My mom. She has overcome so many challenges in her life and has managed to do it with the most contagious smile on her face. She goes out of her way to make everyone feel special and important, and has taught me so many crucial life and business lessons, from the importance of letting your freak flag fly to a strong work ethic.
2. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?
Les Misérables. I saw it on Broadway when I was 15 and it captured a special place in my heart. I would love to have been a part of bringing such a powerful and emotional piece to life.
3. What is the best way to gage a client’s personality before starting a project?
I rely on a series of interactions to ensure that we’re a good fit for each other. Because interior design is such a personal and interactive process, I need to ensure that I’m able to work with the client to enhance their life aesthetically, functionally, and emotionally.
The first is a quick intake form that addresses basic questions on topics from style and budget to priorities. If their answers are inline with my design philosophy and what I can offer, I set up a quick phone call meet-and-greet. And if we mesh well during the phone meeting, I move forward with an in-person consultation in their space. This is where I really get a sense of who they are, their needs, and how to best move forward.
4. What new design elements are you excited to integrate into your work?
Colorful faucets and sinks. For someone who is open to an adventurous and unexpected look, I think they’re a great alternative for basic white and off-white options. I can’t wait to find a home for a turquoise sink and brass faucet pairing! I’m also excited for jewel-toned millwork. I love the modern twist on a classic look.
5. How do you completely unwind?
If I’m able to, I hop on a plane! I’ve found traveling has the power to refresh, relax and inspire me. If I can’t get away, I’m a total homebody, and you can find me snuggling on my sofa with a glass of wine and a good book, movie or binge-watching a TV series.
6. If you hadn’t become a designer, which career would you have pursued?
I think I could have been very happy as a historian. I’m constantly rotating through nonfiction books on various time periods and historical figures. Right now, I am particularly intrigued with the Gilded Age.
7. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?
I put myself through college working as a server at a Tex-Mex chain restaurant. Don’t get me wrong, I love Tex-Mex, but I don’t enjoy smelling like it. And I still have wrist problems from carrying 15-pound platters of sizzling fajitas!
8. What’s your favorite recipe?
Hospitality is an integral part of having an inviting home. And nothing says it better than a beautifully stocked bar cart and a signature cocktail. Here’s mine:
The Kentucky Mule:
2-3 sprigs of mint
1 piece of crystallized ginger
Half a lime
1-2 shots of bourbon
Bundaberg Ginger Beer
1. Place mint and crystallized ginger into a copper mug
2. Squeeze lime juice into mug and toss in the rind 3. Muddle it all together 4. Add bourbon, ice and top with ginger beer
9. Create your perfect playlist for us.
I call this my “Freedom Mix.” Whenever I’m feeling anxious, I throw on these songs and imagine myself cruising down the highway in a classic muscle car:
10. Who is your designer crush?
Sasha Bikoff. She’s fearless and unique in her designs and style and she somehow melds feminine, edgy, vintage and modern aesthetics to create a stunning, yet cohesive space.
11. Would you rather shop new or vintage?
12. First celebrity crush?
Clark Gabel as Rhett Butler.
13. What’s your hidden talent?
I have a very in-tune sense of compassion and empathy. I know how people feel even when they don’t tell me.
14. Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?
The Blue Dog Tavern. It’s just a short walk from my Sherman Oaks home.