Alexis is an interior designer and stylist based in San Francisco. She believes our surroundings and spaces should feel uncluttered, simple, and functional. Alexis’ signature style is effortlessly beautiful and minimal, incorporating raw wood palettes with bright whites and hues of natural tones so that her spaces feel fresh, yet classic and clean. She pays special attention to the use of natural light, texture, and scale when designing or styling.
What is your background? How did you get into design? Have you always been aesthetically minded?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Interior Design from SF State, and for the past five years have worked with various designers and firms throughout the Bay Area. I currently work for Homepolish and a firm in Sausalito. I’ve always been aesthetically minded, but don’t think I realized how much so…it was actually my boyfriend and family who encouraged me to pursue a career in interior design. I think I might be a more pragmatic person and had been considering a business degree until I was talked out of it.
How do you achieve a polished look with without it seeming too precious or austere?
Have fun with your designs! Playing with color and textures while mixing design styles are my favorite ways to keep my designs feeling fresh and not so textbook.
If someone is working within a strict budget, where do you encourage them to spend and save?
I always encourage people to save on the accessory pieces for two reasons: 1. They’re usually smaller items so that generally means they’ll be less expensive…and 2. Because they are more easily replaceable than, say, a paint job or a brand new sofa. Throw pillows can be mixed and matched whenever you want: seasonally, monthly, Holidays, etc — and accessory pieces for decoration can easily be scored on Previously Owned by a Gay Man, Craigslist, Estate Sales, etc. Always spend on that sofa. It’s going to be the only eyesore in the room if you don’t!
Do you have a signature and does it find its way into every project?
I always try to incorporate some form of greenery into all of my projects, and strongly suggest some plants — whether it’s a tree for my clients with green thumbs, succulents / cacti, or even air plants for those with a plants-don’t-stand-a-chance-with-me thumb.
Is there a current trend that you love and think will endure?
I’m really loving the minimalist trend that’s happening right now! With so much technology in our lives, I think people are looking for more simplicity.
What are your favorite resources for a splurge? For a steal?
For a splurge I love to shop at DWR or 1stDibs! For a steal I’m a HUGE fan of the Alameda Flea Market that happens once a month, but really any Flea Market offers amazing opportunity for one-of-a-kind finds. I enjoy browsing, and seeing all the cool and different things I wouldn’t necessarily find anywhere else.
Do you tend to have tried-and-true favorites that find themselves into every job?
Not necessarily. I think the most interesting (and fun!) aspect of Interior Design is getting to know your clients and working with their aesthetic to create the perfect space — in doing that, I find that no two people are the same and every project is very different. But I love that! You have to if you’re a designer – it makes the design fun and challenging.
What is your favorite recent project and what made it special?
I had a client who was very into art, and had a strong sense of her likes and dislikes and color pairings. Working with her was so much fun because I was able to do what I love most: incorporating different colors, textures, and shapes. Her home is now simple and organic, yet colorful and full of life. It was very ‘her’, and I loved it.
Is there a type of project you fantasize about doing some day?
I think every designer fantasizes about doing an apartment in New York or Paris, but my dream would be a vacation home in Costa Rica. I imagine it would be so much fun playing with tropical colors yet keeping the space very airy.
What are your favorite pieces on Previously Owned by a Gay Man, and how would you use them in a project?
paired with the glass coffee table;
as an occasional chair I would add the PK22 in wicker;
and use the simple and elegant shape of Gustave Banquet Sofa
to give the room a finished and polished look of subtle and modern luxury. The pairing of a classic outline like the PK22 with the modern glass table would keep the design light and minimal, while the sofa and dark area rug would add stability and richness to the room. I also really like the idea of mixing wicker from the PK22 chair with Mohair from the sofa to play with texture.