RYAN SAGHIAN ON HOW THE KARDASHIANS HAVE MADE PEOPLE IN LA CARE ABOUT HOME DESIGN
Interior designer Ryan Saghian gives us his best tips for sprucing up your space well beyond the spring season.
Ryan Saghian is the go-to interior designer for creating homes that feel invitingly luxurious. Saghian’s design aesthetics have catapulted him into working with high-end residential, commercial, retail, and restaurant clients—and he’s only 24.
Here we chat with Saghian, a graduate of the Art Institute of California, about design in Los Angeles, his upscale home collection, and the must-have accents people should add to their spaces.
How did you decide to get into interior and commercial design?
RS: I was 15 years old, in high school, and I think I was a little bit more mature than other people in thinking about what I wanted to do with my future. I wanted to be an architect at that point. I started studying with an architecture firm and realized that wasn’t really for me. I realized that I liked creating spaces more than the exterior.
Why did you decide to branch out and start your own company?
RS: I was born and raised in Beverly Hills, and my community here is very supportive of one another. Through social media and the people around me, I started getting my own jobs. After a healthy amount of work, I felt it appropriate to leave and start my own business. It’s a scary thing to branch off on your own, but you just have to do it. The risks are better taken when you’re really young than when you’re really old.
You’re a native Angeleno. What do you think it is about Los Angeles that draws such amazing designers and architects to here?
RS: I think that there’s a lot of aspects to it. Designers draw a lot of inspiration from Hollywood. I think there’s the Hollywood glamour effect here that people love. In LA, people are willing to take more risks. The designs are a little bit sexier, I think in part due to the weather. The actors and—don’t laugh at me—even the Kardashians in the last five years have made a big impact. People love watching them create their houses and decorate their homes, and it made people like [design] more. LA has such a diverse community where you can have an apartment downtown, or you can have a beach house in Malibu, or you can have a home in Pasadena where it would be a bit more conservative. There’s such a diverse group of people, so there’s not just one specific look in LA.
You also have a home collection. When it comes to designing pieces, where do you draw your inspiration?
RS: I’m a firm believer that nothing under the sun is new. I think that everything that needs to be designed has already been designed. I draw my inspiration from vintage furniture. I love scrolling through 1stdibs. I love going to antique stores. I like to take old designs that I love, add something to them, give them a little love, paint them up, and make it more me. That’s how I created my collection. My favorite piece from my collection is the Soho Dining Table. On one side it feels like it’s floating because it has lucite and the other side has brass legs. I literally took inspiration on that from 1stdibs. We are all inspired by each other in the design world—not to copy each other, but to find inspiration.
Are there any particular places in LA that gets your creativity flowing?
RS: I love driving around Hancock Park. I take photos all the time. It’s my favorite neighborhood in LA. It has those very authentic Spanish and Californian homes that are so beautiful and haven’t been torn down.
What are some design trends that people can incorporate into their home year-round?
RS: I remember when not one person wanted to use gold in their house and everyone was always using chrome. Now, in every conversation, in every trade show, is satin brass. I’m obsessed with it and use it as much as I can. I can’t get enough of gold. I can bet you money that rose gold is going to be the next big finish. People are going to be using it in plumbing fixtures, in decorative hardware, home accents. For brass plumbing fixtures, I would use Waterstone.
Metallics keep getting more popular and more popular. I see metallic bath cloths, metallic wallpaper, metallic fabric. Everybody is loving a little extra glam. Anyone doing wallpaper is on this trend now.
I’ve never seen cow-hide rugs be as popular as they are now. It used to be all about the normal zebra or cow-hide print rug that people would do in the shape of a cow. But now, especially with Restoration Hardware, there are these beautiful cow-hide patchwork rugs that add so much dimension to a space. I would go to Mansour on Melrose. They have the best cow-hide rugs.
Rock crystal is the hottest thing right now. All I want to use is rock crystal chandeliers. I use rock crystal hardware and rock crystal tumblers.
Lucite is taking over. You can buy beautiful lucite pieces at J. Alexander on Robertson. I think that lucite should be used in moderation because then it can look tacky. The best place to add lucite is in a coffee table.