Inspiring 10 LA Interior Designers We Should All Be Following
The City of Angels has always sparked millions of people’s imagination. It has seen by many as the zenith of lifestyle, the place to be and to live. Home of Hollywood and most of our favourite films, Los Angeles has slowly turned itself into a cultural hotspot in the globe. Home of an incredible number of celebrities, athlete and movie stars, L.A. has also turned itself into a beacon of design, due to its inhabitant’s wishes and desires. So it would only be natural if some of the worlds best interior designers lived and practised there. And now it’s time to meet some of them.
“Malibu wasn’t known for its architecture,” says Colony native Vanessa Alexander, “but it always had this big surf break that attracted people,” including clients David Duchovny and Gerard Butler. Now living in Bonsall Canyon with her husband, ICM partner Steve Alexander, the designer has helped change that. While her design for the Malibu Farm restaurants exports the more casual side of California style to Miami, Hawaii and New York, it’s her interpretation of its relaxed luxury that endears her to attorney Kevin Yorn, director Marc Webb (The Amazing Spider-Man), producer Matt Tolmach, Reese Witherspoon and Jim Toth.J
Their exit from powerhouse design studio Commune hasn’t slowed down brother-and-sister duo Pamela and Ramin Shamshiri. The two Shamshiris, born in Tehran of an Iranian father and Roman mother, find inspiration in history, filtering it through a multicultural lens, and in their deep-seated belief that good design is the launching pad to a better life.
Alongside consulting for LACMA’S Decorative Arts Council as chair emeritus, Oliver M. Furth shares his vast knowledge of the city’s creative scene with such clients as Imagine’s Michael Rosenberg, Arianna Huffington, Beautycon Media CEO Moj Mahdara, UTA’s Jim Berkus and CAA’s Michael Rosenfeld.
A mixed-media artisan and longtime resident of Venice Beach, Kim Gordon showcases steel-framed floor-to-ceiling windows, hand-troweled walls and open floor plans that transform sand shacks into buoyant indoor-outdoor abodes. Says Gordon, who has worked with long-established interior designers Madeline Stuart and Kerry Joyce, “A lot of my aesthetic came from my wondering”.
Jake Arnold landed in Los Angeles six years ago under the wing of glamorous interior duo Woodson & Rummerfield, then joined up with Steve Wunderlich of 4C Design Group. While the British designer’s moody monochrome interiors have pushed him past 39,000 followers on Instagram, Arnold is more interested in atmosphere over strict aesthetics. At the end of the day, it’s all about how you feel in a space,” he says.
Restrained and understated, David John Dick and Krista Schrock layer the colors of the California desert into livable spaces like the Silver Lake home Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis just picked up for $3.5 million. “So many rooms are beautiful in photos, but they’re not rooms you want to live in,” says Dick. Adds Schrock, “‘Warm’ and ‘calm’ are words we hear a lot from our clients,” including Innerscope Records head of A&R Sam Riback, director and screenwriter Leigh Janiak, producer Greg Jacobs and SNL‘s former co-head writer Chris Kelly, among others.
Richard Petit and Stephen Hunt’s boutique agency, named after the English production company behind such evocative films as The Red Shoes and Black Narcissus, is known for visually dramatic, highly composed moments. Case in point: the neon yellow spiral staircase in the Silver Lake renovation for film producer Sharon Oreck and her cinematographer husband, Bill Pope.
While Sklar no longer is performing comedy sets — she leaves that to her husband, Randy, one half of the Sklar Brothers — she still has an off-kilter sensibility that endears Amy Sklar Design to a growing roster of funny men and women that includes Patton Oswalt and Rob Corddry. “We take our job seriously but gag around a lot,” says Sklar, who then deadpans, “It’s better that way. Trust me.” Alongside architect Barbara Bestor, Sklar’s working on a house for Almost Family writer-producer Annie Weisman.
As glamorous as her clientele — Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Joe Jonas, Kelly Rowland, The AllBright social club — Brigette Romanek launched her Romanek Design Studio from the Laurel Canyon home she shares with her director husband, Mark Romanek. The hillside home, once owned by Rick Rubin and possibly haunted, required an overhaul by the ex-handbag designer (her Rockstar purse was carried by Kate Moss, two Kardashians and Eva Mendes).