Design Team

At Claire Schwab Interior Design, Inc., we specialize in providing superior design solutions for residential spaces.  Our team of experienced designers and support staff love giving our clients the very best.

Claire Schwab, A.S.I.D., I.D.S.

Founder & Senior Designer

Vanderbilt University
B.A., Communications
Northern Virginia Community College
A.A.S., Interior Design

Claire Schwab's exposure to design began while growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, where her parents' home was decorated with several pieces from the shop of her grandfather, an Atlanta-based furniture maker and antiques dealer. After completing her undergraduate education at Vanderbilt University, Claire joined the design industry professionally at the Home Furnishings division of Laura Ashley in London, England. Through reviewing furnishings prior to customer delivery, she learned firsthand how to recognize the hallmarks of quality and craftsmanship.

After a move to Washington, D.C., she found her London experience dovetailing with her lifelong love of fabrics and sewing. While working as a communications director for a trade association, she once again joined Laura Ashley at their local branch, sewing soft furnishings and bedding, and gradually amassed a following. She soon left her full-time job to focus on her business and earned a degree in interior design.

Claire opened a showroom and studio in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia in 1994 and in 2001 transferred her workspace into a newly constructed design library and office in her home, where she has been successfully running her business ever since.

Claire's hobbies include sewing, skiing, tennis, and classical piano. Her volunteer efforts have included activities with the Junior League of Washington, The Campagna Center in Alexandria, Virginia, The Young Entrepreneurs Organization, and donations to many of the area's silent auctions.

Claire Schwab is a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), the Interior Design Society (IDS), and the Window Coverings Association of America (WCAA). She has also been certified by the National Council of Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ), and is a certified Window Treatment Consultant. She and her associates have participated in five area show houses and three Holiday Home Tours. Their work has been published in seven issues of Shelter magazine and has been featured in the Examiner and several Washington Post Home Sections. Her passion for decorating and talent with fabrics, trim, and outstanding design has proven to be a successful combination. Claire's portfolio is available upon request.


Colette Gorman

Design Research & Client Relations

Appalachian State University
B.A., Art History

Colette Gorman is originally from Rocky Mount, North Carolina and it was easy for her to fall in love with the art and design world, having grown up in a family that revolved around it. Her childhood experiences in art and design aspects inspired a greater interest to learn more about the creative world, and she completed her undergraduate years with a degree in Art History.

Colette has been a dedicated resident of the greater Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia region for nearly thirty years and has an expansive knowledge of the area. Her broad experiences and her love of Washington have put her in touch with a large population of private residents, government officials, lobbyists, educators, and other community leaders. She has developed an exceptional knowledge of the Washington Design Center and was proud to join the team at Claire Schwab Interior Design, Inc. in March of 2010.

Colette recently moved to the lovely and historical Old Town Alexandria neighborhood and enjoys staying active in her hobbies, especially antiques. Colette believes in incorporating fine family pieces and heirlooms into newly designed spaces, and appreciating precious furniture items.


Molly Patalita

Design Associate

The Catholic University of America
BA - Business Management

Molly Patalita joined Claire Schwab Interior Design in July of 2013 as a Design Associate. Molly’s responsibilities include the management of daily operations and implementation of the creative designs for Claire Schwab.

Molly is a regular at the Washington Design Center researching the newest trends in home design. Molly has lived in the Washington Metropolitan area for over 25 years. She obtained her degree in Business Management from The Catholic University of America after which she enjoyed a lengthy career in the marketing division of IBM. Recently, Molly worked in administration for Fairfax County Public Schools. As an active member of the community, Molly served as a volunteer for numerous organizations including: Chair of the St. Mary’s School acquisitions Committee, Member of The Board of Georgetown Visitation College Preparatory School Parents Association, and was Team Representative of the Waynewood Dolphins Swim Team.

Molly and her husband reside in Alexandria and have two daughters who attend Clemson University and The College of the Holy Cross.