The New England Design Hall of Fame Inducts Interior Designer Jean Verbridge

November 1, 2021

Jean Verbridge’s career has hardly been a straight line. “I feel like I’ve lived my life by having lightning strike, in a positive way,” she says. Her first career as a plant shop owner came about when she walked into a greenhouse and fell in love. “I was overcome,” she recalls.“I thought, ‘This is what I want to do with my life.’ ”

When her upstate New York plant shop began working with companies like Kodak and Xerox, providing greenery to decorate their corporate offices, she found herself thinking about interior design. Without further ado, she sold her shop and enrolled in a design program at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Since 1980, Verbridge has been an interior designer in the Boston area, working initially for others, then operating her own business from 1985 to 1999. In 1999, she teamed up with architect Thaddeus Siemasko to form SV Design with offices in Beverly and Chatham.

Her design career satisfies her craving to keep her life fresh and interesting. “Every project is different, every client is different, every economic cycle is different,” she says. “I never feel like I’m doing the same thing twice.”

While most of SV’s clients are in New England, Verbridge says a number of them have enlisted her to design second homes in other parts of the country. “There’s a challenge to putting our mind into a whole different environment,”
she says, citing recent projects in Florida and Colorado.

Verbridge is especially proud of the work her firm does, a fair share of it pro bono, for nonprofit organizations and affordable housing developments. “I’m passionate about educating the public about the capabilities of interior designers,” she says. “Client by client, and by being involved in the community, I educate.”