This past weekend I finally had a chance to sit down and read through interior designer Kishani Perera’s new book, Vintage Remix which I am absolutely loving! Growing up rummaging through yard sales, flea markets and thrift shops in search of the perfect piece, Kishani developed a knack for re-imagining vintage finds as well as a killer signature style that is colorful, eclectic and just plain cool. It’s no wonder that she is the go-to decorator for A-list Hollywood celebrities like Kate Bosworth, Josh Duhamel, Molly Simms, Rosie Huntington-Whitely and Jason Statham. Filled with images from Kishani’s portfolio, Vintage remix covers everything from mastering the art of layering and mixing and matching, to advice on where to splurge vs save and, of course, how to re-imagine your vintage finds. It’s a great guide to achieving good design at any price point or for anyone simply looking for inspiration. Below is a look inside the book plus a few photos from Kishani’s book launch party at her LA shop, Rummage. You can order a copy of Vintage Remix here!
I recently returned from a week long trip to Los Angeles and I’m already wishing I was back there! I LOVE LA! I was in town for work and then extended my trip into a long weekend and had such an awesome time. I’ve been to LA many times over the years and never gave the city any serious thought but lately the sunshine, palm trees and laid back California lifestyle have begun to seduce me and I find myself daydreaming about living there. Here’s a recap of my week long trip. The post is quite long so while you’re reading, I’ll be away plotting out my master plan to get to LA permanently:)
I usually stay at The Chamberlain whenever I’m in town but this time I decided to try the SLS Beverly Hills which is a relatively new hotel designed by Philipe Starck. The hotel is situated on La Cienega and San Vicente right near the Beverly Center mall and easily accessibly to West Hollywood, the Sunset strip and the La Cienega design district. The hotel’s interiors are bold, sleek and modern and rumor has it Philipe Stark was given a $100million budget to design the property. Above is the guest lobby which leads into Tres, one of the hotel’s restaurants. There is a separate lobby for visitors dining at The Bazaar, which is a popular restaurant also located within the SLS. One of the only drawbacks of the SLS (and this is totally subjective) is that it turns into a bit of a scene at night with all the people coming in and out of The Bazaar and you feel as though you’re walking past a nightclub when you arrive to the hotel at night. Thank goodness for the separate lobbies! Another feature of note is the hotel’s gift shop curated by Moss, the unique furnishings and accessories gallery based in Soho.
The guest rooms were minimal and chic although not necessarily practical. My room looked exactly like the the one above. It was actually quite dark and there were smoky gray mirrors on just about every wall surface including in the bathroom. It definitely looked cool but made simple tasks like putting on makeup a challenge! Still, the space was intimate and cozy and the bed comfortable enough to allow for a good night’s sleep. And the service at the hotel was outstanding!
Perhaps the best feature of the SLS Beverlyl Hills is its rooftop pool area. On the left is a shallow 18 inch wading pool with cold, refreshing water and on the right is a slightly heated swimming pool.
Cabanas, lounge chairs, huge canopied daybeds and colorful Louis style armchairs by sixinch surround the pool creating a very stylish lounge like atmosphere designed for relaxation. As soon as I finished with all of my work obligations, I spent much of my free time here enjoying the sun! One not of caution is that on the weekends, the pool area gets a bit scene-y with loud music and a younger crowd…fun for people watching but not for relaxing. Overall though, I definitely enjoyed my stay at the SLS.
I was really excited that my trip to LA happened to coincide with Westweek which is the market week for the design industry in LA. I wasn’t able to attend many of the Westweek events due to work obligations but I did attend a fun cocktail party hosted by One Kings Lane founders Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus. The event was at Almont Yard – a community of design showrooms that includes Nathan Turner, Harbinger & Lucas Studio, Karthryn Ireland Textiles and Claremont Fabrics all which surrounds a quaint little courtyard. The party was swimming with alll the top names in the LA design community who came out to toast the kick off of Westweek. At the event I introduced myself to Peter Dunham who I was beyond excited to meet since he’s one of my favorite interior designers. He couldn’t have been nicer and invited me to stop by his shop Hollywood at Home which recently moved to a new location on LA Cienega at the end of last year. The old location was actually in Almont Yard in the space that Kathryn Ireland now occupies. Sadly, I didn’t have time to drop by but I definitely plan to the next time I’m in town!
Me pictured with Joe Lucas of Lucas Studio. Photo by Stephanie Keenan.
In addition to Peter Dunham, I was thrilled to meet Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat of the design firm Lucas Studio whose work I absolutely adore. The Lucas Studio design office and their furnishings, fabric and accessories showroom Harbinger are also located in Almont Yard. I blogged about Lucas Studio a while back and Joe sent me the kindest thank you email afterward so it was especially nice get to meet him in person. I was also excited to meet Susan Feldman and Ali Pincus, the evening’s hosts since I’m a huge fan of One Kings Lane which they launched last year. I spent some time chatting with another interior designer who introduced herself as Carla and after about 10 minutes of chatting she handed me her business card and I realized I was talking to Carla Lane who I’m a big fan of and have blogged about before! It was quite a serendipitous moment! She too couldn’t have been nicer and gave me lots of advice about the design industry in LA. At the party I also bumped into designer Brad Ford who was in own from New York and had spoken earlier that day at a Westweek panel at the Pacific Design Center about the role of blogs and new media in the design industry. He was with LA based decorator Vanessa de Vargas who spoke on the panel as well. I also spotted interior designers Joe Nye and Barclay Butera, textile designer Lulu de Kwiatkowski and Food Network star Giada De Laurentiis. It was definitely the party of the week and I’m glad I was able to attend!
On the Saturday of my trip I met up with designer Kishani Perera for lunch at the trendy LA eatery Joan’s on Third. Kishani filled me in on her upcoming feature in the June issue of House Beautiful on stands next month! (Congrats Kishani!) She also just joined twitter and you can follow here. As much time as I’ve spent in LA, I’d actually never been Joan’s before! If you’re not familiar, Joan’s is a gourmet marketplace and restaurant often seen in paparazzi pictures because of all of its celebrity fans who eat there regularly.
At lunch I ordered this sandwich filled with short rib, melted Monterey Jack cheese, arugula and sweet caramelized onions on buttery grilled country bread. The sandwich was featured on the cover of Bon Appétit’s February 2010 issue and I swear it tastes as good as it looks in this photo! I loved it so much I went back 2 days later for another one!
Another restaurant I was dying to check out was Blue Plate Oysterette in Santa Monica. It’s a sister restaurant to Blue Plate, also in Santa Monica, but this spin-off specializes in seafood fare. I had heard lots of buzz not just about the food but also about the restaurant’s interiors which were designed by Tim Clarke. The food was delicious. I enjoyed a classic lobster roll with sweet potato chips and my boyfriend (who joined me in LA for the weekend) had fish tacos…both equally amazing. We at outside on cute blue wooden picnic tables while looking out at the beach which is located directly across the street.
The restaurant’s interiors have a beach casual vibe with subtle oceanic references like the pearlized leather banquettes which resemble the inside of an oyster shell, light fixtures made from recycled sea glass jars, sea shell wall sconces, brass mermaid door knockers which hang on the bathroom doors and the soft hues of blue throughout which mimic the colors of the sea. Photographs of beautiful beaches line the walls and there is also a huge octopi motif gilded mirror that serves as a focal point on the restaurant’s back wall which is covered in a bark wallpaper that evokes the color and texture of driftwood.
Here’s a shot of the restaurant’s open kitchen. I would highly recommend checking out Blue Plate Oysterette if you’re ever in the area and you can find more info on their website here. Thanks for reading my ridiculously long recap of my trip LA! xoxo
Model/Actress Molly Sims’ NYC apartment designed by Kishani Perera
Stylish LA interior designer Kishani Perera has just started a blog! Pererra, who is best known for her notable roster of Hollywood celeb clients, created her blog in order to document her insiprations and thoughts on design. She’ll also be posting regular updates on her latest projects! Be sure to check out her blog at kishaniperera.com/blog!
When I was pouring through Kishani Perera’s portfolio I was struck by one of her projects which she titled “Miracle Mile Revival.” I especially loved the photo above with that beautiful gray velvet sofa topped with bright pink pillows and a suzani throw to accent. When I asked her about this home I was surprised to hear that this was a project done for a client on a tight budget and that it was furnished using a number of items from mass market stores such as Crate & Barrel mixed in with flea market finds and vintage pieces from eBay. I think this home perfectly illustrates the fact that you can achieve high style without spending a fortune. Below, Kishani shares more about this project and also gives us her top tips for decorating on a budget.
Tell me a bit about this project and how you were able to create a space with such style on a limited budget?
When our client came to us, a marketing director at Barbie/Mattel, she had very specific requests. She wanted her space to have a modern yet European aesthetic, with pops of color. The catch was, of course, it had to be done on a very tight budget. We invested in really great textiles, we recovered her sectional sofa set with high-end luxe grey velvet, and we spent a lot time getting the paint colors just right…we used a professional painter who completely transformed the rooms. We also splurged on custom drapes in the master bedroom. We found an inexpensive, beautiful fabric and had it upholstered into a fabulous cornice box and long flowy drapes for a romantic feel. We definitely saved with everything else in the house. We bought a lot of flea market basics, like end tables, side tables, mirrors, accessories, etc. Other pieces came from high-end design shops like Jonathan Adler, to cost effective stores like Home Decorators.com, Linens ‘N Things, and eBay.
When decorating on a budget, what pieces should people splurge on and where should they save?
Definitely invest in the obvious: solid basics and comfort items like a great mattress, a well made sofa, luxe sheets and towels…I also think a fabulous rug and gorgeous drapes are a worthwhile expense.
What are some great resources for people who are shopping for their home with limited funds? If you can be a little creative, eBay, Craigslist, flea markets and thrift shops are great for budget shopping.
Do you have any expert tips on navigating flea markets and scoring a great deal?
Be friendly and don’t be afraid to haggle. If the price isn’t right one day, the owner might remember you the next day, and be willing to sell for what you’re willing to spend.
What are a few simple ways to spruce up your space on a tight budget? Paint is the least expensive way to completely change the mood of a room. Be bold, pick a strong color. Also, toss cushions immediately give a room a new feel.
Kishani Perera is a talented LA based designer that I recently had the pleasure of meeting thanks to an introduction by a mutual friend. I had been a long time fan of hers ever since seeing the homes she designed for model/actress Molly Sims which have been some of her most buzzed about projects.
You’ve probably seen this photo of Molly’s Soho apartment which was featured in a 10 page spread in InStyle Home’s Fall/Winter ’07 issue. It’s been published in a few other publications as well and has also made the rounds on the blogosphere.
This insanely beautiful apartment is filled with soothing grey tones and gorgeous antiques that Kishani & Molly picked up at the Paris flea markets. I think there’s really something special about this space. It’s one of my favorite examples of work by any interior designer ever and has a timeless, almost iconic quality that I think future generations of decorators will reference for inspiration.
Above are a couple of photos from the other home Kishani designed for Molly Sims in the Hollywood Hills which was also published in a number of magazines and was featured on MTV Cribs and Access Hollywood. Kishani’s design style is sophisticated and eclectic and her approach is centered on creating spaces that truly reflect the personality and lifestyle of her clients.
Whether she’s designing a modern or traditional space, the result is always fun and fresh…and there’s always something interesting and unexpected thrown in to mix things up. I admire her ability to fuse together a variety of styles and periods in her work. I’m also drawn to the variety of ethnic influences that often permeate her designs.
Kishani has always had a lifelong passion for design. She was one of those kids who constantly rearranging her bedroom and experimented with paint growing up but it wasn’t until her early 20s that she realized that a career in design was her calling. She studied at UCLA’s prestigious Interior Design & Architecture program and then went on to work for a few notable LA designers before launching her own firm, Fuse ID, in 2003.
Since launching her company, Kishani’s work has been featured in such publications as InStyle, California Home & Design, Cosmopolitan, Glamour and O at Home to name a few. She was also featured in a national print and television ad campaign for American Express and now has a high profile roster of clients which includes celebrities like Christine Taylor and Kate Bosworth as well as a number of top film industry execs. In the brief interview below, Kishani shares more about her work and her inspiration. I hope you enjoy!
What’s your favorite aspect of your job as a designer?
Working with clients who are excited to learn, explore and experiment.
What’s been the most memorable moment of your career thus far? There have been several, but I’d have to say seeing myself on an American Express commercial along with the gold card, which had mine and my company’s name on it…pretty amazing!
Design your design aesthetic in three words… Eclectic. Inviting and interesting.
What designers past or present do you admire most? Hands down, Tony Duquette is my favorite interior designer, past or present.
Are you working on any exciting projects right now that you can share? I’m working on several fun projects at the moment – a great house in Bel Air, another a massive remodel in the Hollywood Hills, a great game room for another client, and a few other cool things!
What are some of your favorite places to shop for your own home? eBay, the best one stop shop!
To see more of Kishani’s work, click here to view her portfolio on her website. And be sure to check back tomorrow to read Kishani’s top tips for decorating on a budget!