Sunday, February 27, 2011

All About LA

Kelly Weastler design
(aestheticallythiking blog)
With all eyes on Hollywood tonight for the 83rd Academy Awards, I thought I'd list my favorite LA designers whose rooms I'd place on the best dressed list.  It's much harder than selecting the most fashionably clad celebs who stroll the red carpet because there are so many talented visionaries in Southern Califorina creating spaces I admire.  So that this post doesn't take half your Sunday morning to read, I have highlighted four designers I find myself drawing inspiration from most often for my first house.

First on the list is the queen of color and unexpected accents Kelly Wearstler. One of my favorite places in NYC is the BG Restaurant designed by Kelly Wearstler on the top floor of Bergdorf Goodman.  When your feet are sore and your arms are aching from carrying too many shopping bags, settle into one of Kelly's signature leather pod chairs and order an iced tea and the seared ahi tuna salad.  Her rooms are whimsical and dramatic and I love her consistent incorporation of graphics.  Kelly's interiors are a true feast for the eyes with many eclectic accent pieces, unique colors, and luxurious fabrics.  In case you haven't checked it out, Kelly's new blog My Vibe, My Life, is colorful and fun to follow, though she hasn't been posting as much as I hoped!

BG restaurant designed by Kelly Wearstler
note elephant on the mirrored side table, Kelly likes them too!
(Kelly Wearstler website)

Number two on the best dressed interiors list is the fearless, exuberant Mary MacDonald. Mary knows drama and elegance and she isn't afraid to mix modern with vintage, Indian silks with French antiques.  Her first book was published last year and I have tabbed many of its pages for inspiration.  Mary says, "A well designed room should beckon you, make you feel welcome and wanting a bit more."  After devouring her first book I definitely welcome Mary's sensibilities into my first house.  All images are from Mary McDonald's website.  Her portfolio is divided into her four signature styles: classic glamour, livable elegance, whimsical and modern.  The first two styles are my favorite in her portfolio.

And the third best-dressed home designer on my list is the youthful Californian Ryan Brown.  You might know him from Bravo's "Flipping Out," but before he went prime time, I was following him and his creations. I admire his style of rustic, yet contemporary and his ability to create clean lines for a sleek, serene interior.  While some of his rooms are more modern than my usual taste, I am drawn to his ability to mix vintage pieces with current stylized furnishings to create spaces that are inviting and livable.

living room by Ryan Brown
(La Dolce Vita)
Ryan Brown's own dining room
(ohbytheway blog)
And the fourth and final designer is the ever so stylish old Hollywood glamorous Windsor Smith.  I first discovered this designer while working at Vogue after college.  Her interiors often feature fashionable photography from Richard Avedon and Helmut Newton.  Her interiors are timeless classic masterpieces that celebrate the elegant detailing of architecture such as crown moldings and intricately carved cabinetry.  She creates spaces where legendary men and women of immitable style would have felt at home, saying, "I like to create libraries where men with names like Howard, Bing and Spencer sat in cashmere sweaters and contemplated the 13th hole on the Bel Air golf course. I am drawn to a simple but elegant time when the women were so legendary that surnames weren't necessary.... Slim, Babe, Coco."  I framed some of my favorite Irving Penn and Patrick Demarchelier and placed them around my New York City apartment.  I'm planning to reclaim these for one of the rooms in our first house drawing inspiration from Windsor and her romantic sensibilities.

All photos from Windsor Smith's website.  Her portfolio is absolutely gorgeous.

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