Hollywood Haven: Tour Nate Berkus’s California Home

Star interior designers spend most of their time catering to clients’ tastes, which means it’s always a treat to see what happens when they work on a dwelling for themselves, no holds barred. So, when Nate Berkus opened his California home to EyeSwoon founder Athena Calderone for a photo op, I couldn’t take a look fast enough.

Berkus pool
Image via EyeSwoon

The decorator, TV personality, and author shares the 1930s bungalow with his new husband, interior designer Jeremiah Brent. And just as you might imagine a home occupied – and outfitted – by two massively talented designers to be, it’s a study in seriously cool style. The couple chose a muted palette to let their favorite decorative objects and personal touches stand out, but color isn’t entirely absent from their abode. A retro-style range in seafoam green sits front and center in the kitchen, where the floor is covered in black, white, and green tile. Throughout the space, leather, marble, wood, and metals mix together to create a combination of textures that’s downright dreamy. Happily for the duo, it’s one dream from which they never have to wake up.

Head over to EyeSwoon to read more and see the photos

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

Which designer’s home would you love to see inside? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

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May 28, 2014

Passport to Style: Get the French, Belgian, or Italian Look at Home

With its centuries-long history of art and craftsmanship, it’s a no-brainer that Europe is one of the world’s most stylish continents. Here, we share tips for incorporating three of its countries’ distinct looks into your home.052714_blog

Continue reading “Passport to Style: Get the French, Belgian, or Italian Look at Home” »


May 27, 2014

The Olsen Twins’ Foray Into Furnishings: The Row Opens in L.A.

Recent news that The Row would, ten years after its founding, open its first brick-and-mortar store might be exciting enough for fans of the Olsen twins’ high-end fashion label. But for anyone whose pulse picks up at the thought of home design, it gets even better: In addition to cashmere jackets and black silk evening pieces, patrons can purchase the ultra-sleek furniture and décor found throughout the store, too.

The Row
Image via Domaine

To update and outfit their modern Los Angeles shop, a space that once housed a Sally Hershberger at John Frieda salon, the famously fashion-forward sisters worked with architect David Montalba and designer Courtney Applebaum and sourced furniture and antiques from esteemed local vendors, including Blackman Cruz and Thomas Hayes Gallery. If you get there fast enough, a Jean Prouvé dining table, a Fortuny floor lamp, Poul Kjærholm coffee tables, and Paul McCobb woven leather chairs are a few of the super-chic pieces you could scoop up for your own abode. Now that’s what I call full-service shopping at its finest. 

Read more about the shop on WWD.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

Which furniture pieces would you love from The Row? Tweet us at @ruelala to share.

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May 21, 2014

Designer Genes: Meet Orlando Soria

To fans of HGTV, Orlando Soria is best known as Emily Henderson's assistant on the home-makeover series Secrets from a Stylist. But Soria’s design portfolio and talent don’t stop there. The Los Angeles–based interior designer and visual artist is also founder and author of the lighthearted design and lifestyle blog Hommemaker, as well as the West Coast creative director for Homepolish, a website that connects homeowners with professional interior designers in their region. The lucky winner of our sweepstakes with Trulia will welcome Soria into their home for a personal design consultation (and, we’re betting, lots of laughs). Here, Soria chats with Rue Living about clients, consultations, and having fun with it all.

Interview with Interior Designer Orlando Soria
Images courtesy of Orlando Soria

Rue La La: What are some of the most common hang-ups you encounter when consulting or working with clients for the first time?
Orlando Soria: Most often it’s that people don’t know what things are going to cost. For example, rugs and drapery tend to be very expensive, as is quality art. Most clients experience sticker shock with those items because they are pricey investment pieces you’re meant to buy and keep for years, and their prices reflect that.

RLL: Where do clients often go wrong on their own with their interior design?
OS: An issue I see a lot is people choosing items they love without thinking about how they work together. So they’ll paint a wall bright red and then buy maroon chairs and bring in some chrome accents and while all those things might be fine on their own, together they look garbled and chaotic. When designing a space it’s important to think about what story you want to tell, how you want the room to make you feel, and to use furnishings, wall treatments, et cetera, as a means to producing that feeling/story.

RLL: You must see a wide variety of homes and tastes between all of your clients. How do you pull together a unique vision for each?
OS: I don’t like to do anything too themey or fake, so I can find things to love about all styles. The trick is to mix it up enough that it looks unique and natural, tailored to the people who live there. You do this by making sure you’re incorporating the client’s art, books, and other items they’ve collected over the years. What inspires me ultimately is to create a space that the client will be happy in, where they see colors, objects, and furnishings that have positive connotations for them. This is why design is so pyschological. You have to really dig deep to find out which furnishings are really going to make people happy, and which things they’re going to hate because they remind them of their grandma or something dated.

RLL: At its core, what are the key elements of successful interior design?
OS: Composition. I come from an art background so I think about everything in terms of color, light, and balance. It’s important to balance a room with color, finishes, and textures. For example, if you have a large, dark sofa on one side of the room, it helps to add something dark/heavy across from it so it doesn’t feel like the room is being sucked into a black hole.

RLL: What do you typically discuss with a new client in your first consultation or meeting?
OS: I like to get a sense of who they are and what their style is by asking them about their job, movies they like, their favorite kinds of clothes, where they have lived, and where they like to vacation.  There are a lot of other indicators besides interior-design tastes that can tell you what people like. Being able to make connections between personal interests, fashion, and everyday activities and home furnishings is what makes a good designer.

RLL: What are your favorite interior design aesthetics?
OS: I’m a big fan of things that are modern and earthy at the same time. My design hero is a New York designer named Robert Stilin. His designs are simple and clean, yet still so warm and welcoming. They feel fresh and new without being hard, cold, and sterile. That’s the line I like to walk. Just modern and fresh enough, yet still comfortable, visually interesting, and inviting.

RLL: Describe your role as creative director for Homepolish L.A.
OS: My job is essentially the combination of everything I love to do: interior design, writing, marketing, team leading, making design more accessible, and promoting young, innovative designers. I do a lot of exciting design collaborations with wonderful brands and media outlets like goop and HelloGiggles, and fun collaborators like writer Kelly Oxford and fashion blogger Rumi Neely. It’s a great job and somehow everything I did before – from being on a TV show to doing graphic design and publicity – prepared me for it.

RLL: Tell us about a project you did for a client that you’re particularly proud of.
OS: I love a project I did with a wonderful family in La Habra Heights, which is a lovely little city about 30 minutes from downtown Los Angeles. Their home is a beautiful Spanish Revival and I had so much fun decorating it with furnishings that both complemented the architecture and reflected the young, hip styles of the homeowners.

RLL: Do you have any signature “moves” when it comes to interior design?
OS: I tend to make my own art and use it to fill spaces I don’t know what to do with. Or put benches in random places that feel empty or weird. Normally, if a space feels empty or awkward, a bench with a great art piece above it can solve the problem.

RLL: What’s your favorite room in a house to design and decorate?
OS: I love decorating guest bedrooms because you can be a little more adventurous with your design. Since no one has to sleep in there every night you can be bolder with color and art, which makes them a really fun opportunity to showcase your design perspective.

RLL: Have you ever done any staging? What are the biggest differences between staging and designing a home that someone intends to live in?
OS: I have not done any staging, but I have advised on it a lot. Basically, the idea with staging is both to give people ideas and inspiration and to show them how they might possibly lay out the space. They need to be aspirational, in a sense, because you want people to want the space, to buy the house. So in a way it’s not that much different than a regular design job. Ultimately, you’re just trying to make the space look as natural and inviting as possible.

RLL: What’s Hommemaker all about? 
OS: Hommemaker is a space for me to be creative just for me. No clients, no company, just share ideas about things I’m making, spaces I’m designing, what I’m thinking about and seeing it. I love doing it and it’s so satisfying to get feedback from readers. I kind of just treat it like a big art project and do whatever I want with it. That people read it is amazing and humbling.

RLL: Your writing style on Hommemaker is very playful. Do you try to work a sense of humor into your relationships with clients?
OS: I tend to joke around with clients and am naturally a playful person. It’s just my personality. I think it’s because I was shy my whole life, so I learned to joke as a way of making myself and others feel comfortable. Thus far all of my clients have been fun and great, so I can joke and laugh with them while also making sure we get everything done and that their home looks how they want it to look.

Want Orlando Soria to come to your home? Enter the sweepstakes in our New Home Know-How: Essentials for Staging & Decorating Boutique, opening Saturday, May 17, at 3PM ET.

Discover selling strategies, search neighborhoods, or contact a real estate professional at Trulia.com.

By Lindsay Lambert, Editor

Not a Member and like The (Style) Guide? You’ll love Rue La La. Join now.

Continue reading “Designer Genes: Meet Orlando Soria” »


May 17, 2014

Opposites Attract: Rustic & Romantic Décor

Two aesthetics. One unexpected combination. Pair curvy, French-inspired styles with all things linear and utilitarian. Here, items that bring these beloved looks together.

Pair Rustic and Romantic Décor

Rustic Features
Get this simple, utilitarian style with distressed furniture. Then capture that no-fuss feel with natural or reclaimed materials like wicker and wrought iron.

Romantic Features
Soften rustic design with carved frames and mirrors in Louis XV style. Hang vintage-like crystal chandeliers, and decorate with fleur-de-lis or rose motifs.

Our Romantic & Rustic Décor: Looks to Try Together Boutique opens Sunday, May 4, at 11AM ET.

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May 4, 2014

A Lesson in Lighting: The 3 Types, Defined

Achieve your ideal lighting by layering these three common types. Think about whether you use the space ­­for work or entertaining, then begin.

How to Choose the Right Lighting

Ambient
Ceiling lights. Floor lamps. Any fixture meant to evenly illuminate an entire space. Usually directed downward.

Task
Over a reading chair, at a desk, under cabinets in the kitchen – function-based and intended to target a specific spot.

Accent
Purely for show and aesthetics. Think wall lights highlighting a painting, outdoor spotlights on a house or tree, or a stylish lamp used for decorative purposes.

Illuminate every corner at our Gallery of Lights: Lamps, Chandeliers, & More Boutique on Wednesday, February 19, at 3PM ET.

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February 19, 2014

3 Easy, Yet Artful, Home Updates

Infusing something noticeably surprising into a room does not  require an absolute overhaul. In fact, simple changes can make the biggest impact. Here, a few tweaks to try.

Easy and Artful Home Updates

 

Add drama to your windows
Install rods just an inch or two above the window. Then, let those curtains drape low, creating a puddling effect on the floor.

Incorporate extra seating
Store an ottoman or stool under a console. When guests drop by? Pull these out for chic, space-saving seats.

Play with pillow proportions
The fastest way to change up a room’s look: throw pillows. Try mixing oblong or round pieces in with your all-square arrangement.

Start building your creative spaces with The Total Home It List Boutique, opening Saturday, February 8, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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February 8, 2014

Let’s Redecorate: Pair Neutrals with Color

Neutrals upon neutrals throughout the house can create a serene, made-to-kick-back space. But whether in the form of wall paint or accent pieces, a hint of color will add life to your neutral scheme. Here, three combinations to try.

How to Pair Neutrals & Color in the Home


January 23, 2014

The White Sale = Updates for Every Room

Those home essentials you’ve been eyeing? Now’s the time. Scoop them up and give your abode a little revamp. Here are three ideas to get you inspired.

Update Every Room with the Rue La La White Sale

In the Living Room or Outdoor Patio
Grab multiple decorative pillows now and swap them throughout the year for a quick and easy changeup.

In the Dining Room
Can’t decide between your two (or three) favorite rugs? You don’t have to. Get them all and start layering.

In the Bedroom
Stock up on extra sheet sets that would otherwise be a big investment.

Ready to get started? Visit The White Sale on Thursday, January 16, at 3PM ET.

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January 16, 2014

Ready the Floors: Sizing a Room for a Rug

Not too big, not too small – we'll help you find the perfect fit.

 BLG-1145-Boutique-Support--Rug-Tent-Sale

Whatever the size or shape of a room, a rug can bring it to life – or result in a decorating disaster. You can change the furniture, paint the walls, and re-accessorize each season, but a rug seems to be the one thing that endures – which is why we roll them up once a year and start from scratch (the wine stains have nothing to do with it). So, before you make your decision, make sure it’s just right with this fail-safe size guide and a few helpful tips. Then, get shopping.

Assess your space
Furniture, floor, walls, room size – these are all things to consider before choosing a rug. For instance, bold, patterned rugs reduce the appearance of space, giving large rooms a cozy, inviting feel, while solid, light-color rugs make smaller rooms look brighter and more spacious.

Visualize the rug
With masking tape, create a border on the floor where you would like the rug to lie. Make sure the amount of bare floor between the rug and the furniture/walls is even to ensure balance.

Be realistic when it comes to your lifestyle
“Going green,” allergies, or small children? These are all things to consider. Additionally, a plush white carpet may look pristine and feel cozy underfoot, but when it comes to upkeep, it’s a bear. Find a middle point between aesthetics and easy maintenance. You’ll thank yourself later.

The Rug Tent Sale opens Friday, December 28, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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December 28, 2012