Born and raised in the Napa Valley, Molie Malone found her way to the design world through an early love of collecting antiques.
In 2001, Molie opened an antique business where traveling and buying rare antiques greatly expanded her knowledge of fine furnishings and honed her eye for exceptional design. When customers began asking for assistance with their interior design projects, she transformed her passion for home furnishings into her own design studio, Molie Malone Interior Design.
With work often described as “livable luxury”, Molie creates spaces that are both elegant and easy to live in. A clear and pragmatic approach to design enables her to deliver exceptional results on a wide range of projects, both residential and commercial. With a fundamental belief the best designs come from close collaboration, her firm delivers highly personalized living spaces that clients are proud to call home.
Molie lives in Marin County, California with her family in a 100 year -old home. When not working, she can be found running around the hills o f Marin, in her garden, or redecorating her own house.
What is your background?
I found my way to interior design through an early love of antiques, but it’s actually a second career for me. My initial background was in psychology and I worked as a therapist for many years. While I enjoyed it very much, I was also interested in finding a creative outlet and I decided to open an antique business in 2001. I began formally studying design when my clients began asking me to help them with their interior design projects, and shortly thereafter I opened my own design business. I do think that initial career as a psychotherapist has come in handy though! Understanding and appreciating what people want and need out of their living spaces has made me a better designer in so many ways.
How did you get into design? Have you always been aesthetically minded?
See above! I entered design through the world of buying and selling antiques and aesthetics have always been a strong value of mine. At a young age, I was often asking to re-paint and wallpaper my bedrooms. And by age 15, I had already purchased by first set of blue and white china…
How do you achieve a polished look without it seeming too precious and austere?
Creating “livable luxury” is a guiding principle in my design studio – and something we try to bring to every project. When you mix a few styles and periods in a room and use approachable materials, spaces feel balanced and intentional, but still very inviting.
If someone is working within a strict budget where do you encourage them to spend and save?
High use, lasting items such as upholstery, quality tile and worktops are where one’s investment should go. Pieces that are going to last and be used daily – that’s where we encourage them to spend. And we encourage them to have more fun with their accessories and pieces they may be more likely to change out over time. We create a “design plan” with all of our clients, regardless of their budget to prioritize where, when and how to invest in each phase of the project.
Do you have a signature that finds its way into every project?
No matter how contemporary a room we design is, I always add a little bit of “old “, either vintage art, furniture, or a textile. It just adds the right amount of balance.
Is there a current trend that you think will endure?
Brass and gold tones are really trending strongly right now. I do think this will be a lasting addition as a go-to for kitchen and bathroom fixtures.
Do you tend to have tried-and-true favorites that find themselves into every job?
High performance fabrics as well as graphic wallpaper are things I encourage every client to make room for.
What is your favorite recent project and what made it so special?
A bedroom and classroom for a 8 year old client who is home schooled. It has been a joy to incorporate her little girl wishes into a space that also requires very high utility.
Do you have a fantasy project?
I’m dying to design a bar – something very sexy and moody with surprises around every corner.
What are your favorite pieces on Previously Owned by a Gay Man and how would you use them in a project?
I LOVE the vintage pieces and unusual accessories that flit across your site. Unique, quickly available, and everything from edgy to classic – I always find something different. I also love the way you’ve curated special collections to make it easy to browse from the best – it’s fabulous.
The Reclamation Room
In this “graduation season”, many familes are preparing to send off their young adults, leaving just a little more real estate free in the house. Hence, The Reclamation Room!
Your very own bespoke space can be finely and immediately curated through Previously Owned by a Gay Man.
Learn more about Molie Malone.