We’ve rounded up five of the best up-and-coming designers from around the West and asked them to design rooms inspired by iconic spaces featured in Sunset issues from the 1940s through the ’80s. Their rooms will be on display at the Reimagining the Sunset Home exhibit at our annual Celebration Weekend festival in Menlo Park, California, June 1-2, 2013. This week we sat down to get to know Vanessa De Vargas, who is designing the home’s master suite.
Name: Vanessa De VargasTitle: Interior Designer, OwnerCompany: TurquoiseLAAge: 39
Twitter Handle: @TurquoiseLAInstagram Handle: @TurquoiseLAFacebook Page: facebook.com/TurquoiseLAPinterest Page: pinterest.com/TurquoiseLAWhat is your area of design expertise?Vanessa De Vargas (VDV): I find that my expertise lies in mixing modern and vintage pieces. I like the combination of the two looks when I design homes–I love the contrast of something new and old. It makes a room feel lived in and not overly decorated.
Describe your aesthetic in 7 words or less.VDV: Modern and vintage with a minimalism twist.
How does the Western lifestyle influence your designs?VDV: My clients live outdoors and indoors almost all year so I tend to use colors from nature like blues and greens.
What room are you working on for the Reimagining the Sunset Home project? What excites you most about this assignment?VDV: I am designing the bedroom and master bathroom. What I am most excited about is using colors like dark red and blue and materials like the fabrics and tile that I have not used before. I also love that we are making the home a throwback to the past but also addressing the needs of modern lifestyles.
Tell us a little about your vision for the room.VDV: The vision for the room is clean and modern but with an vintage-ethnic vibe. I want the rooms that I am decorating to feel well-lived-in and have a sense of the past. I will be designing a headboard and four-poster bed with Sunbrella fabric and custom drapes in white panels made of sheer fabric. The master bathroom will be inspired by an image I found in my McCall’s design book. It has ALL the elements I am working with. I will also be installing Chinese vintage hardware to the cabinets and a custom lucite stool.
What is your advice to homeowners who are dealing with dated home features and a small budget? Are there any quick-fix solutions for things like ’70s dark-wood paneling or popcorn ceilings?VDV: My advice is to always embrace the elements if you dont have the money to do a full overhaul; buying new hardware and paint is always a great and fast result too. And always do your research by looking at books or searching for like items on Pinterest for ideas. If you’re still not sure what to do, contact a designer for a 2-3-hour consultion. Pay the money to sit with a professional and bounce ideas. They will save you a lot of money and heartache in the end.
Any advice for aspiring young designers?VDV: Start with your own house and experiment. Try new things and try to make things on your own. It’s good to know how things work and to understand the process. Also do your research: look at blogs and buy lots of design books, new and old. History repeats itself and it’s important to know how the different eras started and what influenced those styles. As I mentioned, part of my inspiration for this project came from the vintage McCall’s interior design books I have collected over the years. It just goes to show that design is always evolving and always comes back around!