See Stunning Spaces By Celebrity Designer Mark D. Sikes
For those not familiar with Mark D. Sikes, he’s the one who helps Nancy Meyers design those gorgeous movie sets. He’s also Reese Witherspoon’s designer (her character in the recent Home Again was inspired by Mark) and has a new bestselling book, Beautiful: All American Decorating And Timeless Style. Read on to hear how his career took off and get a glimpse of his inspiring style.
Meyers was walking on La Cienega Boulevard, shopping for her daughter Annie’s first new home, when they stopped outside a shop window where Mark was directing a display. “He stopped what he was doing, walked over to us, looked at all of our fabrics, instantly placed the best ones together, and like all talented designers who instinctively know what goes with what, he enabled us to see our choices through his eyes and suddenly we saw the big picture… No introductions, no shaking of hands — he just connected with us and saved two non-pros weeks of work.”
In this Montecito living room, a mix of artifacts include a Moroccan mirror, Mission-style iron chandelier, inlaid stool and an 18th-century chinoiserie armoire. An antique rug is layered over a woven abaca rug by Merida.
Mark likes to create nooks for entertaining, filled with a mix of design elements. “Bone-inlay boxes, miniature alabaster objets, vintage ashtrays, and shimmering rock crystals are intriguing additions that provide excellent fodder for cocktail-party conversation. Charcoal drawings, abstract prints, and contemporary black-and-white photographs in simple wooden frames (propped against the walls, rather than formally hung) keep the rooms from feeling dated without straying from the sophisticated message,” he says.
China blue slipcovers contrast with deep mahogany bookshelves in the library of this home, while suzani curtains cheerfully play off the mix of color of the books on display.
Garden-inspired chinoiserie panels greet guests in the entryway of a Pacific Palisades home. The table skirted in pale blue with olive trim brings together the colors of the outdoors.
Mark saw red when designing this Kip’s Bay Decorator show house. “Red is a daring color, no question about it. But it’s also approachable in the sense that it draws the eye and doesn’t take no for an answer. When I use red in a room, I like to work in a bold pattern (such as Braquenié’s tree-of-life fabric, also a favorite of Hubert de Givenchy) to break up the palette… This makes it a fascinating color with which to layer. Paisley, suzani, ikat, animal prints, and all-American checks mingle effortlessly in many of my red rooms.”
Mark’s mood boards are works of art — a chic melding of people, places and fashion. His clothing line, MDS Stripes, relies heavily on his favorite blue and white palette and patterns. “Everyone who has ever met me knows that I am truly passionate about blue and white… This pair fills any space with freshness and crispness, as well as an air of relaxation, recalling striped beach umbrellas, leisurely summer days, and nautical adventures.”
Lattice wallpaper creates a garden-like backdrop for the ornate console and mirror in this entry. “Any verdant hue — from the palest summery aqua to the most intense garden green — can bring the joyous carefree spirit of nature into a room. I adore simple greenery — ferns, boxwoods, potted herbs, ficus alii, green hydrangea, and myrtle topiaries are the plants I use most often.”
In this Gracie-wallpapered Hollywood Hills bedroom, an ivory-painted Chippendale side chair and leather ottoman with silk bullion fringe enhance the classic elegance. The canopy bed is hung in drapery with blue trim, for a fresh look.
Natural materials ground blue and white, so Mark often adds baskets, wood boxes, rattan chairs and natural fibre rugs to that palette. “In addition to creating gentle contrast, natural materials ground blue and white, as if reminding the stripes and prints that they share their hues with water, sky, and clouds.”