Thursday, 7 November 2013

Twenty Questions with Mark D. Sikes

Mark D. Sikes is an interior designer, retail consultant, stylist, blogger, and trend setter whose popularity soared when his lovely West Hollywood home was the cover story of the December/January 2012 House Beautiful magazine.

From the HouseBeautiful Article of 2012

There wasn't a blogger in the blogosphere that didn't blog about the house that Sikes shares with his partner Michael Griffin and their fawn French Bulldog, Princess Lily. Together, with help from Her Royal Highness Lily, Sikes and Griffin have turned both the 1920's home and their garden into a show stopping example of the classic but comfortable, easy California Style. It's been featured in House Beautiful, (above), on the popular interior design e-magazine Lonny, and a host of interior design blogs, plus more publications to come.

Mark started his own blog, Chic People, Stylish Spaces, Glamorous Things in 2011, and his detailed and beautiful posts range from the hottest trends in clothing for men and women, to glamorous and inspirational homes of his favorite designers. Connecting with his love for layers, and classic, timeless design, Mark has been an inspiration to me and I was elated when he agreed without hesitation to sit down with Color Outside the Lines readers to answer 20 questions. So settle in, this is a long, but beautiful one you are sure to enjoy!

From the HouseBeautiful Article of 2012

COTL: How and when did you discover that you had a talent for interior design?
MDS: I used to do visual merchandising and marketing for a few well-known retail brands. Merchandising products in a store, what you put on tables, in walls, how everything relates, the range of color, solids mixed with prints ... I think you get the point, it's just like decorating a room. I never thought of it as a talent, it's just something I really enjoy.

From the HouseBeautiful Article of 2012

COTL: Your style has been described as classic, effortlessly chic, and sophisticated but comfortable. Do you think of it that way?
MDS: Ha, ha, well I do think about chic things a lot, however, not sure my style is effortlessly chic - but I'll take it! I think my style is timeless and easy. I believe that everything should look and feel just as great as it does today in 20 years. That's why I love white shirts, chinoiserie Gracie wallpaper, jeans, blue and white porcelain, trench coats, and Galerie des Lampes swing arm lights - all are classic, timeless, and yes, chic!

You can see a pair of these gorgeous Galerie des Lampes swing arm floor lamps, finished in Lampes signature patinated antique unlacquered brass in Mark's living room from a photo he shared on his very popular Instagram account. If you don't follow him, I highly suggest you do! His posts are always a visual treat!

From Lonny Magazine

COTL: How do you start your design projects? 
MDS: With a contract, then a floor plan, then a mood board for every room. Showing a client is much better than trying to explain it. 

Sikes' Instagram Photo

COTL: Do you have any design rules? 
MDS: Keep it pretty! 

From the HouseBeautiful article, Sikes' "pretty" dining room, with its walls covered in hand painted, Gracie chinoiserie wall paper. 

COTL: What inspires you today? Where do you get inspiration for your designs? 
MDS: Everywhere - books, on-line, magazines, travel, pinterestinstagram. I'm very studied and curious; I look a lot to the past - I feel inspired most of the time. 

Sikes' Instagram Photo

Like his popular and beautiful Instagram page, if you're looking for inspiration ala Sikes, you'll benefit greatly from following his Pinterest page, too!

From Lonny Magazine

COTL: Your home has been published in several reputable, nationally syndicated publications. Has this publicity improved your business? 
MDS: Yes - it's made my name and work recognizable, but what really makes a successful business is putting the client and their needs always first, providing value, quality and beauty. 

Sikes Instagram Photo

COTL: Can you describe the Mark Sikes signature "look", and what two must haves Color Outside the Lines readers should add to their own homes to achieve that look. 
MDS: That's a tough question. I think the "look" I'm known for is indoor/outdoor California living - neural interiors, comfortable furnishings, natural fiber rugs, black accents, eclectic and graphic art, wicker pieces, blue and white porcelain. I'm known for loving blue, too! 

From Lonny Magazine

Above, a library on the second floor of Sikes' home serves as storage to his vast collection of shelter and style magazines. 

COTL: You have quite the collection of magazines. How many, roughly, would you say you have? 
MDS: Thousands. I have about 25 publications that go back at least 15, some 20 years. They have moved everywhere with me. 
COTL: In all that collecting and perusing, what would you say has been the one room you would say is your all-time favorite?
MDS:  Just one? Bill Blass' Sutton Place living room, or Oscar de la Renta's Punta Cana living room, I also love Stephen Sills living room in Bedford. 

COTL: Who are your design icons? 
MDS: Bill Blass, Billy Baldwin, Oscar de la Renta, Givenchy, Renzo Mongiardino ... the list is long. Today I love Atelier AMStudio PeregalliStephen Sills ... that list is long too. 

From the HouseBeautiful Article of 2012

COTL: Your blog is a constant inspiration, not only to those interested in interior design, but also in fashion. What piece in your own closet gets the most wear? 
MDS: A monogrammed blue oxford shirt, my favorite old gray sweatshirt a close second. 

COTL: Looking at pictures of your home, we all know that you have an affinity for blue and white Chinese porcelains both inside and out. What other things do you collect most passionately? 
MDS:  Boxes, I love to stack them, abstract art and paintings, I love to lean them, hurricanes, books, Hermes ashtrays, dinnerware, and of course magazines. 

A smidge of the vast collection of blue and white porcelain. 
Photo from Lonny Magazine

Boxes, stacked on the living room coffee table. 
Photo from Lonny Magazine

Abstract art in the chic guest room with matte black walls.
Photo from Lonny Magazine

Silver Base Hurricanes atop the 2.5" thick marble counters of Sikes' kitchen island.
Photo from Lonny Magazine

Books under a gilded rococo table with white marble top. 

Beautiful Hermes ashtrays. 
Photo from Lonny Magazine

COTL: Who would you most like to collaborate on a project with? 
MDS: Hillary Clinton's White House. 

COTL: In interior design, and fashion, there is a time to splurge and a time to save. What would you suggest a client splurge on when it comes to interiors, and likewise, where should they save?
MDS: Splurge on fabrics, lighting and hand-painted wall papers. Save with natural fiber rugs, paint, slipcovers, and matchstick blinds. 

Sikes' Instagram Photo

COTL: What's next for Mark D. Sikes? 
MDS: A book, an on-line shop, several projects getting published, remodeling my house as I answer these questions, blog expansion, a real store, a fabric line, more happy clients and a lot more magazines to collect! 

I hope you enjoyed 20 Questions with Mark D. Sikes. For more information on Mark, his projects, and his life, make sure to check him out here: 

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