One of the first design decisions I work through with my clients is their closet color!
You’d think on the surface this would be fairly straightforward. But, the reality is, there are a bazillion colors to choose from! Though many naturally gravitate towards neutral tones like white, blush, champagne and grey in an effort to create a clean palette, there are so many slight variations, this process can take awhile! So, unless you have a very clear vision, selecting the perfect hue can be a headache.
Perhaps that’s why I partnered with Portola Paints to develop a custom color, “Closet Cashmere,” for my closet. I rely on Portola Paints, along with Valspar and Benjamin Moore to source the precise paint color that’s right for a project. Once we nail that down, a lot of the other design details fall into place.
Beyond paint, wallpaper continues to be a favorite medium in which to give closets depth, personality and whimsy through color. From a traditional Hermès print, like what I did on my dressing room ceiling, to beautiful butterfly motifs to feminine florals to ombré, there’s no limit to how wallpaper can give a closet a playful punch of color!
With both the use of paint and wallpaper, as well as carpet, we’re seeing the trend of people going bolder and brighter with their dressing room, even if it’s just used in a small part of the space. At one point, using a pink shade was considered brazen or reserved for a girl’s closet; now, it’s pretty much a neutral and a consistent client favorite. We’ve used blue hues (in boys’ closets and beyond, including a blue carpet!), a purple-grey in Monique Lhuillier’s closet, deep red-brown in Jaime King’s dressing room and pops of yellow in Tyra Banks’ space.
My next color goal? I would love to design more soft blue and green color closets and have it be seen as a “neutral.”
I’ve gained a real appreciation for acrylic recently. It’s become increasingly clear that it’s one of, if not the most, versatile materials to work with. It feels light, doesn’t add any weight or clutter, and gives the feel of natural lighting all while creating the illusion of a larger space. Because it’s transparent, it can be used in any style of the home or closet by mixing or layering it with other pieces and aesthetics. And, that’s just what I’ve been doing in a few recent projects. While I’ve incorporated acrylic accents over the years, I’ve been using the material more and more -- from hanging rods to lighting panels and seating to shelf dividers! So, what’s next? Who knows...maybe I’ll get to design an acrylic island one of these days!
Dividers -- I love introducing clients to shelf dividers, and acrylic ones are especially useful since they’re see-through. These from the LA Closet Design shop are durable, long lasting, and easy to use. Whether dividing purses or sweaters, these attractive and versatile dividers are the ultimate space-saver.
Hanging Rods and Hardware -- I’ve been incorporating acrylic hang rods -- like in Ali Fedotowsky’s baby’s closet -- and handles in more and more projects, and they add just the right amount of modernity. While hang rods are best handled by a professional, you can easily swap out your drawers’ hardware for acrylic handles and knobs.
Seating -- We created the chicest vanity area for Jessi Malay using an acrylic chair and I’ve been inspired to continue using acrylic seating when the project allows. I’m crrently obsessed with Weiman Home ottomans like the Asher and the Mira styles, as well as Hélène Aumont’s Arthur Bench with Mongolian fur for a little extra glam.
DRAB TO FAB
While we all love to drool over the fabulous finished product of a closet makeover, we rarely get to see the full transformation from drab to fab! As such, I decided to dip into the archives to pull together a full before-and-after breakdown of one of our favorite projects. Hopefully, by showing where the homeowner went wrong, and where we found potential to bring new life to the space, you’ll be inspired to see the endless possibilities for your own closet!
No matter how large or small, it’s important for every client to get as much use of the space as possible! In the case of this project, clearly the closet was bursting at the seams… More than that, everything was visible - including the closet clutter no one needs to see. By creating a closed cabinet for these items above the clothing, we were able to tuck away many of these lesser used items, without sacrificing valuable storage space for clothes and accessories!
Perhaps the most common closet mistake is not making use of corners. Before, the client had clothes stuffed in tiny corner compartments with insufficient lighting. After, we were able to transform the scale of the space with more substantial cabinetry and custom corner rods (contact us for more info!). This way, the client didn’t have to fumble around and reach into dark dreary corners for her clothes. Instead, everything is easily accessible. We even created a custom corner shoe display to make her stylish footwear a glamorous focal point!
Before the renovation, many of the client’s handbags and clutches were getting crammed into shallow shelves and suffering wrinkles and wear! By organizing her bags by size/type, and incorporating custom glass dividers, we were able to keep the bags protected against color transfer and scuffs, without sacrificing space to separate the bags! Storing these items sideways is always a major space-saver.
LET YOUR SHOES SHINE
In the old closet, the client’s shoes were stored in standard adjustable shelves. The cabinet width wasn’t considered, and pairs were fighting for shelf space! Her heels were cluttered, no matter how high end, and her flats/sandals were stuffed into vertical hanging cubbies. As part of the redesign, we gave the flats a designated area, which gave us the room to spread out her shoes and show them off! A glamorous antiqued mirror backing helped to elevate this area as a major focal point of the design.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE
Every space has its limitations… but with that, every space also has many opportunities! Step number one in any redesign is to really decide what you like about the space, and where you want to make the biggest statement. For this client, the window was a wonderful opportunity to ground the space and create a luxurious landing space. Her existing closet was falling very short, without enough surface area or storage to really make use of this feature!
NO DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS
Creating a beautiful closet isn’t just about designing an elegant and enviable display of designer goods! It’s also about making every part of dressing more functional and enjoyable. Attention to detail should always extend to the areas of the closet you can’t see on the surface! Underwear drawers, swimwear, lingerie, and athleisure should all be given room to breathe — this will leave you looking and feeling your best no matter the occasion!
PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENTS
Not all jewelry drawers are created equal! As part of designing for our discerning clients, we take a complete inventory of the items to be included. For this reason, one of the areas that requires the greatest attention to detail is the jewelry drawer. No one wants to untangle a necklace or search for an earring mate as they’re throwing on the finishing touch for an outfit. Instead, we like to create compartments that are tailored to the needs of each client — and always include at least one locked drawer for safekeeping!
Hanging rods may seem like one of those closet essentials that is strictly functional, and even uninspiring; but, I have news for you...hanging rods are one of the closet’s most dynamic elements! From the finish to the shape and beyond, hanging rods can be real closet heroes.
I’ve always thought the best closet rod inspiration comes from your favorite retailers. They often challenge the norm by using fabrics (I've seen leather!), striking colors and finishes, and various shapes that all create a unique shopping experience. Last year, Chanel created a pop-up in St. Tropez and designed a ceiling-suspended black hanging rod grid. The result was architectural and felt like an art exhibit. Balenciaga’s New York flagship store took an industrial take on rods, placing merchandise on aluminum foil-covered ceiling rods on warehouse conveyor rails. Dover Street Market, which opened last year in Los Angeles, has some of the most inventive hanging rods I’ve seen. Each designer is represented as an installation and store-in-store concept, so there’s a diverse range of rods -- from spherical shaped to cages to acrylic boxes.
Recreating hanging rods like these in a home closet may not always be possible; but, there are plenty of imaginative iterations. While some clients certainly want a traditional look when it comes to displaying their wardrobe (think built-in round chrome rods), more and more are willing to take risks and embrace design-driven rods. That often means playing with color -- bronze, rose gold, brass, matte black and acrylic rods give spaces a stylish pop and that reflect the owner's personal style. Beyond color, shape is another way to get creative with rods. U-shaped rods are popular with those who want to bring a boutique experience to their space. I implemented ceiling-suspended brass rods in my recently revealed closet, which adds a sophisticated sensibility to the space. Wall-mounted rods, like the ones I installed in Jessi Malay’s dressing room, are a great way to show off certain pieces or merchandise looks.
Hanging rods have really evolved over the years, beyond aesthetics. LED rods are the ultimate high-tech rod, helping to illuminate your garments while also looking sleek. (You can now shop custom LED rods from us in the online boutique!) For closets with tricky corners, corner rods are a smart solution that can fit your mold to your closet's curves and add additional hanging space. Mobile rods that move up and down with the press of a button are a great option for smaller spaces that have height but not width expansion. Other options for hanging storage solutions are this innovative double hang closet rod, this contemporary clothing rack, and this clever spiral display.
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!
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:
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
Fashion’s biggest night took NYC by storm this week as the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrated its annual Vogue soirée, the Costume Institute Met Gala. This year’s theme, “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” celebrated Susan Sontag's 1964 essay that defines camp as "love of the unnatural: of artifice and exaggeration." Designers decked out celebrities, athletes and tastemakers in bold, eclectic, over-the-top fashions that were some of the most daring the decades-long event has ever seen.
The pink carpet (a thematic shift from the traditionally red entry), served as a runway for feathered frocks, colorful confections and playful props that made the iconic star-studded stairs feel more like a Broadway stage than an art and fashion festivity. The internet is still abuzz about Lady Gaga’s multi-look strip down courtesy of Brandon Maxwell, Cardi B’s head-to-toe ruby red Thom Browne ensemble and Katy Perry’s Jeremy Scott getup -- chandelier and all.
Whimsical looks aside, the Met Gala saw plenty of glamorous couture showstoppers. One of my favorite trends of the nights was ombré. Twins Victoria and Cristina Iglesias donned ethereal ombré watercolor feathered Oscar de la Renta dresses while Kylie and Kendall Jenner were also on the “birds of a feather flock together” train with their feathered ombré Versace gowns in purple and orange, respectively. Priyanka Chopra’s Dior dress boasted a rainbow skirt and cape adorned with handmade tulle ombré “feathers.” Guys embraced the ombré trend, too, as exemplified by Henry Golding who rocked a purple and blue metallic ombré Versace suit.
Ombré isn’t just reserved for fashion’s biggest night. All these over-the-top ombré looks have me thinking about ways to bring the creative use of color into the home! The trend is trickling into today’s home decor, and one of my current favorite ombré projects is Adam Hunter X Studioart collaboration, which recently released an ombré leather wall covering collection that celebrates a love for color and how it is arranged.
Here are a few other eye-catching ombré pieces that can help you take a tasteful dose of the trend home with you!:
Natural, organic feeling materials are dominating the decor world right now. From rattan to jute to wicker, rustic woven fibers are popping up everywhere. While the use of these materials might have formerly come across as retro beach house, today the fad modernizes luxe boho in the best possible way. Economical and easy to incorporate into your home -- from small accents like trays and baskets to large eye-catching furniture like benches and chandeliers -- natural fibers are an approachable way to have fun with decor this spring! Here are a few ways to bring the trend into your home for Spring and Summer.
Statement Seating -- Whether a stool for your closet, bench for your entryway or chair for your living room, weaving a rattan, jute or wicker statement seat into your space adds an exciting eclectic element!
Simple Storage -- Woven baskets for blankets, pillows or magazines have long been a storage staple; now, there are so many other natural fiber storage pieces -- from cabinets to bars to vintage vanities (!!). So, don’t be afraid to step outside your storage comfort zone.
Add Accents -- Not ready to go full boho? Dip a toe in with a texturized, minimal accessory like a rattan mirror above your dresser, jute rug in your kitchen or rope picture frame on your closet island.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Spring is in the air, which means it’s time to get cleaning!
I have plenty of go-to closet organization tips that I rely on this time of year, like purging, or creating a system in which you categorize your pieces, and store off-season styles so they last. Many of the organization principles I employ for closets can be translated to to the rest of the home. So, here are a few ideas to get your whole space in tip-top shape for Spring.
Everything Has a Home -- Just as each item in your closet should have its perfect place, so too should items in other rooms in your home. After purging, determine where everything should “live.”
Kids’ playrooms are especially difficult spaces in which to control clutter, but with an “everything has a home” philosophy, it makes managing kids’ chaos much easier. Cute benches and chests are some of my favorite furniture pieces to help ensure toys, books and games return to their rightful homes after a day of play.
Home offices can get out of hand quickly with endless paperwork. The simplest way to ensure things like bills, medical information and tax returns land in a proper place, is to invest in a file cabinet and folders. File cabinets and folders have come a long way from the days of metal rolling cabinets and manila folders, so have some fun finding a home for those not-so-fun documents.
Over in the kitchen, it’s all about getting the most out of drawers and cabinets — similar to how we approach the closet! Maximizing space and being strategic allows each item to live comfortably in its respective home. Drawer and cabinet organizers are the best way to achieve this. These can range from simple to complex, colorful to neutral, inexpensive to pricey; but, I recommend finding ones that work most seamlessly in your kitchen.
Create a System you can Stick to -- In the closet I recommend sorting garments by style, color or occasion so that it’s logical to you and works with how you live your life. The same goes for other rooms in the house.
In a kid’s playroom, create a storage system where toys are categorized by child, age or activity. A color system works well (ie. all the books go in the blue bin), as does sorting catchalls according to activity (ie. art, sports, etc.). This allows kids to get involved and makes decluttering more fun. There are tons of stylish storage systems out there, so don’t feel like you have to compromise fashion for function.
In a home office it’s so important to have a system that is efficient and effective, so you’re not bogged down or distracted by clutter. We all know papers can stack up quickly, so have a place for them to go besides directly on your desk. A letter tray or file sorter are ideal for organizing mail and documents that need to be filed.
A particularly popular room in the house, the kitchen can quickly become clutter-central. So, establish a system that’s clear and easy for the entire household to understand. One method to get the entire family excited about developing a system is incorporating labeled storage containers to sort foods. It’s a simple hack that will have you feeling like Khloe Kardashian!
Add Fashionable Finishing Touches -- Even if you don’t have it all together, adding a few luxury elements can make it seem like you do! Whether a beautiful smelling candle, charming vase or stylish decorative object, sometimes it’s the little things that can make transitioning from one season to the next feel most exciting.
Kids’ playrooms should be playful and inviting, and there are a few extra elements that can make it feel like it’s even more of a special (and elevated!) space.
My inner-nerd could go crazy with home office accessories! From pencil holders to paperweights, I’ll always put in the “work” if it means I get to use my geek-chic desk goodies.
Even if you’re not the best home chef, you can still play the part with a few glam gadgets.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
The Oscars always deliver some major fashion moments (Charlize in Dior, Constance in Atelier Versace, Julia in Elie Saab in the color of the night -- pink!, and Regina in Oscar de la Renta were a few of my personal favorites this year); but, I was especially inspired by this year’s Academy Awards’ green room. The space was designed by Rolex, which has been imagining the ever-important room since 2016. Each year, the brand ideates a new theme, bringing it to life through design. This year, the luxury timepiece masters dove deep into the sea to create a vision around their Perpetual Planet campaign and honor their Oyster Perpetual Submariner collection.
Backstage, celebs were greeted by a bronzed door shaped like a hatch, which opened into a submarine-like vessel. Portholes featuring backlit images of marine life further set the sea-ne. The color palette and furniture also embraced the theme, with vibrant oceanic blue tones, wave and starfish-shaped seating, and coral-shaped laser cut-outs filling the room.
Now that nautical is on my mind, I’m starting to think about some of the spring pieces I can put on my warm-weather wish list, like these:
This week kicks off the annual Palm Springs Modernism Week festivities! To celebrate the influence of mid-century design, Louis Vuitton Beverly Hills hosted a beautiful event showcasing their own collaboration pieces for the home. For those who don’t know, Palm Springs Modernism Week is an annual series of open houses, cocktail parties, and designer showcases bringing together the international design community in the mecca of mid-century architecture and interiors! Best of all, the organization is a charity, and proceeds of the week help to provide scholarships to students of design, and preserve the mid-century landmarks we love here in Southern California.
For this event, LV showcased their ‘Objets Nomades’, a collection of travel-inspired pieces for the home. With the same level of quality and attention to detail you would expect from the luxury fashion house, every piece is executed to complement the materials and timeless aesthetic of the brand. While embracing some of the defining characteristics of the modernist movement (modularity, minimal silhouettes, colorful accents), the collections is unmistakably fashion-inspired.
Seeing the collection in a crowded boutique is one thing, but I’m already looking for the perfect opportunity to see one of these hand-stitched beauties really sing in a residential space! For example, the folding leather stool is the perfect solution for a vanity in a small space - it’s efficient, comfortable, and undeniably luxurious. And when it isn’t being used, I can imagine it being folded away into a perfectly designed closet compartment for safe keeping.
Check out the collection yourself, and hopefully it inspires you the get creative with incorporating furnishings in your own closet or dressing room!
If you’re in the area, I would encourage you to check out the full list of Modernism Week events here!
Bonjour! I recently returned from a magical trip to Paris and am feeling très inspired, and had to share some of the highlights. I went to explore Maison Objet -- the premier lifestyle trade show that features incredible furniture, accessories, textiles, fragrances, tableware and more from around the world -- but as one does in the City of Lights, got to experience so much more.
Let’s start with my adorable hotel, Fauchon l’Hôtel. Not only is this hotel super chic, it is covered in one of my favorite colors...pink! From the closet to the custom credenza to the Dyson hair dryer, it was as if I had entered a Parisian pink fantasy land! I also love the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal because of its central location and impeccable 5-star concierge service. And, of course, Hôtel de Crillon for a quintessential Parisian bar experience.
One can’t go to Paris and not indulge...and I certainly got my fill of croissants and champagne this time around! Beyond the cuisine, though, the entire dining experience in French restaurants is truly memorable and special.
I was blown away by Alain Ducasse at Plaza Athénée. It’s fine dining in the purest form where food is art and ingredients are perfectly fresh and flavorful. Plus the decor is to die! Another favorite is Pink Mama (are we noticing a color theme?!), a charming and bustling Italian eatery. The interiors are stunning and the food even better. I guess that’s why there was a line around the corner at lunch.
I can’t go to Paris and not dine at Monsieur Bleu. The meal is consistently good and the interiors are effortlessly modern, but it’s the direct Eiffel Tower views that make it incomparable. A real treat on this trip was Balagan. All the dishes are superb, but the “Crashed Snickers” dessert was unlike anything I’ve ever had. The Snickers is literally “crashed” tableside and satiates that sweet tooth! And, you can’t go to Paris and not be a tourist alongside locals at Café de Flore during the day and Hotel Costas at night. Both offer the best people-watching in Paris!
In addition to Maison Objet, I charged my creative batteries at Paris Deco Off, an event in which showrooms, exhibitions and pop-ups across the city showcase their newest collections. I especially enjoyed seeing the Adam Hunter x StudioArt leather collaboration, having lunch with Jonathan Browning at Les Climats hosted by Ligne Group, boating down the Seine with Holland & Sherry, and having a private luncheon and tour of the Paris flea market hosted by Jobi Blachy-Quintus and Roger Thomas.
When not working, I made the most of leisure time, strolling through the charming streets and soaking up the city. I took in some art at the Louis Vuitton Foundation, which had a Jean-Michel Basquiat exposition, checked out the new Chanel boutique at 31 Rue Cambon (one of everything, s'il vous plaît!), and connected with some of my fellow LA designers at the American Party in Paris at the College des Bernardins.
One of the highlights of this trip was meeting and connecting with so many wonderful people. From beginning to end, I feel like Paris played the ultimate networking matchmaker. For starters, when my flight from San Francisco to Paris was delayed by a day, I met and had dinner with Deb Spofford of Made On 23rd, a super talented textile designer. When it came time for our flight, we were serendipitously seated next to one another! Tony Forte was on that flight, as well, and I found out he’s a Barry’s Bootcamp instructor in the Bay Area (and, we all know I love my Barry’s!). Interior designer extraordinaire Roux MacNeil and I were randomly seated next to each other at a dinner and realized we worked on the same project (at different times) in Cary, NC. I’ve known Thomas Lavin, a creative mastermind, for years, but we really bonded over veggies and rooftop decks at the Jonathan Browning luncheon. Dynamic Chicago designer Donna Mondi and I bumped into each other at the Adam Hunter presentation and discovered we share the same PR firm (guess our agency has great taste in clients!). And, I met one of the sweetest people, Maryna Gulevskaya, a hair and makeup artist who has an enviable Parisian flat that I’ll continue to draw inspiration from.
As the saying goes, “Paris is always a good idea,” and this trip proved that more than ever. Until next time...
So we all know the lyrics to “Versace on the Floor”, but my latest project flips that fantasy on its head with Hermes on the ceiling! Currently nominated for a LUXE Magazine Red Award, this colorfully sophisticated space is every Hermés lover’s dream! The closet is complete with a marble waterfall island, hidden corner cabinets, and ample accessory display space, but the client’s collection is the real show stopper.
New year, new shopping destinations? LA is ripe with new retail right now, with even more covetable shops coming as the year continues. Here are a few new and upcoming stores I have on my radar (get those credit cards ready!). Whether you’re shopping for some fashionable new accessories or for closet inspiration, these design destinations are sure to have what you’re looking for!
The ultimate shopping destination landed in LA late last year, further putting the City of Angels on the fashion map. Known as one of the most cutting-edge retail concepts in the world (other locations include Beijing, London, New York, Singapore, and Tokyo), DSM consists of store-in-store installations, unique collaborations, exclusive capsule collections, and art exhibitions making it a truly unique experience. This is the go-to shopping spot for hard-to-find fashion and items like Comme des Garçons tees, Chanel and Repossi jewelry, Gucci gear and limited-edition sneakers.
Running through Jan. 31, 2019, Heidi Merrick, who has a flagship in Downtown LA, is debuting her first pop-up store in Malibu. The collection of cool, California pieces offers classic lines and versatile silhouettes. Her feminine designs transcend time...and freeways! The pop-up also includes art installations from Dewey Nicks and Mona Kuhn, and black surfboards shaped by her brother, Britt Merrick.
Though an official opening date hasn’t been announced, the popular direct-to-consumer brand for elevated essentials is slated to open on Abbot Kinney sometime this year. Whenever it opens, I’ll be popping in for cozy cashmere sweaters and affordable tees.
It’s as if I rubbed a genie lamp, wished for all my favorite brands to come together in one walkable destination and they appeared! That’s how I feel about Palisades Village, which recently opened in Los Angeles’ Pacific Palisades neighborhood. Stores include A.L.C., Alo Yoga, Anine Bing, Cuyana, Fleur du Mal, Jennifer Meyer, Rachel Zoe, Towne by Elyse Walker, Vince, and Zimmerman, among others. I mean, does it get any better than that?! I anticipate many Saturday shopping trips here this year.
It’s not slated to open until 2020 (sigh), but I’m counting down the days until Miami’s luxe multi-brand fashion store opens at the Beverly Center, which has undergone quite the transformation. From The Row to Loewe, Maison Margiela to Maison Michel, The Webster is always at the forefront of fashion, and I can’t wait to see what the LA flagship has to offer.
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!
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
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)
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
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!
We’re heading straight into winter, and that sadly means darker days. So, here’s a bright idea: invest in some good closet lighting so you can really see your most prized possessions! While natural light is always ideal, when there’s less daylight, it’s necessary to supplement with alternatives. And, your closet is one area you definitely shouldn't settle for bad fluorescent lighting. So, here are a few options for illuminating your closet:
Recessed -- Recessed lights are nice options for the closet as they create ambient light, dispersing it throughout the space or directing it to highlight a specific item or section. The downside is that overhead lighting may not effectively illuminate every corner of the closet. So, it’s nice to integrate other lighting, like hanging rods, to maximize radiance. Be sure to select a color temperature bulb between 3000K and 3500K to emit a crisp, white light.
Chandeliers and Pendants -- When it comes to dressing room lighting, function doesn’t require sacrificing fashion. Not only does a statement fixture like a chic chandelier or polished pendant over an island or ottoman emanate lots of light, it creates a glamorous focal point. The “Hallie” crystal chandelier (Lamps Plus) is the perfect example of a classic crystal chandelier that can elevate any closet, modern or traditional!
Sconces -- While many closets don’t typically have a ton of blank wall space, one way to take advantage of that area if yours does is to add a sconce. It provides additional lighting and adds a captivating design element. Sconces are also one of the more economical ways to enhance your space’s luminosity.
Concealed -- One of the more clever ways to add light sources to your dressing room is through placing them in targeted locations that can amply spotlight a specific area. I love the idea of adding LED lighted hanging rods, uplighting, in-cabinets/drawers and mirrors with a backlit frame. These options tend to be practical, energy-efficient, low-maintenance, inexpensive and effective, yet subtle.
As designers, inspiration can come in many forms! I often hear people say Fall is their favorite season, and we go out of our way here in SoCal to get a glimpse of the Fall colors before winter strikes. In the spirit of the changing seasons, I decided to break out a few fall colors of my own. Last week, while launching Closet Design Bible in New York, I had a chance to hit some of my favorite haunts, as well as check out a few new spots. The city is full of life and character, and what better way to pay homage to everyone’s favorite season than to draw inspiration from the vivid colors all around. And for anyone who thinks the city is nothing but gray, think again! See the full color story below: