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Style & Living Dirty John

Dirty John's Debra Newell Tells Us How to Tackle a Room Redesign

The interior designer portrayed in the limited series is a pro at combining form and function. 

By Patricia Cunningham
Take a Tour of the Balboa House

Debra Newell, the real-life interior designer that the Bravo hit show Dirty John is based on, has definitely moved on in life. After resettling in Las Vegas and launching Ambrosia Home, a furnishings and interior design firm, she's focused on doing what she loves most — helping customers create inspiring homes. 

She recently chatted with Home & Design, and provided us with a few of her top designer pro tips on how to get the most out of your living space. So here goes: First and foremost, she advised, when starting to plan a room, think about circulation and how traffic will flow into that room. “You have your traffic flows so that you’re able to design and space plan according to every room,” she said.

The next objective is to make sure you know exactly how you want to use a room. “I think that function is extremely important,” said Newell. “How are you going to live in that room? Is it a room where you’re going to work or are you going to relax?” For example, don’t plan to park your exercise equipment in your bedroom if you want to create a soothing vibe. 

Once she has those two elements settled, she said, then it’s easier to move forward knowing you’re making the right design choices. “It’s making sure that you have looked at each space and the way that you live,” she added.

Watch Dirty John on Sundays at 10/9c.

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