May 30, 2014

Designers We Love: Elizabeth Slaught

elizabeth slaught


I was thrilled to see my dear friend Elizabeth Slaught so beautifully featured in Santa Barbara Magazine. I love seeing Elizabeth in her element, in process in her studio, creating her wonderful art.

I recently asked her about what inspires her, because she inspires me! Here’s what she shared:
1. What distinguishes your art and design sensibility?

I depict the human form as a means to present my perspective on life. By working with live models and in a timed format, my art evokes a sense of emotion. Each pose is no longer than 25 minutes.

2. What inspires you? 
Energy inspires me, quietude, all the old masters, all the emerging artists worldwide, and all the life around me!
3. What compels your work? 
Knowing that the beginning of all art is the human figure.
4. What are the top three guiding principles of your art and design? 
·       Ethos
·       Moving forward
·       Believing in the process
5. How do you describe your own personal style?
Classic and impressionistic.
Drawn to unique style
I first met Elizabeth years ago as a customer at Maison K. She was always attracted to very unique and special pieces, whether a vintage mirror or a Moroccan belt.
Elizabeth loves beautiful things with soul and is extremely discerning in what she chooses to surround herself with. She has an innate artistic sensibility along with a sharp editor’s eye.

I am always fascinated to see what strikes her fancy. I was not at all surprised to learn that she used to work as a graphic artist, and now is a fine artist; this makes perfect sense to me.  

Elizabeth is the most lovely, fun, beautiful person and our friendship evolved over our mutual love of pretty things, art, French culture and travel. She lives her life with passion and focus, love and humor — she’s a great inspiration to me!
Email me with questions about our unique Moroccan home décor and personal accessories or call Maison K at 805-969-1676.


February 12, 2014

Designers We Love: Micholyn Brown

Maison K Designers we Love, Micholyn Brown Design Santa Barbara

1. What distinguishes your interior design sensibility?

A home is at its best when its main purpose is to be lived in and enjoyed with your family and good friends. Not just beautiful to look at. That is always my primary goal when working with my clients.

2. What inspires you? 

I try to travel to Morocco and Europe as much as possible because I am inspired by the mix of antique and modern elements together.  Because they live in the middle of so much history, when this history is put together with our modern world the result is stunning.  I remember staying in a beautiful old mansion in Madrid years ago that was transformed into a lovely hotel.  The old paneling in the salon was washed in a soft warm gray, the furniture was B&B Italia chaises in a deep red claret, the light was soft and intimate with one beautiful ancient rug on the  old wood floors.  It was fantastic.  I have  never forgotten the impact it had on me.  It was chic and sophisticated, yet comfortable and warm.  So rich and soft, old and new all at the same time.  So I travel as much as possible to immerse myself in this wonderful mix of history combined with our contemporary world.  I learn and experience something new every time I go…       

3. How do you incorporate your client’s style into your work?

The clients I have been associated with are very intelligent and intuitive about what they want and who they want to help them through the process of creating a beautiful comfortable home.  The clients find us as designers.  They choose someone with a similar aesthetic to their own.  Someone they know they can communicate with, enjoy being with and trust to help them express their needs and desires.  When they choose the right person for them it is a very enjoyable relationship and journey traveled together. It is a delightful creative process.
4. What are your favorite 3 most important rules of interior design? 
Get organized…
Address the background first…the background should be finished and completed before you bring anything into it. Paint, floors, electrical, plumbing etc…kitchen and baths..
Work toward the center…do a general floor plan…start selecting fabrics, furniture and accessories whether existing or to be found.  I never do a complete design board in the beginning because design for me is a discovery process of things you find along the way..If you follow only what is on your plan it can end up being a bit mechanical. I think the free flowing approach is much softer and personal in the end. Always make sure there is continuity and things flow and relate to each other from room to room…and most of all HAVE FUN doing it.

5. How do you describe your own personal style?

I love simplicity and balance. I prefer homes that are not overdone and over designed. I love natural materials inside and out.  Stone, plaster, wood and glass.  Linens and cottons, cashmere and mohair, silk and leather and metals of silver and antiqued gold.  I love a mixture of modern and antique elements living together.  Not a big fan of faux finishes and making things look old.  Either they are old or they’re not.  I love all the treasures I find at Maison K and use many of the things Kim finds on her travels to complete my jobs.  We are so lucky to have her here as a source.  


6. What are your favorite Mantras? 

Edit Edit Edit….only keep the things around you that you really love and mean something to you. Create comfortable spaces to enjoy the simple things in life. Dinner on the terrace with friends..a place to read…a place to nap…a place to meditate or do yoga…a place to have a glass of wine as the sun goes down….if you are so inclined a place to comfortably watch movies…etc.
Don’t build or buy more than you need.  Keep life simple so you can enjoy it.  It is not necessary to live in the Taj Majal to have a wonderful home.   

Thank you Micholyn for sharing with us your creative process and inspirations! 
To learn more about Micholyn and her work please visit her website.
Photo courtesy of Micholyn Brown Design


January 11, 2014

Designers We Love: Amanda Masters

1. What distinguishes your interior design sensibility?

I mentally refer always to travels and experiences of having lived all over the world in my youth. I encountered so many different ways of living and aesthetics that I became convinced that there is not one particular style of decorating to love. I guess you could say that a curated but eclectic mix of furniture, antiques, and accessories would be my signature. I love lush fabrics and textiles. Morocco blew me away at 18 years old. It opened my eyes to how I wanted to live. I like surprising artful interiors whether they be modern or traditional. The architecture usually dictates the story and I try to pick up on the narrative! Visual interest and insight into the inhabitant are the key, while harmony, beauty and happiness are the result.

2. What inspires you? 

I am inspired by novels, movies, fantasies of grandeur and glamor. The 70s! Music and art. Punk and modern art. England, France, and Italy. Fashion and art plays a big part in my inspiration. I have the Orient on my mind too.  Sometimes I will think of a room inspired by a designers theme of their collection. I am very feminine in that way but like a practical Brit, I like my clients to be comfortable  and chic at the same time. I don’t like to churn out the same interiors for everyone! Sensuality inspires me….it’s a love affair.

3. How do you incorporate your client’s style into your work?

Ask them what their fantasies are and how they would like to bring them to life in their environments. It is their world, I just like to supply them with the best choices to pick from within the look we have chosen and hopefully inspire them with my ideas and to really educate ourselves.

4. What are your favorite 3 most important rules of interior design? 

Balance- I like to feel that a special room in which to inspire needs balanced scale, good proportions, and light to dark to add drama. Softness is balanced out by very graphic art or surprising accessories and there is visual interest all around you. I am not keen on bland rooms with no books!

Drama– I adore giant dramatic fireplaces and artwork. I love surprising juxtapositions and I love it when people are taken aback by scale when they walk into a room. The drama is just so important to me. A worldly stage in my own back yard.

Comfort– many seats, many different places to sit in different lights. Reading lamps, drinks table, cushions, furs rugs and textiles, soft downy sofas and stacks of interesting books and objects to enjoy.  A wood fireplace. That is comfort to me.

5. How do you describe your own personal style?

I try to emulate my favorite style icons such as the Rolling stones, David Bowie, Anouska Hempel, Fleetwood mac, Yves St. Laurent and Andy Warhol. I keep abreast of all new stores and designers and I try to stay ahead of the curve, but let’s face it, life is fluid so I like to accumulate grounding pieces that remind me of where I came from. I think my personal style is pretty English. I learned from the best.

6. What are your favorite Mantras? 

Live life and grow, be cool and listen to others, be free of convention, love yourself and create your own luck!

Thank you Amanda for opening our eyes to your life and inspirations, worldly influences and amazing interiors!
To learn more about Amanda and her work
 please visit Amanda Masters Design


December 11, 2013

Designers We Love: Bonesteel Trout Hall

bonesteel, trout and hall

1. What distinguishes your interior design sensibility?
All 3 of us were born and raised in Southern California, went to college in Southern California and now reside with our families in Southern California. We make traveling an important priority to our design aesthetic but, whatever we bring back home with us, we reinterpret to complement the lifestyle we have here in Southern California.

2. What inspires you? 
Every aspect of Southern California beauty. Everything from nature, to fashion, food and lifestyle. We all live near the water and the colors we see at the beaches, in the ocean, to the sunset skies, are reflected in the color palettes we use in the homes we 

3. How do you incorporate your client’s style into your work?
We love this part of the process and embrace our client’s style by asking them to put a design concept book together that reveals to us the things that they love. It is a wonderful tool that we use to really get to know our clients. We tell them not to hold back and it’s fun to see what they come up with.  It is also very telling when a client really isn’t sure what inspires them. Then we know that we have our work cut out for us, but that’s fun, too.

4. What are your favorite 3 most important rules of interior design?
   •  Always use live plants and trees in gorgeous containers.
   •  The use of texture so that a room never appears dull or flat.
   •  We layer our interiors to give a room life and dimension.

5. How do you describe your own personal styles?

Casual and luxurious with a little sparkle.

6. What are your favorite Mantras?
“Stick with your original vision”

Thank you Heidi, Michele, & Jill for sharing your world with us!

Please Visit: Bonesteel Trout Hall
Photography Credit: Karyn Millet
November 19, 2013

Designers We Love: Charmean Neithart

charmean neithart designers we love at maison k

1. What distinguishes your interior design sensibility?
After many years now of designing for clients I have grown to understand the importance of removing constraints and rules from ideas. I’m not interested in design that feels contrived or formatted. Great design is specific to the client, therefore every project should be different. I would never want to develop a signature look. There are too many interesting people and therefore designs out there to do the same thing over and over again.

2. What inspires you? 
God, my husband and children, music, color, kind strangers.

charmean neithart interior design
3. How do you incorporate your client’s style into your work?
When I am designing for a client I really try to get to know them. I consider their tastes, their travels, their hobbies, their quirks…everything. Once I feel I know them, I translate all of these attributes with fabrics, color, textures, furniture and art. Designing for a client is like writing a biography of their life. The stories and experiences are all theirs, but I will use my words to tell their story. The design process has to be collaborative this way.

Charmean Neithart and maison k
4. What are your favorite 3 most important rules of interior design? 
I don’t really like rules, but I do believe in proper scale, good lighting, comfortable seating, and starting with a rug whenever possible.
5. How do you describe your own personal style?
My own style feels collected, textured, traditional with a hint of global-inspired touches in every room. I prefer antiques to new pieces, but love to mix the two together.

6. What are your favorite Mantras?
• Buy the best rugs you can afford.
• Don’t yield to labels: just buy pieces you love.
• Focus on the acquisition of beautiful pieces for your home, not quick purchases.
• It’s more important that your house makes you feel good, not makes you look good.
Maison K Designers We Love, Santa Barbara CA Charmean Neithart

Thank you so much Charmean 
for sharing your beautiful style
and philosophy with us! 

Please Visit Charmean Neithart Interiors