DESIGNS ON HER FUTURE
As a child growing up in Haddonfield, NJ, she’d rearrange her parents’ furniture. As an economics student at MSU in the late 1980s, she and her roommate were known for their room design, which included a spectacular collage/bulletin board on the door. So it surprises no one that Chayse Dacoda, a star designer on HGTV’s Get It Together and also on TLC’s Emmy-nominated While You Were Out, now in re-runs, has emerged nationally as a design force.
Indeed, Dacoda founded her own design firm in 1998—Dacoda Designs (dacodadesigns.com) of Los Angeles—and now does large-scale home designs on either coast. “I do both residential and commercial, mostly high-end stuff because that’s where designers get employed,” she explains. “I really love what I do.”
In February, she returned to Lansing to do some presentations as a guest of the Capital Area District Libraries. As a result of TV exposure, Chayse is often stopped at airports. “Yes, that’s too funny,” she says. “People do recognize me and I find it interesting.”
Chayse considers Philadelphia her home town, having finished her business degree at the University of Pennsylvania. Why did she choose to attend MSU? “Because I wanted to find out what real snow was like,” she says, adding that she’s not joking. “MSU is a huge Big Ten university and I figured if I did well there, that was all good. It was one of the best times of my life. It was a very memorable time for me. I made some great friends.”
After college, Chayse decided she “did not want to pursue Wall Street.” So she moved to Los Angeles and worked in real estate sales and also performed throughout clubs as a stand-up comedian, enjoying success in both areas. “Someone told me, why don’t you merge your talents?” she recalls. “I thought that was a great idea.” In 1998, she pulled off her first design job, and the television stints came in short order. The rest—including getting stopped in airports—is history.