Anna Maria Mannarino, an award winning interior designer, is truly an inspiration to women everywhere. Even with an unbelievable range of design types and projects, Mannarino retains several other talents that make her such a wonderfully creative and touching person.
Born and raised in Jersey, Mannarino does most of her work in New Jersey and New York—though she has done projects from Cape Cod to Charlotte, and has upcoming plans in Florida. One day, she hopes to take her projects worldwide, as companies in Europe are requesting her expertise.
While interior designing is what she is best known for, half of her business is event planning and production. Mannarino is also a jazz singer.
Trumpets Jazz Club & Restaurant in Montclair, NJ, which has since permanently closed since COVID-19, was Mannarino’s hot spot, and “the only true jazz club in the state of New Jersey,” she said.
However, she also had the opportunity to sing in Paris and has been recording in her free time.
“I still keep it…in the forefront,” Mannarino said. “I’m lucky that I still have that outlet.” Her designs are even inspired by it, crediting the “lifelong passion” of jazz singing in her creativity.
“I’m inspired by music all the time,” she admitted. “I really am…in my design work and my events.”
One event and design plan she is particularly proud of was an annual Halloween party she did for clients that she has been working with for years.
Giving Mannarino full control and wanting it to be a surprise, the clients and their guests were enthralled when they entered and saw the theme—an Edgar Allan Poe escape room.
Bartenders, waitstaff and actors were decked out in spooky black masquerade costumes, some emulating ravens. After the guests solved clues during dinner, they headed to a reception hall where a live band and a DJ gave them an amazing party and hosted a costume contest.
In previous years, Mannarino has gotten the Jersey Boys and performers from the hit broadway show “Hamilton” to perform at this event.
Fun is not the only thing Mannarino is capable of, though, as she has also designed historic mansions and even a birthing center a few years ago.
Before doing both interior design and event planning, she struggled with the idea of keeping up with both.
“I thought…I’m going to have to let one go,” she said. “If events really skyrocket, I’ll drop the design, and if that goes well I’ll drop the events.”
Her talent and determination allowed both to flourish though, and while she thought that it might confuse clients if they knew about both, it actually led to beautiful relationships and projects.
“There was a really, really, really good event client that I had done a lot of events for, and…long story short, they ended up finding out,” she explained. “I ended up designing their home and restaurant…and now I’m doing another home and, it’s been a full circle moment, because when I first started working with them their kids were in high chairs, and now this past January, I did their daughter’s wedding.”
On top of all these amazing abilities, there is still more. Mannarino has a pillow collection filled with lovely pieces, and she also has created marvelous rugs and chandeliers.
She continues to win both state and national awards, and was previously the President of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. With mentions in several books and numerous magazines, there is no shortage of recognition for Mannarino.
A terrific planner, designer and person, Anna Maria Mannarino is the first and honestly the best choice of many. To learn even more about her and her work, check out her Instagram!