What do you wear when you entertain? It’s the first question designers Virginia Toledo and Jessica Geller ask when they talk to a new client. “It’s a great way to get to know someone’s real entertaining style, which is so important to our design,” says Geller. “There’s a good chance they’ll say ‘formal,’ even if they opened the door in Lululemon.”
As founders of New Jersey–based firm Toledo Geller, the duo aims to create beautiful homes that are made to be used. “We design for 365 days of the year, turning formal dining rooms into casual, multipurpose rooms that do double duty for homework and multiple other activities,” says Geller. “We want clients to feel like the best version of themselves, which is ultimately comfortable, relaxed, happy, and proud.”
Designing this way comes naturally to both women. Geller started her career as a social worker, so she’s skilled in helping people feel safe in their surroundings. And Toledo began decorating at a young age. “I constantly fiddled around with what I had at home to make things prettier,” the Brooklyn native recalls. “And I would daydream about how the buildings in the neighborhood could be fixed up and improved. I was always hopeful that it could be done—and that I would have the power to do that with creativity.”
The Designers Specialize in Creating Livable Luxury for their Clients.
“A little bit country, a little bit rock and roll. It’s a mix we do often,” says Geller. “Imagine a hostess opening the door for a dinner party in a gown—but with bare feet.”
The duo has become skilled at helping people find their true style. Want proof? Just check out some of their most dramatic room makeovers, like this "southern charm"-inspired home (trust us, you NEED to see the "before!").
They Love Creating Spaces that Feel Unexpected.
Look through a variety of the duo's designs and you'll notice how everything they touch is infused with function and beauty.
They're Masters At Micro-Transformations.
Making over your home doesn't mean spending a ton of money. In fact, as Toledo Geller proves in the video below, a simple change of furniture can make all the difference.
They Swear By One Pattern in Particular.
Check out any Toledo Geller project, and you're likely to see something plaid in there somewhere. "We treat it as a neutral because it mixes so nicely with other patterns—florals, paisleys, even leopard print! We always like to 'toughen up' our interiors, and plaid adds that little bit of edge to a room that might otherwise feel too feminine or precious." Here's what inspires them:
Get even more ideas for working plaid into your home.
They Shop With Utility in Mind.
When sourcing product for clients, the designers want to make sure everything is tailored to how their clients will actually use the space.