love being with yourself, are you truly happy? 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

My greatest achievement thus far is one of two things. The first is starting my company, Dekay & Tate, where we really have no limit when it comes to our creativity. It has been an incredibly special journey, especially since my best friend is also my business partner! We have been able to operate and improve our vision for our firm during this very strange time. Secondly, this past June I attended a week-long program at On-Site, a six-day “Living Centered” workshop, to work through some painful times and beliefs about myself. Not only did I complete the program, but it changed my life for the better and I met people who I will have a lasting connection with. 

Love Happens…When You Love Yourself

What profession does your alter ego have?

I like this question! I would say a musician. Music is one of the most beautiful parts of life (I cannot sing or play an instrument what so ever) and it has always opened my eyes to the world around me. From Stevie Nicks, Joan Jett, Carole King, James Taylor, Miles Davis, Annie Lennox to Destiny’s Child (and Beyonce), En Vogue, TLC…I love music. Our office always has music playing, and I’m always listening in the car, in the shower, or bath. Music is a way to escape, but can also be a way to get your message out for a greater purpose. It is a total superpower in my eyes and I wish I was able to belt one out like Aretha.

The project you will never forget.

I would have to say, my own house. It was a total rollercoaster. My little 1,600 square foot gem was built in 1936 and needed a complete renovation. Dekay & Tate took this head-on and I have to say after a year and a half, it is pretty much perfect. This was a learning experience…from working one on one with the architect to the contractor to the plumbers and electricians to finding specialists for every little problem that needed to be solved. It has been an incredible learning experience that taught me an insane amount of patience.

Your favorite business tool or resource.

I’d have to say Zoom. Especially now. I am able to have monthly meetings with my PR team, my accountant, and now, my business partner who is currently living in Denver. Being able to see one another and talk through everything has been a serious asset. AND my measuring tapes! Whether it’s my laser measurer or just my classic tape measurer, it always comes in handy.

neutral bedroom Ocean Ridge, FL residence designed by Nina Grauer, Dekay & Tate Interiors
Ocean Ridge, FL residence designed by Nina Grauer, Dekay & Tate Interiors

The most timeless design.

Bauhaus, which by and large, still is a largely radical idea for many. Its concept is to “reimagine the material world to reflect the unity of all the arts.” Said creator, Walter Groupis. He was a German Architect whose work was first recognized during the first half of the 20th century. I don’t think it will ever go out of style and it was a huge inspiration to a lot of mid-century designers and makers, which will always be one of my staples in all of my projects.

kitchen dining room Ocean Ridge, FL residence designed by Nina Grauer, Dekay & Tate Interiors
Ocean Ridge, FL residence designed by Nina Grauer, Dekay & Tate Interiors

The biggest design faux pas.

Poorly framed/mounted artwork, along with poorly placed artwork. In my opinion, you can design an entire house around your client’s art. Their taste in art says a lot about their taste in design. If pieces are placed in the wrong way or decided in the wrong space…it drives me absolutely nuts. That is closely followed by over-the-top window treatments and bad lighting (recessed lighting is all the rage right now, but it honestly makes me want to scream).

Your design motto.

Listen to your clients (and yourself), let them be a part of the journey, and have fun!

Ocean Ridge, FL residence designed by Nina Grauer, Dekay & Tate Interiors
Ocean Ridge, FL residence designed by Nina Grauer, Dekay & Tate Interiors

If you were to design a room around one KOKET piece, which would it be, and why?

The Exotica dressing table because I love, LOVE, love the contrasting textures and nothing is better than a fabulous dressing room. My second option would be the Outburst chandelier because I find that to be incredibly interesting…I’d love to use two of those over a kitchen island instead of the habitual kitchen lighting.

Love happens when…

You love yourself. As I mentioned before, you must love yourself and enjoy who you are as a whole. If you can do that, I think you can do anything, professionally and personally. ESPECIALLY in regards to your intimate relationships with family, friends, and partners.

Explore more of Dekay & Tate’s beautiful work at

By Anna Beck Bimba