How Circle Design Studio Uses a Holistic Design Approach

John and Theresa first met while they were attending the same 10th-grade drafting class. A decade later, they ran into each other at a bar in Arizona; it was a total coincidence that has since shaped the course of their lives. Now, they are husband and wife – and a design couple shaking things up through their company, Circle Design Studio.

John and Teresa Dorlini

A Full-Circle Outfit

During an interview with designer and House Tipster host Christopher Grubb at the fall High Point Market, the Dorlinis explained that their great bond started over their first “no-date, date.” “We got sushi. By the end [of the date], we pinky swore to have a design empire,” Theresa told Christopher.

Today, the John and Theresa Dorlini run Circle Design Studio, a full-service design outfit based in Roanoke, Virginia.  

Circle Design Studio Team. Courtesy of Circle Design Studio

“We call our company Circle Design because we believe in a holistic design approach,” John explained. This entails handling all aspects of the design job, from the conceptualization to adding the finishing touches post-construction.

This multi-disciplinary firm houses two licensed architects, two certified interior designers, and graphics designers, all of whom pull inspiration from their surroundings in order to create beautiful, modern designs.

Respitality and More

Unlike other design studios, Circle Design Studio does interior design work for commercial, residential, hospitality, and even medical environments.

Oakey’s Funeral Service & Crematory. Courtesy of Circle Design Studio.
Oakey’s Crematory and Tribute Center

When Christopher Grubb asked them to elaborate on a  fresh, fun project they have in the works, Theresa dove into their focus on “respitality”– the merging of residential and hospitality environments, which adds a clean yet comfortable feel to a space. It is perfect for places like apartment clubhouses.

Project Multi Family – Richmond Clubhouse. Courtesy of Circle Design Studio.

Circle Design Studio’s current project list includes the Centra Virginia Baptist Hospital, a lodge on Smith Mountain Lake (featuring a phenomenal cantilever staircase), and a historic hotel in southwest Virginia where the duo got to seek out historical, period-appropriate touches with a residential feel.

Circle’s Signature Style

What makes John and Theresa Dorlini’s style unique? For Theresa, it all boils down to the fireplace. “I like to incorporate wood storage or a floating mantle,” she said. “It’s important to update fireplace finishes, not just the decor.”

Project Salem House. Courtesy of Circle Design Studio

John believes that residential spaces need pops of color, furniture with classic, clean lines, good lighting, and a focal point to help improve the room’s texture and ensure it’s still warm and modern-looking.

Project Bethesda Renovation. Courtesy of Circle Design Studio

Keep your eyes peeled for news and projects from John and Theresa Dorlini in the coming years. Their design empire is up and running, and we’re excited to see what’s to come!

Tipster TV has released the full video coverage from our special interview, be sure to check it out below.

Leave a Reply