2020 COLOR OF THE YEAR: NAVAL

While we wait patiently for Pantone to reveal its Color of the Year for 2020, Sherwin-Williams just announced announced its 2020 Color of the Year and it’s a good one! Naval, a refreshing twist on timeless navy blue, was chosen for its connection to the sea and night sky.


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As stated in Architectural Digest, Sue Wadden, Sherwin-Williams’ director of color marketing, says: "Because navy has strong ties to nature and well-being, it made sense to select Naval. It is reminiscent of the night sky, which people have looked to for centuries for guidance, as a muse and as a reminder to live more mindfully.” She goes on to say, “The use of color in interior design is changing—it’s not just about what a space looks like anymore, but the feelings a space can evoke.” I love the message behind this. And, since I enjoy using navy as a neutral, I’m looking forward to introducing Naval into some of my nuanced designs. 


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The hot hue got a jump-start at this week’s 71st Emmy Awards with stars like Rachel Brosnahan wearing a sequins Elie Saab gown, Emilia Clarke donning a daring Valentino Haute Couture dress, and Justin Hartley buttoned up in a polished Isaia suit, among others. 


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While you might not be walking the red (er, purple) carpet in a formal frock anytime soon, there are plenty of ways to bring Naval into your wardrobe. Aside from denim (the most obvious choice), there are some great pieces that embrace the celestial shade -- from Jimmy Choo’s boots du jour to a classic Stella McCartney blazer to a stylish Lele Sadoughi headband. 



Naval makes for a beautiful home hue, whether your aesthetic is traditional, modern, bohemian or retro. The most obvious way to integrate the cool nautical color is by painting a wall or room; however, there are other ways to bring the sea-inspired shade into your space. Try a fabric wall mirror, designer throw blanket or versatile ottoman! These low commitment options offer an opportunity to incorporate Naval naturally and minimally.  


DESIGNER'S DREAM CLOSET

Drum roll, please...I couldn’t be more excited to reveal one of my most exciting projects to date: MY OWN closet and dressing room! It’s taken me two years to create the master closet and dressing room of my dreams.  Just like a wedding planner’s own wedding, there’s a certain amount of pressure that comes with executing for yourself what you’ve spent years doing for others. 

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I approached the space with a strong design direction, but most importantly I wanted to ensure the end result felt like me, was a reflection of my personal taste and would be timeless. I drew inspiration from a number of places including past client projects, my favorite luxury boutiques and hotels, and, as crazy as it might sound, a Holly Hunt chair that I absolutely fell in love with and became central to the design! I also wanted to be the guinea pig for new ideas and design elements, while still embracing the history and heritage of a formal dressing room.

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Outside of the beautiful chair, I started with the color of the space; I wanted it to be special and also work in harmony with my home’s decidedly neutral palette. In order to achieve the exact hue -- a very soft blush with champagne tones -- I partnered with Portola Paints to develop a custom color, “Closet Cashmere.” The feminine, classic shade is stunning and, in fact, now available for sale! 

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In order to balance the feminine undertone of the paint color, I added some bold design elements like a geometric LED brass light fixture and retail-style hang rods, which collide to create interesting architectural and design moments that work in tandem. When the light fixture is lit, the light plays off the rods beautifully.  

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I also wanted to play with texture and mixing materials in the closet and dressing room, and I’m so in love with the shimmery wallpaper I incorporated. Wallpaper is an easy and economical way to dress up a space and add dimension. In the master closet, I opted for Hermès wallpaper on the ceiling! Even though it’s a subtle touch, every time I look at my walls (or ceiling), I smile.   

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A modern closet wouldn’t be exciting without a few clever hacks, right? I love incorporating mirror backs in my designs because it adds a transparent dimension that doesn’t feel “heavy” and makes the space feel bigger.  I used a bronze mirror behind my shoes to achieve this look that has been a reliable design staple for my clients. I also added boot trees to my boots to keep them standing vertical and looking organized. Rather than having a hamper be an eyesore and take up space, I created a hidden built-in hamper. And, I have a biometric locks (it’s very James Bond!). 

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There’s so much I truly love about my feminine, edgy, modern dressing room, but my favorite part is my shoe wall!  It’s no secret that my philosophy is to see everything at first glance and when I can see every shoe, it allows me to have fun getting dressed in the morning and I can really style to the best of my inventory.   I also love that the space is a “dressing room”— an actual space where I can sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while checking emails, stage outfits for a trip, and plan my look for the day.  

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GET THE LOOK

For those interested in achieving a similar closet design aesthetic, I’m spilling where I procured some of the key pieces used in my dressing room, along with a few similar styles. Happy closet designing! 


Hardware -- I liked the idea of bringing in a modular, Mid-Century sensibility to balance out some of the more modern elements and these bronze Nest Studio Collection handles worked perfectly! 

Lighting -- I knew I wanted a statement light fixture that was contemporary and worked stylistically with the gold hang rods. This floating LED box fixture with gold frame I purchased from Info Lighting added the perfect touch! 

Rug -- Rugs can add so much effortless style to a space, even if you have carpet. I gravitated toward the Marca from Restoration Hardware because it was understated, yet pulled together the entire space. 

Seating -- My minimal and modern Holly Hunt chair was a splurge (and so worth it!), but there are definitely similarly chic styles available at a more approachable price point. I love drinking my morning coffee and planning my look for the day while sitting in it. 

Wall Mirror -- An obvious closet essential is a great mirror and I fell in love with this oversized one with an antique brass border from West Elm. It really bridges the timeless and modern aesthetic seamlessly. 


BEHIND THE SCENES

Keep scrolling for a behind the scenes look at the makeover and installation!


INVESTING IN YOUR CLOSET

Did you know closets are often deal breakers for buyers purchasing a home? Buyers will turn down their dream home if it doesn’t have a closet/closets that meets their needs, while a well-designed closet can persuade buyers to pull the trigger on a home that might not be what they were looking for. Today’s homebuyers want more than a master bedroom; they want a spacious suite where they can retreat. And, with that comes a well-executed walk-in closet. 

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A 2019 Kiplinger’s story says that walk-in closets are “quickly gaining in popularity among first- and second-time homebuyers, according to a 2018 NAHB survey that focused on new buyers. A walk-in closet in the master bedroom ranked among their top five features.” Also, according to Maria Zamora, a realtor associate with Realty Consultants Network quoted in the article: “Homes without a walk-in-closet in the master bedroom are more of a challenge to sell and will attract less buyers.” What it really comes down to is this - if a potential buyer is spending money on the items in their closet, they want to know those pieces will have a home with the same level of quality, where these pieces are protected and kept looking their best!

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While many of the closets I design are customized to the individual, I’m always thinking about resale value, too. Closets can have a significant impact on sellers scoring top dollar. To explore this, I spoke with a few friends who have a pulse on LA real estate about how important closets are in today’s housing market:  


How do closets create added value in a home?


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It seems like there is never enough storage space in homes. By maximizing as much space as possible, especially any customization, is sure to add value to any home. -- Todd Kraines (Compass) @tkraines


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 It is about selling a lifestyle in an Instagram world. With designer-done luxury closets…You are definitely selling a lifestyle and everything that goes along with it.  These new luxury closets come stocked with: TVs, home office, jewelry vaults, vanities, cosmetic refrigerators, coffee makers, jewelry drawers, living rooms, offices and of course dressing rooms. -- Rochelle Maize (Executive Director - Luxury Estates  at Nourmand & Associates) | @rochellemaizeluxuryestates


How much more interest do homes with quality closets generate?


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Definitely more. It would show to any prospective buyer that a well thought out space of their belongings will fit seamlessly. The look and feel of a non-cluttered environment gives a sense of pride of ownership. -- Todd Kraines (Compass) | @tkraines


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There are no statistics on this but I would say approximately 25%. Keep in mind it's usually the woman that makes the decision.  Her top 2 rooms are always the master closet and the kitchen! -- Rochelle Maize (Executive Director - Luxury Estates at Nourmand & Associates) | @rochellemaizeluxuryestates


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Whether you have a custom closet or one that's more conventional, getting it in tiptop shape for a home sale is essential. Here are a few easy ways to upgrade your closet if you’re gearing up to list your home:

  • De-clutter -- Nothing says “closet of my dreams” like an organized and clean space. Get rid of dry cleaning bags, color coordinate your wardrobe and put your best pieces on display. Show homebuyers they’ll have plenty of space.

  • Touch-up -- Whether it’s a fresh coat of paint or updated hardware, make your space feel fresh and welcoming.

  • Edit -- Some realtors recommend removing all personal items from a home when trying to sell it (clothes included) and others suggest leaving the wardrobe in tact. If you go with the latter, be sure to edit so the closet doesn’t seem overstuffed or disorganized. You clothes should have some breathing room.

  • Use Uniform Hangers -- One of the most distracting elements in a closet is mismatched hangers. I recommend ditching the dry cleaning and plastic hangers. Opt for slimline velvet hangers, which are a relatively economical investment that go a long way.

INFLUENCER CLOSETS

Ever wonder what the closets of your favorite influencers look like? I’m here to pull back the curtain to share a few projects I’ve worked on for some of the world’s top bloggers and show you a few of the elements that make them picture perfect! 

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Influencer closets, much like celebrity closets, represent what many of us dream of when we imagine the ultimate dressing room (hashtag blessed). They far exceed the basics of a traditional closet -- think gold hanging rods, spacious staging and “unboxing” areas, store-like shoe displays, and vanities. While no two influencer closets are alike (we are talking about tastemakers with strong design aesthetics, after all), they are crafted with a mission to capture the influencer’s lifestyle, embody their brand and be functional in a way that allows them to do tutorials, reveal products they’re sent, pack for trips, and, ultimately, show followers their personal style. I’m finding with influencers focusing more on their closets, people from all walks of life are being inspired and really stepping up their closet game! 

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Over the last few years I’ve worked with such influencers as: the Kardashians, Giuliana Rancic, Olivia Culpo, Brad Goreski, Chriselle Lim of The Chriselle Factor, Jessi Malay, Tania Sarin, Monica Rose, Ali Fedotowsky, and Katie LaFrance of KT the Blondie. And, I have an upcoming project with Jules Sariñana of Sincerely Jules that I can’t wait to share! 


My closet is where the magic happens, it’s my studio, the place where I organize my inspiration and bring my creative ideas to life. It is my personal archive of new, old and vintage! Each piece is a reflection of where I’ve been and there’s a story behind everything! It holds more than just clothes - it’s a trip into my world.
— Jules Sariñana - Sincerely Jules

One of the most prolific trends in influencer closets is the use of a neutral palette with glam, high-gloss touches. Chriselle, Jessi, Olivia, and Giuliana are a few influencers who opted for this aesthetic, which offers a clean and chic backdrop that allows clothes and accessories to really pop! And, it not only looks good in person, it translates well on camera. 

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Staging areas are another influencer must. Whether it’s a boutique-inspired changing room like what we created for Monica or a vignette to hang looks like Jessi’s mirrored staging space, influencers revel in having a place to play dress up -- no filter needed! 


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As a lifestyle/fashion/beauty influencer, my closet is literally part of my office where I go to piece together looks to shoot and share — looks that will inspire. So in order to do that, my closet must be inspiring and intuitive so I can quickly create cohesive looks when on the go!
— Jessi Malay

Many influencers, particularly those with a popular beauty or grooming following, like the idea of having a vanity or easy access to their products. In Jessi’s closet, I added a vanity with acrylic drawers so she can see all her skincare and makeup essentials, and she can create beauty and fashion looks in a single dressing room. Brad’s closet is part of his bathroom, so rather than try to separate the spaces, I created a seamless transition that incorporates the bathroom’s storage space and mirrors, making it feel like one large lifestyle space to get ready.

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Shoes and bags are the real showstoppers in many influencers’ wardrobes, so one of my goals is always to spotlight them and give them the attention they deserve! Monica, Olivia and Tania have enviable footwear and purse collections, and they wanted a way to properly display them, almost like artwork. To accomplish this, I designed builtin shelving, in some instances, at different heights in order to accommodate the varying bag and shoe heights. Now, they’re ready for their #shelfie! 

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My closet is an integral part of my life. It’s not only part of my job but it’s also a place where I find inspiration and confidence. I start my day in my closet and end my day there!
— Chriselle Lim - The Chriselle Factor

Final touches -- whether feminine, statement-making or original -- are what make influencer closets especially Instagramable (and double-tap worthy!). In Ali’s baby closet, the gold and Lucite hang bars took the space from ordinary to extraordinary! Similarly, Tania’s gold hang bars, coupled with the modern black and gold light fixture are truly style statements. Meanwhile, Monica’s multifaceted 1800-square-foot industrial-meets-minimal space that serves as a closet, studio and office is a sight to be seen, in large part because of its jaw-dropping size. 

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DESIGNER DIGS

CLOSET STYLING TIPS FROM TOP INTERIOR DESIGNERS

We all know the devil is in the details! This has never been more true than in the case of the closet - a space made up entirely of an attention to detail. Good styling can take any space from drab to fab and the closet is no exception. A beautiful closet relies on good styling to inject a client’s personality, and to tie the space into the rest of the home as an extension of the living space. I always promote the idea of treating the closet in the same way as you would any other room in the home! For that reason, I thought it would be fun to turn one of our projects over to a few top designers — to get their take on the endless possibilities for dressing up a dressing room!


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The designer lineup includes four of the industry’s top tastemakers! They were all given the same task — to translate the design language of the dressing room pictured here into a palette of accessories and materials that could take the closet up a notch.

See and shop their stylish picks below:


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Georgia Tapert Howe chose to inject her design sensibilities through a soft, yet luxurious palette of accessories. Georgia specializes in residential interiors that combine a classic elegance with a modern twist and a youthful practicality. Her palette includes a simply glamorous oval-shaped crystal fixture and an alpaca rug. At the vanity, she opts for a chic little pouf with a brass base, a silver accessory tray, and a colorful floral arrangement!

GEORGIA TAPERT HOWE

GEORGIA TAPERT HOWE



Bennett Leifer blends sophisticated color palettes, historical references and whimsical concepts to create uniquely tailored homes for his clients. The firm is known for its livable, elegant and artful interiors. This is clearly embodied by his colorfully eclectic palette — incorporating a playful wall covering, and a luxe blue velvet vanity chair. Accented by a bold brass light fixture and a glamorous green rug, Bennett’s palette injects instant personality and immediately elevates the space!


BENNETT LEIFER

BENNETT LEIFER



Adam Hunter is a force in the Los Angeles design community. After years of leading roles under the bright lights, Hunter shifted his passion for drama and spectacle beyond the stage to designing extraordinary interiors across the country. Adam’s palette takes a modern, subdued approach, incorporating a cool range of colors and an intriguing series of textures. He incorporates an ombré roman shade at the window, a patterned area rug, and a petite side chair at the vanity (which he would powder-coat to incorporate in the closet). Love the subtlety he sees for the space!


ADAM HUNTER

ADAM HUNTER



Kristine Kamenstein of Jackson Paige Interiors takes a characteristically refined, sculptural approach to the space. She opts for a satin brass finish throughout, which she accents with a simple side chair. She incorporates contrasting black accessories and a bold green rug (the same chosen by Bennett Leifer!) to bring a little life to the dressing room. The soft lines of a tufted pouf add a feminine touch to the room, while a markedly modern pendant hangs above the island!

KRISTINE KAMENSTEIN

KRISTINE KAMENSTEIN



Make sure you check out all the designers who participated, and show some love! Let us know some of your favorite ways to accessorize in the comments below!


COOL CLOSET FRIDGES

Room temperature is so last season! Cold is officially in. The coolest trend heating up posh closets is mini refrigerators. A fridge may seem like an unlikely closet accessory, but it has many practical uses!

Often beauty products require refrigeration for longevity (and because nothing’s more refreshing than a chilled eye cream hitting your face!). Rather than keeping beauty products near the kitchen condiments (let’s face it, Crème de la Mer shouldn’t be next to the mayo), store them in your closet or vanity for easy access. The Fashion Spot has a breakdown of what products should and shouldn’t be refrigerated.

 
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URBAN OUTFITTERS

And, of course, a closet fridge is the optimal place to store a few snacks for those late night cravings or busy mornings that require a quick bite before rushing out the door. After all, who wants to walk all the way to the kitchen to satisfy that sweet tooth or fuel up?!

One of the “coolest” projects I worked on was Khloe Kardashian’s workout closet, in which we installed a mini fridge for her Fiji water bottles. I love the ‘grab and go’ ease of it and it makes staying hydrated top of mind first thing the morning and before bed.  

 
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If you have a large enough closet, there’s nothing better than gathering your girlfriends in your sacred space, am I right? So, naturally, a mini-fridge filled with bubbles and your favorite refreshments is a luxury your friends will appreciate. I see no better way to bring the luxury shopping experience home than having champagne always at the ready. Heather Dubrow, a member of the Real Housewives of Orange County cast took this idea and ran with it, installing a ‘Champagne Doorbell’ in her closet, so the bubbles are always at her fingertips! Cheers to that!

 
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To be clear, there is a closet fridge for everyone. For the client really looking to make a statement, Veuve Clicquot’s Porsche-designed champagne fridge comes fully stocked and is sure to be the focal point of any luxury man-cave or diva-den. A fabulous collector piece and guaranteed conversation starter, this stainless steel behemoth stores up to 15 bottles for a pretty penny, with a mere $70,000 price tag!

 
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CREATIVE COLLABS

I always have my eye out for unique collaborations in fashion, home decor and design, and there are a few recent ones that have caught my attention!


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Evian X Virgil Abloh -- It may seem an unlikely pairing, but sometimes the best combinations celebrate the fusion of form and function, right? Off-White’s founder Virgil Abloh, who is serving as Evian’s Creative Advisor for Sustainable Innovation Design, designed the company’s first refillable glass water bottle as part of the “One Drop can make a Rainbow” collection. Made in collaboration with beverage brand SOMA, the fashionable limited-edition glass bottle is topped with an eco-friendly bamboo lid. What a perfect addition to any workout closet?! Cheers to staying hydrated in style!

CLICK TO SHOP

CLICK TO SHOP

The designer is known for his bold color sensibility, and his unique ability to take fashion houses from tired to trendy! Most recently, we saw him revolutionize French fashion house Louis Vuitton, bringing the classic staple pieces of the collection into the 21st century with neon accents and iridescent accessories. It’s exciting to see that he’s continuing to think outside the box and bringing his modern art perspective to everyday items we can all enjoy.

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VIRGIL ABLOH X LOUIS VUITTON

VIRGIL ABLOH X LOUIS VUITTON


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Georg Jensen X Kelly Wearstler -- Two of the design industry’s leading brands -- Georg Jensen and Kelly Wearstler -- have joined forces to create a collection called ‘Frequency.’ The organic, minimal six-piece collection was inspired by the fluidity of water and light. The wavy-shaped steel bowls and hurricanes are the ultimate statement-making pieces that make for great closet accents!

Wearstler’s deco design approach is unmistakable in her work, and I love that she’s teamed up with an iconic maker like Georg Jensen. Now, you can add a little sculptural flair to your own home, and take inspiration from the rest of Kelly Wearstler’s forever fabulous home furnishings!

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Tommy Hilfiger X Zendaya -- The legendary American designer, Tommy Hilfiger, and multi-hyphenate Hollywood starlet, Zendaya, partnered on Tommy Hilfiger’s Spring 2019 collection. The decidedly ‘70s-inspired collection, which was recently presented at Paris Fashion Week, honors the female icons that defined the era. I especially love the feminine blouses, power suits and oxblood leather accessories that all embrace the season’s trends and are available to purchase now - groovy!

CLICK TO SHOP

CLICK TO SHOP

Possibly the most surprising collab, Hilfiger is known for his classic Americana styling and quality denim — meanwhile Zendaya brings a fresh, youthful soul to the stylish collection and brings the designer into the present, appealing to a whole new generation of style seekers and consumers.

TOMMY HILFIGER, DESIGNER

TOMMY HILFIGER, DESIGNER

ZENDAYA

ZENDAYA

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REMEMBERING KARL

“Improvise. Become more creative. Not because you have to, but because you want to. Evolution is the secret for the next step.”

-- Karl Lagerfeld

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Like many, I was deeply saddened to learn of Karl Lagerfeld’s passing this week. He was truly a creative genius who never grew uninspired and whose remarkable career spanned more than half a century. I really admire his ability to generate such unique work as creative director for multiple fashion houses at once, and constantly reinvent, while remaining true to his brands’ DNA. No doubt, we lost an inimitable icon who created some of the world’s most significant and timeless art. To try and articulate the contributions he made to the world would be a disservice; his impact on fashion, design, culture and society are too great to even fully comprehend. His legacy and indelible imprint will inevitably live on. And, I know I’ll cherish my inspiration drawn from him along with his designs that hang in my closet.

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One of my favorite Karl memories was seeing him photographed with Dottling, the safe company that LA Closet Design represents in the U.S. Dressed in his typical “uniform” he helped make the Dottling look ultra-chic.

Another memory is when I saw a story a few years ago that toured Karl’s spacious pied-à-terre. I found it fascinating that a person with such a vibrant design aesthetic retreated to a monochromatic, and in some spaces, sterile-feeling, home. While his muted gray apartment straddled modern and classic, the most memorable part of his home was not his closet (surprisingly!), but rather his insane book collection. I’d love to know when he found time to read while designing for multiple fashion houses!

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Not only was Karl a visionary in the fashion world, he had an undeniable aesthetic that was entirely his own, and allowed him to seamlessly bridge the gap between fashion and interiors! Most recently, the Hotel de Crillon in Paris commissioned his inimitable eye for the re-design of their most exclusive guest suites. The resulting collaboration was timeless, modern, and clearly Karl.

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As the world mourns, perhaps the best way to pay tribute to the famous fashion fixture is to continue to make the world a chicer place, and purchase a piece of Chanel, Fendi or his namesake Karl Lagerfeld merchandise. If you need some ideas, here are few pieces that are sure to reflect his creative spirit:


Chanel

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Fendi

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Karl Lagerfeld

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CUPID'S CLOSET GUIDE

Cupid’s arrow may be striking sweethearts this week, but he’s also making a love connection between me and some adorable pink, red and heart motif fashion and home decor pieces. Whether you’re still looking for a gift or are just inspired by the season like me, there's plenty of eye candy out there!

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In the home design category I’ve got my (heart) eyes on everything from a shaggy pillow perfect for that pop of pink to a deep red alpaca throw blanket that looks as good as it feels to a chic pink tic-tac-toe set (because who doesn’t need that?!). I’m also loving Alexandra Von Furstenberg’s acrylic picture frame and valet tray, which are subtle ways to bring red and pink into the home.  And, of course, Closet Design Bible, has plenty of pink punches, along with timeless tips.


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Meanwhile, I’m also swooning over some stylish apparel and accessory pieces. For starters, this Dolce & Gabbana lace midi dress (on sale!) is a total showstopper. Jennifer Meyer can do no wrong and her open heart gold diamond earrings have certainly stolen mine! Other fun finds that have me under a spell are a girl-power Stella McCartney pink suit, a racy red and pink Bordelle bra and seasonless red Gianvito Rossi ankle boots. Cheers to love (and finding someone who looks at you the way I look at these!).


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TOP TRENDS FOR 2019

As we say “goodbye” to 2018, I’m reflecting on some of the best (and worst) trends that trickled into our wardrobes and homes. The past year offered some serious design highlights (hello, cheetah and check prints for days!) along with some lowlights (looking at you “dad” sneakers). Overall, there was plenty to celebrate in the design space and I’m looking forward to seeing what 2019 has to offer. I think we’ll continue to see the pendulum swing away from dramatic minimalism towards playful patterns, mixed materials, bold colors and maximalism. Here are five of my favorite New Year design trends.


Under the Sea

This past year, we got a glimpse of how the sea is making a splash in our style with the puka shell phenomenon. From anklets to earrings and embellishments to accent pieces, both mainstream and luxury brands adopted the aquatic trend. And, the fad is predicted to continue, only being further amplified by the Pantone Color Institute naming Living Coral the “Color of the Year.” A color that represents “playful expression” and our “innate need for optimism,” Living Coral is a “coral hue with a golden undertone.” There are a multitude of ways to bring the pink-red shade into the home: those who want to dive in head first can opt for a striking rug or statement accent chair (both great ways to add color to a closet), while those who prefer to just dip their toe in can achieve the trend with a charming vase or functional wall shelf. Either way, I “sea” this trend as a fun way to add a playful pop!

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Inject your space with some playful aquatic accessories.

Inject your space with some playful aquatic accessories.

Cozy up to living coral with a colorful accent chair!

Cozy up to living coral with a colorful accent chair!

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if you’re loving the color, don’t shy away from a fully saturated look! carrying the color throughout makes for a more modern, monochromatic look!

if you’re loving the color, don’t shy away from a fully saturated look! carrying the color throughout makes for a more modern, monochromatic look!


Shhh! Secret Storage Solutions

I’ve long been a proponent of having concealed elements in closets if square footage permits. We’ve put scarf racks in pocket doors, hidden hampers in drawers, and created a space for ironing boards to fold up. So, I’m thrilled that hidden storage solutions are expected to be popular in 2019. This trend is actually quite timeless and easy to achieve. A few of my favorite secret storage solutions are placing drawer dividers in the dresser to help organize folded garments, adding acrylic trays to drawers to hide accessories, and incorporating belt and tie racks to streamline access. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me!

a concealed dottling safe room is disguised behind architectural paneling.

a concealed dottling safe room is disguised behind architectural paneling.

jewelry and other valuables are kept tidy and protected in fully lined and lockable drawers.

jewelry and other valuables are kept tidy and protected in fully lined and lockable drawers.

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Matte Black is the New Black

We’ve really seen it all when it comes to fixture finishes -- pewter, copper, brass, you name it. In 2019, we can expect metal fixtures to take a back seat allowing matte black to take center stage as the favorite finish. Equally edgy and elegant, matte black balances modern, timeless and industrial sensibilities while offering a fresh way to punctuate a space. Though often considered less versatile than metallic finishes, matte black can work as well with a crisp white space as it can with a muted pastel or vibrant-hued one.  Beyond the bathroom and kitchen, matte black elements -- from floating shelves to hang knobs to mirrors -- are sleek additions to a closet and vanity. In fact, testing out matte black in the closet is a great ways to decide if it’s worth investing in more costly decor like the kitchen faucet.

the “so black” birkin just goes to show this trend is being carried through every part of the design world! from fashion to home furnishings, it’s a clean, understated option that works with any style of home.

the “so black” birkin just goes to show this trend is being carried through every part of the design world! from fashion to home furnishings, it’s a clean, understated option that works with any style of home.

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whether you lean more traditional or scandinavian-chic, there’s a matte black option for everyone.

whether you lean more traditional or scandinavian-chic, there’s a matte black option for everyone.

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The Future is Bright

Statement light fixtures are predicted to illuminate spaces throughout the home in 2019. I recently shared some of my favorite closet lighting options, many of which will work well in the New Year and beyond. Boho styles like rattan chandeliers are sure to be a fashionable go-to for dining and living areas, while opulent crystal fixtures and geometric pendants will continue shining as closets’ pièce de résistance in many cases.

crystal chandeliers and pendants will always have a place in the home, and are the perfect way to elevate a glamorous dressing room.

crystal chandeliers and pendants will always have a place in the home, and are the perfect way to elevate a glamorous dressing room.

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sculptural pendants in mixed metals help to tie together any space, and help to instantly create visual interest!

sculptural pendants in mixed metals help to tie together any space, and help to instantly create visual interest!


If These Walls Could Talk

Mark my words: bold wallpaper will be exceptionally striking next year. From fearless florals to vibrant watercolors to animated animals, wallpaper is going to be huge. I’ve incorporated daring wallpaper in past projects like in Whitney Port’s closet, in which we lined one wall with the iconic Martinique banana leaf wallpaper found at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It’s a whimsical way to personalize a space and be a little playful, so a closet is the perfect place to do just that!

a creative way to tie together a design - put the pattern on the ceiling! This makes for a more boutique experience in the closet, and is a playful way to add a little personality to your space.

a creative way to tie together a design - put the pattern on the ceiling! This makes for a more boutique experience in the closet, and is a playful way to add a little personality to your space.

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LACDx Curated Closet Gifts

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It’s official…I’m in the holiday spirit! Who else is ready to enjoy the plentiful parties, presents and good cheer? As we approach the most wonderful time of the year, I’ve got gift giving on my mind. There are so many fun gift guides out there, but sifting through them can take longer than checking off the nice and naughty lists. So, this year I thought I’d share some ideas straight out of “Closet Design Bible” (which, by the way, makes a stellar stocking stuffer!). The coffee table book is chock full of gift ideas -- from everyday essentials to pretty, decorative pieces -- for your family and friends that won’t break the bank.  I’ve curated a few of my favorite pieces from CB2, WestElm, and the like to implement my ‘Tips’, and divided them into four categories — Not so Basic Black, Brass and White Marble for the Masses, Coming Up Rose (Gold) and Shades of Silver and Gray. There’s sure to be a selection to complement any look! Happy gifting!

Not-so-Basic Black

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We all have that person in our life who believes black is superior to every other color. Fortunately, you don’t have to default to a basic black present. How about this marble tray that can serve as a display for flowers and candles or even a holder for jewelry? The tray is also a chic catchall for your man’s keys and coins. Check out chapter 17 -- “The Man Cave Closet” -- for more guy gift inspiration.  A couple easy closet upgrades that are often overlooked are switching out dresser handles and enhancing a blank wall. These marble handles can easily elevate dresser drawers while this notched marble wall hook can be used to stage outfits on an empty wall. Need an unexpected stocking stuffer? LA Closet Design’s purse pillows are perfect for your handbag-hoarding friends.

Brass and White Marble for the Masses

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Marble and brass used to be the ultimate luxury materials. Today, they are more accessible, meaning there’s plenty to pick from beyond countertops and bathroom fixtures (those aren’t exactly presents that can be wrapped and tied with a perfect bow anyway). A trash can is certainly not a conventional gift, but this glam brass wastecan gives trash a truly luxe look. This clever clothing rack made from industrial pipes is a stylish space-saver and great for showing off special wardrobe pieces. We all know the gal with a lot of fashion goodies, and these glass and brass linen-lined shadow boxes hold keepsakes and accessories while adding style to shelves, dressers and vanities. We created similar built-in glass displays in Khloe Kardashian’s workout closet for her athletic accessories (flip to chapter 16 -- The West Coast Workout Closet” -- for a closer look).

Coming Up Rose (Gold)

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As rose gold continues to reign supreme among home decor hues, the holiday season is an ideal time to gift your rose gold-loving girlfriends with something special.  As someone who knows all too well the importance of good lighting, I think one of the best gifts you can give is this sensor mirror, which combines state-of-the-art tech and a functional design to provide optimal lighting for primping.  Know someone who could use some hanger help to better streamline her closet? These elegant copper hangers add an element of design while also organizing the space. Peep chapter nine -- “The Tailored Dressing Room -- for more on keeping hangers consistent.  I’m also a fan of these antique-inspired wall-mounted shadow boxes that can be used for displaying jewelry or mementos. Meanwhile, these wing bookends are ideal for the bookworm in your life. Don’t they just scream “take a shelfy!?”

Shades of Silver and Gray

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It’s no secret I’m obsessed with gray and anything that falls into the mirrored and acrylic categories. If you’re searching for a gift for a fellow gray fanatic, look no further. For starters, this velvet tufted pouf can work as a seating area in a closet or another room in the home. Know someone who has frequent out of town guests? This acrylic luggage rack with leather straps is as fashionable as it is functional! I also adore these acrylic wall shelves that can be suspended in a closet or elsewhere and used for everything from holding beauty products to displaying art to showcasing succulents. Need a unique, yet practical stocking stuffer? LA Closet Design’s purse hook works on the closet wall or underneath a shelf to keep handbags from hitting the floor. Chapter six -- “The French Manor Closet” -- shows how to hang multiple purses in the same space. They work for scarves, too!  

Q+A: GIULIANA RANCIC

Recently, I got to catch up with one of my all-time favorite clients, and talk all things fashion and beauty at the launch of her new skincare line, Fountain of Truth! Giuliana Rancic represents the modern on-the-go woman, and is the perfect voice to take over the beauty industry with her new, all natural line of skincare products. Not only is her new line going to improve your skin, the packaging itself makes for perfect shelf candy when displayed in your bathroom! I decided to find out more about Giuliana’s mission with Fountain of Truth, and how it fits into her routine.


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How does skincare fit into your daily routine / How do your products streamline this process?

Having a clean skincare routine has always been very important to me, it’s one of the reasons I founded Fountain of Truth. I had a hard time finding what I considered to be a non-toxic skincare line that also treated the appearance of fine lines, discoloration and other skin issues. Therefore, I committed myself to creating my own clean products and sharing them with people of all ages. I think it is necessary for consumers to know exactly what is inside the products they are using. That is why my eco-luxe beauty line is Clean. Beautiful. Truthful.

What role did packaging play in the new line of products?

I feel like the packaging can tell a lot about a brand and I wanted my skincare line to look simple, natural and elegant as well as being able to be a beautiful display piece on a vanity. The rose gold hardware really pops against the white bottle and the simple black writing brings it all together. This is one skincare line that really dresses up a bathroom counter. Everyone is loving the packaging!

How do you store/organize your skincare/cosmetic products currently?

I have all six of the Fountain of Truth products on a pretty personalized marble tray displayed on my bathroom counter. I love how nicely the rose gold pops against the white marble. It’s so chic! The rest of my beauty products are neatly organized in bins and placed in drawers that are handy to access while I’m getting ready for the day.

In your next closet, how do you see your vanity / skincare station being incorporated?

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I would do something similar to what I have now, since I love my current set up and find it really easy to apply my skincare and makeup. I would for sure continue with bins, trays, and other tools to keep everything very organized. I find getting rid of clutter in your bathroom and closet and having things organized and neat starts the day off on the right foot.

How does the Fountain of Truth line reflect your own personal routine? Your own style?

The Fountain of Truth collection reflects what I use most in my day to day life. There is an elixir, moisturizer, hand cream, night cream, honey glow mask and a cleansing balm which I believe are the core necessities for a simple yet effective skincare routine. I have been using the Fountain of Truth skincare line for the past year and it has completely transformed my skin in the best way possible. I have less lines from using it and my skin has never been so hydrated and dewy. Every morning, I wash my face with the Take it Off Cleansing Balm and follow that with The Truth Elixir and the Good Day Soufflé. At night, I use the cleansing balm to wash off my makeup and then I love to indulge in the Honey Glow Mask a few days a week followed by The Truth Elixir and lastly I never forget to slather on a thick layer of the Dream Cream Overnight Repair Mask. It is so incredibly hydrating and I wake up with dewy, glowing skin. It’s amazing! I also always have my Youth In Hand cream in my bag and we purposely made it 3 ounces so you can travel with it and not worry about having it in your bag when you go through security at the airport. Love everything about that!


AND we got to talk closets! Giuliana describes the need for a more functional, effective, and beautiful set of skincare products - all the same considerations she’s taking into account thinking about the design of her next closet! If you haven’t seen the last space I designed with her, see the full tour.

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KEEP YOUR STYLE IN CHECK

Fall is in the air! With the first day of autumn just a few days ago and October around the corner, I’m daydreaming about how I’m going to wear my warmest wardrobe pieces. One of the season’s trends I’m most looking forward to incorporating is classic fall fabrics and prints like checks, plaids, houndstooth, tweed and herringbone. These classic prints have long been a staple of handsome home decor as well, and I’m excited that they’re circling back into the closet again! Traditional English interiors and equestrian wear have taught us these prints are conservative, even masculine. But as our homes have evolved, and modern trends have taken hold, checks and plaids have been reinterpreted to add a touch of masculine warmth to any room - and now fashion is following suit (pun intended).

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Fall 2018 runways were a mashup of men’s suiting meets grandma’s garments with designers like Balenciaga, Fendi, Michael Kors, Prada, Saint Laurent, and Versace all embracing the fall fad. Now, the trend has trickled down and we’re seeing it in every form: straight leg pants, relaxed blazers, pencil and pleated skirts, chunky knits, sleek outerwear and even shoes and bags.  

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fendi

versace

versace

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michael kors

louis vuitton

louis vuitton

dior

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What’s great about this print trend is that it’s timeless, effortless and you probably already own an item (or five) in your closet. So, whether channeling Cher Horowitz and wearing head to toe tartan, taking a page from the men’s playbook with a glen plaid double-breasted coat or iterating a more modern styling of oversized houndstooth, it’s all game.

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Checks and plaids work well in the home, too, and can make it truly feel like the fall season. Try mix and matching prints and textures with throw pillows or reinterpreting a space with a new bench or chair or updating your bedding for a re-imagined sleeping space. If you’re checking into this trend for the long haul, consider a plaid tile pattern, or a statement wallpaper to warm up a room! The possibilities are as limitless as the number of lines on a tartan suit.

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CRAZY RICH ASIANS

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OK, so I know we've all been inundated with the “Crazy Rich Asians” commentary, but I wanted to share a thoughtful analysis with you guys.  As an Asian-American, this film really resonated with me on so many levels (beyond swooning over Henry Golding and style crushing on Gemma Chan). Growing up, there were few, if any, movies where I thought, “wow, she’s beautiful, fabulous and successful, and she looks like me.”  It was a lot of Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan action films and Margaret Cho comedies, all off which spoof Asian culture rather than celebrate, or at least accurately reflect it. Even today, we see shows like “Fresh Off the Boat” depicting Asian immigrants, which inaccurately illustrates the culture, and doesn’t holistically represent the values and realities of Asian-American communities.

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So, in “Crazy Rich Asians,” to witness Asians portrayed as part of the fabric of our society -- funny, beautiful, human -- was refreshing. Seeing my existence acknowledged and earnestly represented was really poignant for me. And, to see Asians drive the narrative and hold lead roles -- two elements that have not previously existed in American cinema -- was powerful and inspiring. While the film did spotlight wealthy Asians, I appreciated how the film crystalized a lot of misconceptions and thoughtfully represented the values that Asian families, particularly those with resources, instill, like being respectful and humble.

The film also serves to underscore the significant spending power of Asians and their impact on high-end design. In fact, a recent Nielsen report found that in “2017, the group's buying power hit $986 billion, about 6.8 percent of the U.S. total. That number is expected to grow to $1.3 trillion by 2022.” Those stats are just a sliver of their global spending power.  

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And, of course the fashion wasn’t bad (hello, Giambattista Valli, Dior, Prabal Gurung, Missoni and Marchesa!).  Asian influence has a long-history of propelling style and luxury, and their dollars often drive the designs we see coming from pervasive brands like Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, etc. These dominant brands often draw on cultural influences and collaborate with world-renowned designers/architects to create experiential shopping experiences that attract Asian buyers. In this way, we have “crazy rich Asians” to thank for a lot of the colors, patterns, and shapes we see on the runway, and, subsequently in retail spaces, interior design, and eventually, the closet!

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Speaking of the closet, I’ve had the privilege of working with incredible Asian clients, including a client who hails from Hong Kong, but moved to LA to attend UCLA (get it, girl!). Her stunning closet and collection of handbags leave little to be desired!

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See the full space here!

I sincerely hope this film continues to initiate an important dialogue and help break down barriers, combat stigmas and stereotypes, and encourage inclusion.

DRESS UP YOUR DECOR

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You know and love her for her fiercely feminine fashion designs, but Monique Lhuillier continues to evolve her brand, and for the second year has partnered with Pottery Barn for a chic home collection. As an LA Closet Design client (tour her closet!), I’ve gotten to know Monique's work over the years and she truly has impeccable style, so it’s no surprise her new collection, which includes bedding, bath, tabletop, gifts and decor is equally as glamorous.

POTTERY BARN | MONIQUE LHUILLIER

POTTERY BARN | MONIQUE LHUILLIER

Though florals are often reserved for spring, I love how Monique worked them into this collection, along with rich jewel tones contrasted with crisp white, making pieces transitional and timeless.

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"My love of flowers and color is at the heart of all my collections. For Fall 2018, I was inspired by the rich purple and vibrant yellow blooms of the tiger orchid and how this sophisticated color combination could be used to create a new elegant look for the changing season," she said.

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STYLE AT SEA

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We all know how much I love a well-designed dressing space - where clothes and shoes have room to breathe and boutique backlit displays showcase all the finest accessories! BUT, have you ever wondered what the ultra-rich do with all their wearables at sea?! Strap on your life vests for some summer travel inspo, because we're looking at the pinnacle of luxury leisure - superyacht closets! 

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That's right - these billionaire boats ensure all the comforts of home, dream closets included. Representing the ultimate level of craftsmanship and efficiency, nothing goes to waste. Closets on land can take note of the highly-functional designs, executed in exquisite detail. High-gloss woods, metal inlays, and leather details bring all the style and sophistication of a luxury home to sea, and the process of getting dressed is meant to be both effortless and elegant.

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Often I take notes from boutique stores and high end hotels to enrich my clients' closets, but if any space truly brings leisure to the luxury dressing experience, it has to be aboard one of these beautiful boats.

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In case you thought 2-story closets were reserved for the mega-mansions of the world, think again! The 77m, 10-bedroom Smeralda super yacht even features a 2-story dressing space and spa. Vacation goals achieved!

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DESIGNER'S DREAM

Some thought the day would never come! I recently began the process of designing my own dream dressing room in my Los Angeles home. When you start designing a space for yourself, the endless options and various design directions are so overwhelming! I wanted the space to be perfect - a little experimental (since I can play with the design in ways my clients might not always allow), while still embodying my own personal style! Minimal, curated, but still comfortable and highly functional.

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SIMPLE, CHIC, FEMININE

My goal was to create a space that blends seamlessly with my own personal style, and reflects the items in my wardrobe! While I often incorporate colorful accessories and edgy pieces in my wardrobe, at the end of the day I'm always drawn to the modern, flirty, feminine cuts and color palettes.

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CREATING THE PERFECT COLOR

I'm searching for something special! While the classic white closet can never go out of style, I'm hoping to warm up the room with a new color - one I'm working to create with Portola Paints!

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MIXING METALS

Just like in assembling a look, I'm not afraid to mix metals, and I think it's a modern way to bring a touch of glam into an already polished space!

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HIGH CONTRAST: HARD LINES AND SOFT HUES

Designing a boutique space is all about balance! I want to blend minimal geometric forms with fun and fashionable materials to really soften up the look.

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DREAMY DETAILS

We all know no good detail goes unnoticed in the closet! My dressing room design calls for all kinds of luxe details - both functional and fashionable!

CLOSETPHILE Q+A: KKW Beauty with Jessi Malay

In case you missed it, LA's newest picture-friendly pop-up shop is the KKW Beauty space at Westfield Century City! I decided to follow up with one of my favorite clients and beauty experts, Jessi Malay, to pick her brain about what makes the perfect glam space. The conversation between clothing display and interior design is a big part of the inspiration behind our luxury closets, and I'm curious to hear what inspiration can be had from a boutique beauty space!

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KKW Beauty. In 3 Words. Go.

1. Luxe (Everything from the packaging to the color palette...)

2. Inclusive (They make shades for all colors and races!)

3. Sexy (Between the perfume bottles of Kim’s nude body, and the see-through or nude casing, this is one sexy brand.)

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As a beauty blogger, what are the essentials of a beauty space?

1. A true mirror is a must! 

2. Excellent lighting (points if you have lighting options to mimic day or night so you can prepare appropriately)...

3. Music! Being able to listen to music while getting ready can be so inspiring both in fashion and beauty. 

4. 2 Types of Storage Space: one for your go-to daily products you want to have on hand in a flash (the floating vanity you created with the glass top is ideal for this). And the second storage space for more special-occasion products that you won’t be using everyday, but will want to have for more variety. 

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What’s your favorite feature of the new KKW Pop-Up?

The color scheme is just so signature and consistent with Kim and the whole KKW brand. Also, the oversized Mario palette and concealer tubes are a smart way to familiarize everyone stopping in with her products! 

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How does the KKW space showcase the products?

All the products are displayed in clear acrylic trays, lit from within, to make each product feel like a piece of art. The entire installation is very gallery-inspired.

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As a beauty blogger, why is it essential to have a beautiful and functional vanity space?

It’s essential to have a beautiful vanity space to feel inspired every day, and to remember that makeup is fun! To be able to play and create glam looks as a career is a blessing. 

A functional vanity is essential because with an ever-changing, endless amount of products to use and try, organization is key in order to create cohesive, innovative looks. 

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What is your favorite KKW product and why? 💋💋💋

My favorite KKW products are the KKWxArgenis Creme Color Sticks! I love how you can create really bold, unapologetic, modern eye looks, and once the cremes are set, they won’t move all day. 👌🏼

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SUMMER SOLE-STICE

Sandal Season Has Arrived

Well, hello, summer! Today is officially the longest day of the year and I, for one, am ready for some fun in the sun. To celebrate summer solstice and start the season on the right foot,  I’m rounding up some of my favorite warm weather “soles.” Living in LA, one can’t have enough sandals -- sleek slides, embellished thongs, ankle strap heels all have a place in my wardrobe. Here’s a selection from Net-a-Porter that caught my eye this year:

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Alaia Bombe Studded Satin Sandals

Totally splurge-worthy and in the season’s hottest hue, these luxe yellow satin ankle strap flats scream summer.

Bottega Veneta Intrecciato Leather Slides

Bottega’s signature butter-soft leather woven technique makes its way to these pretty peach slides that are perfect for going to a girl’s brunch or a family BBQ.

Chloe Qassie Leather Sandals

Block heels are great for summer; they’re comfortable enough to shuffle between meetings and yet still dressy. I love this pair with a cool hammered heel. Not to mention, they’re on sale!

Gianvito Rossi Portofino 105 Leather Sandals

I’m a sucker for strappy blush tone sandals, and these ankle strap stunners from one of my favorite footwear designers work with jeans and a blazer as well as they do with a floral midi dress.

Gucci Embellished Grosgrain-Trimmed Leather Sandals

There’s no better way to “kick off” summer than with these Gucci beauties! The ultimate sandal eye candy, I like how these feel modern, yet are adorned with the label's iconic webbing and signature grosgrain bow for a touch of vintage.  

Rene Caovilla Crystal-Embellished Leather Sandals

Thongs get a chic upgrade with this pretty pearl pair that’s inspired by Venice and the city's architecture. Get ready for the constant compliments in these!

Saint Laurent Woven Leather Slides

I’m currently living in these stylish slides. Versatile and comfy they are the ultimate summer staple.

Valentino Garavani Moonwalk Studded Leather and PVC Sandals

Rockstuds are officially a fixture in fashion and I’m liking this casual take on the studded staple. Bonus: they’re on sale!

Pro tip:

Storing your shoes -- whether archiving winter shoes or organizing the sandals in your regular summer rotation -- is critical to keeping them looking good and extending their life. I recommend boot trees to help your winter warriors stay upright and shoe inserts for pumps, sneakers and sandals.










 

LACD X TSHome

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Here’s Sneak peek of how I’m creating a moody, multi-functional closet for Tania Sarin!

I’m so excited about a recent project that I had to give you guys a sneak peek before it’s even complete! I’ve been in the process of designing a dressing room for my good friend, style maven and influencer, Tania Sarin, and it’s been such a fun project. Tania’s space is different than other closets I’ve created in that she wanted it to be convertible to a second bedroom, and she wanted the aesthetic to be dark, moody, cool and contemporary -- no soft neutrals or overly feminine elements. I wanted to keep the space true to her style, which she describes as edgy, modern, and classic with a twist of masculine undertones (check out her Instagram for endless wardrobe inspiration). With that in mind, I focused on a predominantly gray and black color palette with touches of brass and art deco accents to capture her cool, contemporary sensibility.

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THE AESTHETIC: CONTEMPORARY COOL


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A few weeks ago we hit the streets of LA for some inspiration, scouting at stores like Stella McCartney and Consort and assessing how pieces could work in her space. From there, I mocked up renderings in which I included a sleeper sofa (how fun for her houseguests to sleep amongst her chic clothes!), a modern end table, and brass accessories.  

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I can’t wait to share the finished closet. But, in the meantime, enjoy these renderings and a few of the pieces I plan to use to bring her closet to life!

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