At the Intersection of Architecture & Interior Design with Francine Monaco of D’Aquino Monaco

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In this edition of Love Happens’ Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek into the creative mind of Francine Monaco, co-founder and principal architect of D’Aquino Monaco. Based in New York, NY, Francine, alongside co-founder & design principal partner Carl D’Aquino, and director of design Dane Pressner, create beautiful, timeless, and inspiring spaces in the US and Europe.

After beginning her career as a project architect for a highly respected architectural firm, in 1989, Francince became the project architect for the in-house design department of the Guggenheim Museum. Her increasing interest in the intersection between architecture and interior design led her to establish D’Aquino Monaco in 1997 with Carl D’Aquino. A venture built to allow and create more opportunities for dialogue between the “container” and the “contained”.

As a registered architect for more than 25 years, Francine Monaco has created a diverse career “combining the practical with the magical to create memorable spaces” for both residential and commercial clients. Her focus on the intersection of architecture and interior design leads to a uniquely balanced practice and holistic approach. In addition to creating beautiful spaces, Francine is also a professor at Pratt Institute’s Interior Design department. Read on and be inspired!

Meet Francine Monaco of D’Aquino Monaco in the Lh Design Questionnaire

Francine Monaco. Co-founder & Principal Architect

What is your idea of perfect happiness? 

Curious—when you use ‘perfect’ as a modifier, it makes me think this idea needs to be all-inclusive or full spectrum. When I feel like I am living a full life and finding my full self, I feel perfectly happy!

What do you consider your greatest achievement? 

Following through on my dream… a child, I had found an interest in architecture, but it wasn’t a direction that was presented as a typical path. After continuing to learn and understand more about the practice, I became interested in the dialogue between architecture and decorating and wanted more! So Carl and I created a studio that focuses on the ideal of a creative interdisciplinary process.  And the dream continues.

What profession does your alter ego have?

A Science Fiction writer—considering the possibilities of tomorrow. Isn’t that what we all should be attempting?

The project you will never forget.

The project that started the collaboration that became DaquinoMonaco. A pied a-terre apartment in MOMA Tower, which today still feels like a timeless weaving of architectural and decorative elements into a singular and bespoke space.

Your favorite business tool or resource.

The pencil!! 

The most timeless design.

I am really not sure how to answer this—perhaps what has survived the longest:)—antiquities. In our own work, we avoid the cliché of trend without ignoring an appreciation for the present.

The biggest design faux pas.

Thinking that buying everything you like will make a well-designed space.  There are so many colors, materials, objects, furniture, proportions… and the list goes on …. it is the curation and composition that creates a dialogue which results in a compelling and engaging space.

When your mind is open to the least expected some of the most amazing results can be created.

Your design motto.

Our website opens to our aspiration—”creating timeless environments that inspire.”

Our publisher KOKET makes statement décor; if you were to design a room around one KOKET piece, which would it be, and why?

The ruching detail in leather on the Plisse bed is an elegant texture that can celebrate a bedroom within a traditional or modern setting.

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Love Happens when…

You least expect it! This is why the dialogue amongst all members of our studio is so inspiring; when your mind is open to the least expected, some of the most amazing results can be created.

Explore more Francine Monaco and D’Aquino Monaco at

Feature Image: Central Park South bathroom designed by D’Aquino Monaco / Photo by Stephen Kent Johnson Courtesy of D’Aquino Monaco

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