Posts Tagged: Peter Dunham


The second annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House opened in Palm Beach this past weekend showcasing the work of 21 talented designers. Overlooking Lake Worth, the Mediterranean-style villa provided a beautiful backdrop for the designers to work their magic. The house is open until February 20th and tickets may be purchased by clicking here. See below for a tour and if you are headed south, do not miss seeing these spectacular spaces in person!


Whenever I interview a designer for Peachy magazine, I always ask them handful of personal questions to get a feel for the designer’s personality and the inspiration behind his or her design aesthetic. My friends joke that I should start my own design talk show because I never get tired of discovering what makes designers tick and hearing about their creative process. A girl can dream!

I was delighted to hear Washington DC based designer Lauren Liess answer these questions. After the interview, I have included some of my favorite shots from her expansive portfolio. Her book HABITAT due out this fall will be a must for any design library!

Click here to read “Happily Ever After,” an article on a beautiful house she designed in Virginia.

Liess Home
When did you know you wanted to pursue design as a career and how did you get started?

When I graduated from college and started decorating my first apartment.


What is your creative process?

After meeting with client in their home and talking about needs, wants, and style, I take all the info back to my studio and mull it all over… I like to pull fabrics that feel right for the project to get inspired.  I nail down a floorplan and then start to visualize the space coming together. Once I have an idea of how I want it to feel and what I’m looking for, I begin looking for the right pieces to fill it all in with my assistant designer.


What is your latest creative breakthrough?

I just finished my first book!  It’s been an amazing experience and has really helped me hone in on my style and explain the reasoning behind everything I do in a design project.  It’s been sort of a brain-dump of everything I know paired with photos of our firm’s newest work, which I’m so excited to share!!


What has been the most pivotal moment in your career?

There have been so many because you’re always changing and growing but I’d have to say starting a blog… I had no idea that the blog would become such a big part of my life and business.  The friendships I’ve made are lifelong ones and I gained so much self-confidence through the blog and the really kind readers who have reached out over the years.  It really helped launch my career and helped with getting published which has been very good for our business.

Tell us about your current work.

I’m working on some really exciting renovations/ whole home projects in the city… I love working on houses from the ground up like that.  We also have a wonderful core group of clients who we are always working with, going room-by-room throughout their homes.  We are also working on a couple of upcoming design showhouses which are a lot of fun!


Can you give us a glimpse of what to expect from Lauren Liess in the future?

Well, the book will be coming out this Fall (Habitat: the Field Guide to Decorating) at which time I’ll also be launching a Fall collection for my fabric line. Both showhouses will be featured in print magazines this Fall… I’m hoping that in the future we’ll be taking on more from-the-ground-up projects in new and exciting locations… I’d love to do a beach house, which would be a first for me.



What do you want to be remembered for?

For life…For loving my family and for being excited about the little things and finding fun in the every day.  Hopefully for being caring and having some wisdom.

In my career…  For “getting” my clients and creating homes that are deeply personal and loved…  As someone who makes the design process fun and organized and enjoyable for everyone- both clients, my own employees, and the other businesses involved in any project.   For being honest and forthright.

Do you have any advice for budding designers?

Have your work professionally photographed asap, even when you think you can’t afford it.  It’s the best investment.




Whose work do you admire?

Oh so many!! But here are a few: Darryl Carter, Tom Scheerer, Peter Dunham

Who would be your dream client and why?

Honestly, I’ve been really lucky to have some dream clients…  They are kind, fun, creative, opinionated, trusting, and open-minded.

I’m not sure who my dream client would be in an actual person but those are his or her attributes.  I think it would be a lot of fun to work with someone in a creative industry other than my own- a musician, an actor, artist etc.


What is your dream vacation?

Relaxing on a deserted beach with my family…  Somewhere near some really great food and drinks.

What is your secret vice?

I’m really hyper-focused…   When things get really busy with work I can get tunnel vision and I have trouble shutting down work thoughts at the end of the day.  I have to make a really conscious effort not to check email on nights and weekends so that I’m fully there and available for my family.

Liess Home

What is your idea of bliss?

Being alone somewhere in nature with my family…. Reading outside… Cooking a good meal with a glass of wine and eating it outside. Dancing with friends in our kitchen.

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If you had a theme song, what would it be?

HaHa..Maybe “Dynamite” by Taio Cruz

0314Lauren-Liess-5157What do you collect?

Paintings of old men, botanicals, pretty stones


What is your favorite color?



Favorite design trick?

I’m not sure it would be considered a trick but I really love layering rugs… A natural fiber rug (like seagrass jute or sisal) underneath of a vintage rug is a favorite thing of mine.









Liess Home

Liess Home

For more of my design inspiration, please follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter….Thanks for reading and please visit again!


“The life of a designer is a life of fight: fight against the ugliness.” – Massimo Vignelli


The final day of LCDQ certainly inspired all of us to keep the fight going….I was looking forward to some of my favorite showrooms hosting events and taking in all the incredible sources that LCDQ has to offer. The new showroom of Hollywood at Home is a feast for the eyes. Peter Dunham’s gorgeous space makes shopping an absolute delight. We were greeted by the new fabric collaboration of adorable Amy Meier and Peter Fasano. The first lecture of the day included LA designers Jamie Bush, Nickey/Kehoe, Amy Meier and Christos Prevezanos discussing creating custom fabrics for their projects with particular reference to Peter Fasano.  The always entertaining Robert Leleux, editor in chief of Domino, led a lively conversation with his usual panache.


The front of the showroom houses fabrics lines organized by designer and the back contains one of the chicest special event spaces I have ever seen.


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One of the most highly anticipated keynotes was “The Art of Authenticity” sponsored by Milieu at the sublime showroom McKinnon and Harris. Interiors editor Leslie Newsom Rascoe and renowned interior designers Nicky Haslam and Nathan Turner discussed the definition of enduring interiors in the context of short lived nature of decorating and why some spaces transcend time.

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The boisterous banter between these three was highly entertaining. Leslie cleverly dubbed the presentation “The Nick and Nate Show” and the two designers shared their advice and even entertaining tips with the group. Nathan compared the role of a designer as that of a captain and the importance of maintaining control of the ship.  Nicky elaborated to never compromise your own design aesthetic because that is why the clients hire you in the first place. He also gave his secret to a great party, “Too much to drink and chocolate pudding.”


Equally as entertaining was Nathan’s precious chocolate lab Nacho, who he referred to as an “attention hound.” Nacho charmed the crowd with his personality and even had the last bark at the end of the presentation.

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Next, a picnic lunch at Woven Accents complete with Moroccan rugs in lieu of picnic blankets and dueling DJs to entertain the crowd.

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Ginna Christensen, Denise McGaha, Tami Ramsay, Jennifer Mehitidash

After lunch, the next keynote was “Entertaining:The Home as a Social Stage” sponsored by California Homes at the Janet Yonaty showroom. Susan McFadden, editor of California Homes led a panel with Kathryn Ireland, Lulu Powers and Russ Diamond and how contemporary entertaining styles have changed including the extinction or comeback of the formal dining room, chef inspired kitchens and indoor outdoor entertaining.

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That afternoon, a flurry of book signings took place along Melrose and La Cienega. Windsor Smith, the Brentwood based design powerhouse, hosted a meet and greet to unveil her new collection at Arteriors.

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Mecox Gardens hosted a group signing including design icon Charlotte Moss (Garden Inspirations), Jane Scott Hodges (Linens for Every Room and Occasion), Justina Blakeney (The New Bohemians: Cool and Collected Homes) and Anthony Iannaci (Design in the Hamptons)

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The final keynote of the day featured some of my all time favorite design talents. Hosted by the Claremont showroom, “Chasing the Muse” featured designers Celerie Kemble, Schuyler Samperton and Hutton Wilkinson and was brilliantly moderated by Stylebeat founder Marisa Marcontonio. Using the 2015 LEGENDS theme of “Where Muses Dwell,” the designers discussed where they go to find find inspiration and if modern day muses still exist.

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Lindsay Fleege, Holly Phillips, Julia Buckingham, Me. Elle Toler, Rafi and Josh of Form LA, Tami Ramsay at Harbinger

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Joe Lucas of Harbinger certainly knows how to throw a party especially when he combines forces with Moore & Giles and the Hearst Design Group. Harbinger is another LCDQ favorite.  The showroom is always beautifully designed showcasing the latest and greatest from many bespoke fabric and furnishing lines. We always need to stop by at least twice…once to shop and once to socialize.





Holland and Sherry Rugs


Thomas Callaway Fabrics

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Hearst Design Group, Harbinger and Moore & Giles Teams in front of the celebrate Moore & Giles Airstream


California Homes sponsored the Finale Party at the loft like Marc Phillips showroom.It is amazing everyone was still on their feet and showing no signs of slowing down!

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Jennifer of The Proper Poppy, Danielle Rollins, Paloma Contreras


The last stop on the whirlwind LEGENDS LCDQ tour was attending an intimate dinner at the home of Kathryn Ireland.  This was certainly a “pinch me” moment because I have long admired her Santa Monica home and hilarious personality. Every single space from the outdoor seating areas to the guest house to the cozy nooks in the main house made you want to linger all night. Chateau Domingue hosted a stunning alfresco evening complete with craft margaritas, a mariachi band, and an amazing Mexican feast.




And to cap off a perfect night, we had a the chance to meet a favorite character from Million Dollar Decorators, Jacqueline, Kathryn Ireland’s chic confidante and right hand!


For more of my design inspiration, be sure to follow along on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook Twitter and subscribe to Bespoke Banter.  Thanks for reading and please come back again!

Photography by JL Photography unless otherwise noted.