Truckee business taking mountain lifestyle design to new level |

Truckee business taking mountain lifestyle design to new level

Debbie Costa boasts a certain Sierra "spirit" as part of her business's endeavors to improve on "Mountain Modern" furnishings, artwork and other unique pieces.
Courtesy Jenny Goldsmith |

Meet Your Merchant

Who: Debbie Costa

What: Spirit Tahoe Interior Design

Address:10009 W. River St. Truckee

Phone: 530-587-0948



TRUCKEE, Calif. — As an accomplished interior designer for more than 20 years, Debbie Costa knows the key to bringing a project from conception to completion is largely dependent upon one thing – understanding her client’s vision.

“You have to let go of your personal style because it’s not your home and you’re designing for your client, so you have to have a really good interview process to understand how they’re going to use the space, who will use it, what their likes and dislikes are as far as colors, woods, hardware, lighting, and everything else,” Costa said while taking time out of her busy day at Spirit Tahoe Interior Design & Gallery.

Whether hand-picking items to feature in the Truckee-based gallery or creating customized presentation boards for the firm’s commercial and residential clients, Costa ensures that every detail of the space is unique, innovative and personalized.

“I try very hard not to replicate designs,” Costa said. “It can happen with a light fixture here or there, but I don’t want someone to go into a house and say, ‘I can tell Debbie Costa did that’.”

No stranger to unique interior design, Costa grew up in the eclectic city of Las Vegas, a place of continual reinvention, remodeling and redesign.

“I think I grew up in a good time in Las Vegas,” Costa said. “It’s different growing up there now – it seems like there is a lot less to do for kids to do.”

Though Costa calls Nevada City home, she’s no stranger to the life or lifestyles of Truckee.

“My husband lived up here for 17 years and we met while he was living here and I was living in Reno,” Costa said. “He didn’t want to live in Reno and I didn’t want to live in the snow in Truckee, so we chose Nevada City, but I spend so much time in Truckee that it feels like home to me now.”

After developing her design skills working with a design firm in Reno, Costa shifted gears at Spirit Tahoe Interior Design, located on West River Street in Truckee.

“I haven’t worked at a lot of different places because I love developing longevity in my work,” Costa said. “I don’t like to jump ship too often because it takes a while in our career to really get settled and to build relationships with clients, contractors, architects and vendors, so longevity is an important part of success.”

Aside from her vast experience, laundry list of credentials, and wealth of knowledge about the overall design industry, it’s Costa’s innate calling to interior design that sets her apart.

“When I was a little kid, I remember having this dream more than once where I was on the floor looking at design plans and fabrics,” said the University of Nevada, Reno graduate. “I guess I always knew this is what I was meant to do.”

Jenny Goldsmith is a North Tahoe-based freelance writer and a former reporter for the Sierra Sun newspaper. Have an idea for a merchant to feature? Email her at

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