The 25 Best Interior Designers in Los Angeles
A Los Angeles home is more than just a home, especially for those involved in the entertainment business. From intimate dinner parties to blowout bashes, a gorgeous and glamorous residence serves as an all-important hub for both business and pleasure. With this in mind, it follows that the interior designers in this star-studded city are often as famous as their celebrity clients. These elite aficionados know how to create a luxurious environment where deals can be sealed and influencers can make their mark. They can easily adapt to the wide range of architecture styles boasted by L.A., making it a unique, distinguished, and highly individualized region.
If you’re wondering who this all-star cast consists of, we’ve got you covered. From Malibu to Hollywood Hills and beyond, here are the 25 hottest interior designers in Los Angeles right now. Listed in random order, these tastemakers can add allure and interest to the most modest abode or palatial mansion.
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Waldo Fernandez – The Cuban native made himself home in New York before relocating to Los Angeles and enrolling in UCLA to study design and architecture. He started out as a set designer for Walter Scott, but it was his furniture commissions that earned him his early reputation. After designing for film director John Schlessinger, his work caught the attention of a plethora of celebrity clients, including Elizabeth Taylor. Waldo’s Design has been a fixture on Almont Drive for over 28 years.
Michael S. Smith – Honored by all the top shelter publications, including Architectural Design and Elle Décor, this A-lister is one of the top talents in the design industry. Not to mention that Barack & Michelle Obama chose him to decorate the White House and makeover the Oval Office. His early days included studies at the Otis College of Art and Design and abroad, as well as a partnership with designer John Saladino in New York. The Californian returned to his roots to establish Michael S Smith, Inc. in 1990.
Madeline Stuart – For the past 15 years, Madeline Stuart & Associates has favored timeless design over current trends. The style maven’s philosophy encompasses a thoughtful, deliberate and collaborative approach to decorating. Her firm has established a reputation for conscientious attention to fine architectural details, accommodating work on a wide range of projects. A self-professed lover of elevated style, Madeline prefers wearing vintage clothing to jeans and a t-shirt, even on the weekends.
Kelly Wearstler – Since its establishment in 1994, Kelly’s interior design firm has blossomed to include clothing, jewelry, and home collections. Described as a “branding virtuoso” by Architectural Digest, her vibrant interiors and lifestyle boutique make her a leading name in modern American design. The multi-talented author and fashionista has been featured both on the Los Angeles Times‘ bestseller list and Vogue‘s Best Dressed list. Her famous clients include the ever so stylish Gwen Stefani and Cameron Diaz.
Rose Tarlow – The founding of R. Tarlow Antiques in 1976 galvanized Rose to design her own furniture and open Rose Tarlow Melrose House in 1979. Today, her signature pieces grace the rooms of beautiful homes throughout Los Angeles, and internationally. She has been touted by the New Yorker as a decorator who “balances emotion and intellect as well as any designer now living.” These high words of praise from architecture critic Paul Goldberger illustrate her impact on the design community. Her career also includes teaching master design classes at UCLA and the publishing of a book, The Private House.
Martyn Lawrence Bullard – Martyn is a household name in America and the UK, thanks primarily to his television shows Million Dollar Decorators (on Bravo TV) and Hollywood Me. Not surprisingly, the British-born designer moved to Hollywood 20 years ago to become an actor. His role in an Ed Wood film landed him the job of decorating the offices of Wood’s production company. These days, he has furniture, fabric, and fragrance lines. Fashion and jewelry product lines are in the works. His commitment has earned him the respect of such notable clientèle as Tommy Hilfiger, Elton John, and Cher.
Suzanne Rheinstein – The owner of Hollyhock, the renowned home furnishing and accessories shop, is a sought-after design talent. Her decorating advice is to “have fewer but better things,” and this approach to living well can be seen in her signature style. Born and raised in New Orleans, Suzanne combines a Southern sense of style and hospitality with East Coast sophistication and Southern California casualness. In addition to a best-selling book, At Home: A Style for Today with Things from the Past, Suzanne has created fabric and rug collections for Lee Jofa.
Timothy Corrigan – Before venturing into design in 1998, Timothy had a successful advertising career. We’re glad he made the switch. Architectural Digest has promoted Timothy as “Today’s Tastemaker,” and his talent is exhibited in extraordinary properties throughout the world. His offices in Los Angeles and Paris cater to Hollywood celebrities and Middle Eastern royalty. In March of this year, he received the “Star of Design” award from the Pacific Design Center. In addition to product lines with Patterson, Flynn & Martyn and Royal Limoges, he has an upcoming line of bath fixtures for THG Paris.
Kathryn Ireland – You might know her from Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators. Or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to visit the homes of Julia Louis-Dreyfus or Steve Martin, where her work is showcased. Either way, the England-born designer is without a doubt an influence on 21st century style. Raised in London and Scotland, Kathryn moved to Los Angeles in 1986. She worked as an actress, clothing designer, and filmmaker before launching Kathryn M. Ireland Textiles and Design in the 90’s.
Jeff Andrews – The designer for the famous Kardashian family, Jeff’s talent is seen by millions who watch their reality television productions. A highly coveted decorator, his expanding list of diverse celebrity clients also includes Ryan Seacrest and Michael C. Hall. The native Southern Californian’s magical interiors push creative boundaries, but remain true to traditional design aesthetics. Originally a choreographer, it should be no surprise that Jeff has a well-balanced approach to decorating and an eye for beauty.
Atelier AM – Shy by nature, Michael and Alexandra Misczynski keep a notoriously low profile. Which is quite a feat when you have clients like Tom Cruise, and collaborate with consummate modern architects like Richard Meier. The husband-and-wife duo met in Manhattan while working on different projects for the same client. Relocating to Michael’s hometown of Los Angeles, they founded the preeminent firm Atelier AM. The power couple is known as the choice designers for art connoisseurs.
Joan Behnke – Joan’s passion for decorating manifest itself by the age of five, when she designed a home for her Ken and Barbie dolls. Her devotion to design has since grown into a rewarding career, earning the respect of clients such as Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen. Although based in Los Angeles, her projects have taken her all over the map—from San Fransisco to Saudi Arabia. Her worldwide travels give her further inspiration, as well as access to uncommonly exquisite pieces of furniture and art.
Jeffrey Alan Marks – Another famous face from Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators, Jeffrey has been a trendsetter in the design world for over twenty years. In addition to Malibu beach houses and London homes, the internationally acclaimed designer has created iconic commercial interiors, including The Hungry Cat in Santa Monica. He is currently at work on an exclusive fabric line for luxury brand Kravet.
Tim Clarke – Tim is best known for designs that embody beach chic and coastal living, singlehandedly bringing the trend back into style. He started his career working with Michael Smith, and quickly became an expert in his own right, with an impressive clientèle including Sally Field and Ben Stiller. Tim’s signature surf and sand aesthetic are reflected in his modern, relaxed interiors. It is also reflected in the eclectic furnishings and objects at his Santa Monica retail location, Tower 20.
Kathleen and Tommy Clements – The mother-and-son team have impressed clients like Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theroux with their pared-down but richly layered aesthetic. Tommy joined his mother’s firm, Kathleen Clements Design, in 2006 and has since flourished as a designer. The talented duo is keeping it diverse this year, with projects as varied as a mid-century modern to the renovation of a 1930’s Georgian.
Cliff Fong – Although born in New York and raised in multiple countries around the world, Cliff calls Los Angeles home. For over two decades, he has been involved in the design community as an interior designer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur. In addition to high-profile clients like Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, his work includes distinguished commercial spaces like Madison Gallery and Ink Restaurant. Most recently, he partnered to open the design emporium Galerie Half.
Trip Haenisch – Originally from the Midwest, Trip embraces the quintessential California lifestyle, particularly when it comes to connecting outdoor living with airy interiors. With clients like Courteney Cox and Hank Azaria, it is no wonder his work is profiled in publications like Elle Décor, House Beautiful, and Vogue. He established design firm Martynus-Tripp with Martyn Lawrence Bullard in 1996, and has continued his design excellence in his independent practice, Trip Haenisch & Associates.
Jane Hallworth – A respected designer you probably haven’t heard of, Jane Hallworth has been quietly creating distinctive homes for young Hollywood stars such as Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams. Her design showroom on La Cienega illustrates her distinctive style—an ability to blend rare antiques with cutting edge contemporary pieces. Known for a strong architectural foundation, the discrete designer believes in nurturing the creative instincts of her celebrated clients.
Molly Isaksen – Her clients include Hollywood nobility like Stephen Spielberg and Dustin Hoffman. No big deal. Reflecting her timeless aesthetic, the Beverly Hills-based designer lives in traditional Colonial Williamsburg along with her husband, Jay Sures, a managing director at United Talent Agency. Molly’s inspirations include Art Deco and French designer Jean-Michel Frank.
Barbara Barry – Having lived in both northern and southern parts of the state, Barbara’s inspirations come from California’s rich and varied natural environments. Her mother, an oil painter and inventor, also influences her life and work. Largely self-taught, Barbara’s confidence in her own ideas has guided her throughout a successful thirty-year career. She is internationally known for her streamlined interiors and elegant home furnishings, such as luxurious bedding for Bloomingdale’s and rich fabrics for Kravet.
Richard Hallberg – Richard has been widely recognized for his discerning eye and style. His sophisticated interiors and strong emphasis on architectural design are apparent in all his projects, which range from classical to contemporary. The L.A.-based designer also has offices in New York and Montecito. A design strategist for major corporations, Richard is also President and Design Director of two nationally acclaimed furniture companies, Dennis & Leen and Formations.
David Phoenix – David has decorated homes for such dignitaries as the Kennedy family and former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. His aesthetic combines American aristocratic traditions with West Coast laid-back luxury. With two decades of experience under his belt, his projects are featured on the covers of Architectural Digest, California Homes, and LUXE Magazine. The well-known designer was selected as an honorable appointee of the State Historical Resources Commission of California.
Mary McDonald – Consistently ranked as one of House Beautiful’s “Top 100 Designers,” Mary has been honored as one of the top 25 designers by Veranda Magazine. Her fearless iconic style has been featured in numerous major publications including Town & Country, The New York Times, and International Vogue. Mary is currently working on her second book, due in 2015, and her debut furniture collection with Chaddock Home is set to launch in April of this year.
Molly Luetkemeyer – A Baltimore native, Luetkemeyer began her career in film, working as an assistant to director Mike Nichols. After moving to L.A., she eventually enrolled in UCLA’s design program and interned with Kelly Wearstler. She opened her own firm, M. Design Interiors, in 2001. Her work has been profiled in numerous publications including InStyle, Angeleno, The Los Angeles Times, and California Home + Design. Drawing from a variety sources from nature to fashion and vintage design books, Luetkemeyer has developed a fresh and sophisticated signature style.
Jamie Bush – A New Yorker who grew up in a family of notable designers and artists, Jamie studied architecture and design in New Orleans and Italy. After receiving his Masters in Architecture from Tulane University, Jamie relocated to L.A. and opened his own interior design firm in 2002. Featured in such major publications as Architectural Digest, Dwell, and the Los Angeles Times, Jamie is highly regarded for his keen understanding of architecture and design.