Interview: Jeffrey Alan Marks

As a star in Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators, designer Jeffrey Alan Marks is used to the high drama that accompanies working for a high-end L.A. celebrity clientele. The July 2014 issue shows a crisp living room that embodies his polished SoCal look that’s refreshingly down to earth. Jeffrey’s first coffee table book, The Meaning of Home, showcases 15 projects, from Malibu beach houses to London townhouses, but he seems to be most in his element epitomizing fresh, tailored informality. Jeffrey is at work on a new line for Kravet, in addition to a furnishing and lighting lines at Palecek.

House & Home: You are known for designing luxury homes all over the world, but particularly in California, can you list five key elements that convey California style?

Jeffrey Alan Marks: Californians are braver in decorating. Californians are influenced by the outdoors and the colour infused by that. Outdoor entertaining, naturally lit interiors, natural driftwood, plasters and woods.

H&H: You have mentioned the importance of the local light, what are some of your favourite paint colors?

JAM: A lot of the washed off-colors. I tend to go towards blue grays, but I am just as happy decorating with faded reds.

H&H: Are there any trends you are particularly embracing this spring?

JAM: My new Kravet fabric collection is influencing a lot of my designs right now. I’m drawing from that colour palette.

H&H: You design a line for Kravet, Palacek and Rudin, what makes these products unique, what do you bring to those lines?

JAM: I think what I’ve given these manufacturers is a little bit of a sense of humour, not too serious, very comfortable yet tailored merchandise.

H&H: Are there some elements you use in your commercial projects that have trickled down into residential décor?

JAM: Yes, a lot of people hire me because they like the restaurants I’ve done and the vibe that they have.

H&H: I read that your favourite project is a 30,000-square-foot ranch in Aspen, is that still at the top of your list ? Why?

JAM: I recently finished the Belcampo fly fishing lodge located middle of the jungle in Belize.

H&H: What’s one item every homeowner should have in their house?

JAM: Definitely a dog.

H&H: On Million Dollar Decorators we see lots of tension, are clients nicer on camera or off?

JAM: It’s much easier on camera when they’re on their best behavior!

H&H: What’s a great source of inspiration for you?

JAM: Follow my Instagram feed @jeffreymarksinc to see! I get a lot of inspiration from social media posts I see, especially Instagram.

H&H: Fill in the blanks: __A__ always makes a home look more high end, but __B__ makes it look cheaper!

JAM: Fresh-cut flowers always makes a home look more high end, but bad window coverings makes it look cheaper!

H&H: Tell us a little about your own home, what’s the best piece of furniture you ever bought?

JAM: I travel a great deal and collect antique boxes because they’re easy to travel back with. They are my most prized possessions.

H&H: Do you have some favourite shopping sources you would like to share?

JAM: Locally, Obsolete which is right by my office. I travel to Coup D’Etat in San Francisco to see what’s new.

Browse a gallery of work by another hot L.A. designer, Tamara Kaye-Honey and read more exclusive interviews here.

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