about us

Modern Design is what we live for. We wake up every day and think about how we can make spaces more attractive, comfortable and easy to use. And our Great-Grandmother, Iola (i-ola) would be proud to see that her namesake is being honored with such beauty. Our team consists of a small powerhouse of talent that sees spaces as palettes in which to help our clients define their design style and share it with the world.  


Steven Ortego

Steven was born to do this and knew from a young age that his calling was to the design world. He was raised between his family’s traditional furniture store and his grandmother’s interior design studio in South Louisiana where his mother was also an interior designer. Steven studied interior design at Delgado in New Orleans and began his career in design at Design Within Reach where he managed showrooms in Florida and California. Steven went on to New York City to work with Italian design brand Alessi, then Seletti as National Sales Manager. With years of experience in business management and design, Steven realized it was time to make his own mark in the design world and opened Iola Modern in 2017. 

Hometown: Houma, LA (50 miles southeast of New Orleans otherwise know as Cajun Country)

Favorite design item: Juicy Salif by Philippe Starck

Bring me coffee: Americano in the winter and cold brew the other 11 months. 

Favorite travel destination: Milano

Outside of work, find me: Playing with my pugs, Dixie and Crystal Sugar, Sunday drives in the country, cooking in the Kitchen or traveling to my favorite cities. 

My design muse: Michael Graves, Kelly Wearstler, Phillippe Starck

Cameron Hemphill

Hometown: Charleston, SC

Favorite design item: Kartell Kabuki Lamp

Bring me coffee: Double dirty chai latte

Favorite travel destination: Drop me anywhere in Italy 

Outside of work, find me: Cooking new recipes, decorating my new home in Park Circle, training for a 2023 Marathon, international travel as long as it’s Italy. 

My design muse: Antoni Gaudí

Courtney Barber

Hometown: Milwaukee, WI

Favorite design item: Kartell translucent, transparent furniture 

Bring me coffee: of any kind!

Favorite travel destination: Vienna, Austria

Outside of work, find me: Exploring nature with Waylon Jennings, my German Shepherd

My design muse: Santiago Calatrava knows no limits! 

Sarah Carey

Hometown: Baton Rouge, LA

Favorite design item: Gräshoppa Floor Lamp by Greta Grossman

Bring me coffee: Cappuccino

Favorite travel destination: London and then off to Rome

Outside of work, find me: Visting my grandchildren, planting & gardening, cooking

My design muse: Greta Grossman

Hannah Powers

Hometown: Charleston, South Carolina 

Favorite Design Item: Serpentine Light by Front for Moooi

Bring me coffee: iced vanilla latte

Favorite Travel Destination: Just dying to visit Spain. 

Outside of work, find me: Making a new playlist or listening to live music, having a meal with family or friends, baking, or watching skincare videos on YouTube. 

My Design Muse: anything Art Deco. 

Daraun White

Hometown: Saint Matthews, South Carolina

Favorite Design Item: Flock of Light by Moooi

Bring Me Coffee: Anything with vanilla 

Favorite Travel Destination: Someday, I plan to visit Japan

Outside of work, find me: Researching new recipes to try, binge watching car videos, or hanging with friends and making memories.

My Design Muse: Frank Lloyd Wright