Interview: Tamara Kaye-Honey

Tamara Kaye-Honey has been named one of L.A.’s top designers and her work has appeared in Domino and Lucky magazines. Originally from the Maritimes, she left her native Canada in the late-’90s and to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York and work as a buyer for Bergdorf Goodman. Now based in Los Angeles, she’s known for mixing vintage finds with contemporary elements for her design company, House of Honey. We sat down with Tamara to find out how her Canadian roots play into her style.

House & Home: Describe your style in one word.
Tamara Kaye-Honey: Eclectic.

HH: You grew up on Canada’s East Coast, did the area have an influence on your designs and style? Are there any distinctly Canadian decor perspectives that you miss?
Our past definitely affects us. I assume that growing up in Nova Scotia, with its very harsh winters, would explain my affinity for featuring a fireplace in any living room I design. A roaring fire can really set the mood and create intimacy in any home no matter the budget or decor.

HH: You currently live in Pasadena and lived in New York before that, do you see a big difference between East and West coast style?

TKH: Absolutely. Having lived in New York for many years, I can definitely appreciate the East Coast’s more formal approach to design. In fact, I often like to add a dash of uptown to my L.A. spaces!

HH: Who are your style inspirations and what are some of your favourite shops?
David Hicks always, he is so brave and fearless in his choices. I also adore Verner Panton and Pierre Cardin for the beautiful forms they created. I’m addicted to shopping on (and not just because I sell my vintage pieces on the site!) It really is the premiere destination for all things beautiful, special and, most importantly, one-of-a-kind.

HH: Your designs marry antique pieces with contemporary finds; are there any tips you could give readers attempting this kind of mix?

TKH: The mantra at House Of Honey is that an artful mix of old and new gives any space a soul. Using pieces from different eras side-by-side allows each to be highlighted in an unexpected way. Truly I’m intrigued by all decades of design because each had something magical by which to remember it (except maybe the ’90s).

When attempting this look, go bold; get inspired and have fun with your vintage pieces. Recycle and reinvent an old piece by going bold with a fresh coat of paint or updated hardware. For instance, for a young family’s TV room in one project, I took an old James Mont credenza and transformed it with a high-gloss Chinese red lacquer. I also opted to use the red all over the piece, including the hardware, giving it a modern, yet timeless feel and really making a statement in the room.

See more of Tamara’s rooms in our photo gallery and read more exclusive interviews here.

Photo credits:
1. Tamara’s photo: Melissa Valladares; Room: Dominique Vorillon
2. Dominique Vorillon
3. Bethany Nauert
4. Grey Crawford
5. Dominique Vorillon
6. Dominique Vorillon
7. Dominique Vorillon 

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