Our Team

The Design Coach, LLC is a full-service interior design, decorative contracting and creative services company with studios in Harvard, IL and Lake Geneva, WI. Featuring a unique combination of services and expertise few firms possess, the national scope of our valued clientele includes homeowners, architects, builders and other design professionals looking to maximize the creative and functional potential of every project. As one of the design industry’s most comprehensive creative services firms, we connect our clients with the limitless artistic and decorative applications that have made difference in their designs for over 20 years. Dedicated to an instructional, inspirational, and client-centered approach to design, our process is as comfortable as it is custom. After all, the only style that really matters is the one you can call your own.


Philip Sassano: Principal

Two semi-irrational pet peeves: “Mismatched leathers and talking animals in commercials.”

The beverage or cocktail best describes me: “Somewhere between hot coffee and a Sazerac…but it really depends on what kind of day I’m having.”

My favorite room in my home: “My Lower Level Basement/Bar. It’s set up a bit like a pub, featuring a large gathering table with seating for twelve. I grew up spending a lot of time in the basement, I guess you could say it was my first creative space. It’s still where I feel the most at home.”

My favorite thing(s) about working for The Design Coach: “First, it’s the relationships. The connections you make with clients, and the bonds you form with those who help you bring the projects to life. And second, the never ending selection of new fabrics, furnishings and finishes. You can’t help but be inspired to share them with others, all in the pursuit of the next incredible interior.”


Keely Donaghy: Senior Director of Interior Design

My favorite room in my home: “The family room. We have an open floor plan, which makes it great for entertaining and creating lasting memories. I also enjoy it first thing in the morning with the sun coming up and a cup of coffee. So peaceful!”

My favorite Holiday: “4th of July. When I was younger my grandmother would rent out an entire pavilion at a forest preserve and my whole family would show up to barbeque and play games. It was the only holiday we’d all be together.”

The beverage or cocktail best describes me: “Wine, especially Pinot Grigio best describes me because I’m a hopeless romantic, love meeting new people and always looking forward to the next adventure.”

My favorite thing(s) about working for The Design Coach: “The clients and projects I’ve had the privilege of working on. Being able to help transform someone’s house into a home is like Christmas for me everyday. I’m sometimes more excited than the client.”


Jonathan Sara: Director of Creative & Project Management

My favorite room in my home: “The kitchen is my favorite room in the home. When we host, that is the hub for everyone. Cooking is one of my favorite pastimes. I am always working to grow my knowledge of vegetarian cuisine, along with fresh breads and other baked goods.”

Two semi-irrational pet peeves: “My clothes need to face the same way on the hanger. I can’t stand uneven pictures.”

The most unusual thing I’ve ever eaten: “This might not be unusual for some but it was me, Aloe juice. I grew up using the aloe plant as something that helps your burns. When I saw it in a bottle, I tried to drink it…and I must say I do not approve.”

The beverage or cocktail that best describes me: “Club soda with an orange slice. I love the hint of orange and the carbonation in the water. I keep returning to this drink because of the subtlety of it’s layers despite its simplicity. “

My favorite thing about working for The Design Coach: “I love the design challenges we solve everyday!”


Amber Benson: Showroom Coordinator

My favorite room in my home: “Any room that has beautiful, natural light streaming in.”

The most unusual thing I’ve ever eaten: “Alligator.”

The beverage or cocktail that best describes me: “Whiskey on the Rocks.”

My favorite thing about working for The Design Coach: “The Team…they’re good people.”


Brittany Davis: Design Coordinator

My your favorite room in my home: “My Kitchen! My kids and I spend a lot of time sitting at our island, eating, baking and playing games.”

My two semi-irrational pet peeves: “I can’t go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink, and the smell of coffee.”

My favorite Holiday: “Christmas…I love spending the extra time with family and friends doing Christmas Traditions.”

My favorite thing about working for The Design Coach: “I’m so grateful to be apart of such a talented and inspiring team! It’s true what they say, the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Everyone here loves what they do, and it shows!”


Yeah, so that’s us…what about you?

To discuss a potential project or for general studio inquiries, please visit our Contact Page.