WHO IS POR VIDA DECOR?
Por Vida Decor is an Oakland, California based woman-owned and operated home improvement service. Chandra Faulkner has a background in architecture, interior design, and art and is always learning about structures and style. Our goal is to not to impose our style but to bring out your personal style and extend it to your space, giving it a tailored, timeless look that will evolve as you do.
WHAT IS DESIGN FOR LIFE?
Por VIda Decor solves storage and style issues simultaneously. Instead of looking at a space as solely a professional organizer or just as an interior designer, we look at the space from your point of view with our educated lenses. Together we create both energetic and elegant spaces that inspire. Our spaces have the unique ability to spark calm and creativity at the same time, a quality especially good for work at home spaces and family homes.
WHO DO WE WORK WITH?
Por Vida Decor works with individuals, families, small business and non-profits all along the West Coast that are trying to make their living or work spaces more usable and less uninspiring. They have too much stuff, not enough space, or just no time to tackle clutter regularly. Some have a new homes and are overwhelmed by design choices. Some clients need to remodel a bathroom or kitchen to sell, rent or stay in their homes. Many of our clients have older Bay Area homes with plenty of character, so don’t worry about scaring us off with unique architectural challenges. Our favorite jobs have the funkiest details.
where did the inspiration for pvd come from?
Chandra Faulkner comes from a family of super organized, tool-capable matriarchs who are gifted at everything from making drapes to landscaping. Her paternal side are hard working builders with innovative ideas for problem solving and a lot of integrity around their work. Working on home design was a destiny that she was not aware of until after perusing another career path that lead to disappointment.
After pursuing a degree in Magazine Journalism and working in the music industry as a publicists and freelance writer, she became disheartened with both industries and was open to something new. Working as a waitress in Los Angeles, she became friend with a woman who would give her her start in the industry, an entrepreneur named Dana Hollister who worked with exclusive Interior Designers of the rich and famous making their bedding and drapery as well as designing spaces herself. In running Dana’s design studio Odalesque, Chandra would learn everything there is to know about high end drapery and exotic fabric. She was also Odalesque’s primary designer and stylist and got to work with several well known people on amazing projects before the company folded in the early 2000s. Hollister was one of two successful self-taught designers that inspired her to jump into the industry without formal training.
The second inspiring mentor is J.L. Webb, or Lorrie Webb, a successful General Contractor and developer who had a very different business style and aesthetic. Her amazingly efficient business style would show Chandra how to treat every client, subcontractor, and small detail with utmost respect. JL Webb moved to San Diego to concentrate her skills on homes for the aging population, a topic dear to her heart as she formerly worked in health care administration and is the care taker for her elderly parents. This would be Chandra’s second of three layoffs in this industry, and it prompted her move up north.
The second layoff and poor job market in Los Angeles made Chandra realized her dreams might be easier to pursue outside of her home town. Chandra moved from LA to Oakland in 2005 to work for San Francisco based Interior Designer, Kathleen Navarra. Though the office was amazing and did incredible work, Chandra was hired as an office manager and had no creative input for the first time. It wasn’t long before Chandra went back to waiting tables and started taking her own clients on the side with a new purpose: to bring everything she had learned about design and and business to the people she most related to; busy middle class people with limited space and resources.
After becoming a mom in 2007 and taking a year off, Chandra was ready to gain more experience in her field. It was Mercedes Corbell, a local architect who worked on modest single family structures, that would first use Chandra regularly as an organizer, a stager for photography of Mercedes’ projects, and would trust her instincts as a color consultant. Unfortunately, the housing market crash caused Chandra to be laid off once again, and she had no choice but to pursue doing organizing and decorating on her own.
Being a self-taught designer with a lot of experience had its limitations, so Chandra decided to go back to school for Interior Design. After five years of going to school part time while being a solo parent and sole proprietor, studying Architecture, Art, and Interior Design, Chandra proudly finishes her program in late 2019.
Now with 20 years of varied experience in all aspects of home design at every economic level and a formal education, Ms. Faulkner is more prepared for design challenges than ever. We look forward to bringing out interesting experiences into your spaces to create something unique, lasting and most importantly, personally meaningful.