Coley Home Spotlight: Molly Torres Portnof

Meet Molly! Based in Long Island, NY,  Molly founded DATE Interiors to create beautifully chic spaces. We love how she captures the unique personality of each space and client. Read on to learn all about Molly!

Tell us about yourself

My name is Molly Torres Portnof and I’m the founder and principal designer of DATE Interiors ( (an acronym for ‘Designing A Tiny Empire’ and a nod to my favorite building), a boutique interior design firm based on Long Island, though we have projects all along the northeast. I love designing comfortable, curated residential and commercial spaces with a ton of personality. 

How would you describe your interior design style?

One-of-a-kind, eclectic-yet-curated.

You recently bought your parent’s home and added your personal touch in a huge way! How were you able to transform the home to fit your own style?

I don’t think I’m shocking anyone when I say the biggest inspiration was color! But in all seriousness, my real inspiration was wanting to create a creative, energized space that felt unique to me and my husband and is cool, beautiful, welcoming and warm. Having complete creative freedom was such a gift and it really allowed me to show that color, something so many of my clients shy away from and are genuinely confused and scared of, can add so much character to a home, without making it feel overwhelming. 

In the living room, the Slipcovered Cab Corner Sectional in Ringo, Bay served as a foundation for the color palette of the space. Walk us through the design process of the room!

My biggest goal was making the space feel soft, bright, warm, cozy and inviting. I painted the walls and trim Benjamin Moore Steam, a clean, warm white. Since we purchased my parents’ home, they graciously left us some of their larger furniture pieces. I love the shape and comfort of my parents’ large lounge chair and ottoman, but they both needed some TLC. I reupholstered them in an ochre performance velvet and added a pleated skirt detail. The marble coffee table and leather safari chairs from our old apartment worked size-wise, so finding a sectional sofa that’s as beautiful as it is comfortable (a tall order!) was hugely important.

 I chose the Slipcovered Cab Corner Sectional because of the shape, size and style. I knew I wanted a performance linen that felt soft, but would hold up to pets and kids and Ringo Bay, a gorgeous chambray blue, really fit the bill. Color-wise, it played so nicely with the ochre performance velvet - they feel like they belong together! I like to customize pretty much everything in my life, so having the ability to customize the cushions with a dark blue welt was so fun and such a great detail.

The rest of the space really came together after that, from the red Damien Hirst piece to the green and cream custom checkered rug and the aubergine Zellige tiles. Because the space is large, all of the colors work together and bring a lot of warmth and charm.

You also used the Kate Crown Headboard and bed skirt in the primary bedroom. How did this room come together?

The Philip Jeffries teal grasscloth wallpaper, vintage rug and Paul Frankl for Johnson Furniture dresser really called for a serene, white bed moment. I loved how feminine and soft the scalloped shape of the Kate Crown Headboard looked and fell so hard for the performance sheepskin fabric – it’s SO cool! The best part is that, visually, the bed looks like one piece because of the matching headboard and bedskirt, an ingenious design trick. The patterned bolster pillow is the perfect accent.

When tackling a full home redesign, where are areas that you prefer to splurge, and where do you prefer to save?

I often advise clients to invest in pieces that will get a ton of use, like rugs, sofas and window treatments and I followed my own advice for my home. There are so many incredible sources for lighting and art at an affordable price point, so those are areas that I tend to keep costs lower.

Favorite paint color at the moment?

Favorite coffee table book?

TV show or book you’re into at the moment?

I love reading pretty much anything, but Sarah J. Maas is one of my favorite fantasy authors and her newest Crescent City series book is about to drop at the end of January. I’m a huge nerd and I cannot wait!

Dream Travel Destination?