Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Style Files: Nathan Turner

Nathan  Turner

Nathan Turner has been one of my favorite designers for several years now. He has an incredible knack for mixing textures, colors, and other vibrant details to create warm, comfortable environments and is as lovely and engaging as the rooms he designs. In addition to running a successful design firm, Nathan also has an eponymous store on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles. I always make sure to stop by when I am in L.A. to see the beautiful wares Nathan has gathered  from around the globe and to get some snuggles from his adorable lab, Nacho. Most of you probably know Nathan Turner from Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators where he was charming, funny, and sweet. I am happy to report that he is exactly the same in person. Over the years, Nathan and I have become friends and he always makes me feel welcome and special anytime I see him. He is refreshingly real and down to earth.

GreystoneBlue {One of Two Rooms Designed by Nathan at the Maison de Luxe Showhouse at Greystone Mansion}

In addition to being an interior designer and shop owner, Nathan is well known in the design community for being the consummate host and party planner, creating elaborately-themed events and tabletops, which are an extension of his gift for lifestyle design. Nathan is a fourth-generation Californian with a degree in business. He made his foray into design after working for an antiques dealer and realizing that there was a viable way to combine all of his passions in one business. He opened his charming store in its original location on Almont Yard (it was equipped with a full kitchen so that he could host lavish dinner parties, naturally.) upon moving to Los Angeles and his design work became a natural extension of the store. Since then, Nathan’s spectacular parties and beautifully layered interiors have been featured in countless publications including Domino, ELLE DECOR, House Beautiful, Vogue Living, Food & Wine, and C Magazine. If you are in Los Angeles this week and plan to attend the Legends of La Cienega events, be sure to stop by Nathan’s store for a book signing featuring Jane Scott Hodges and Judy Kameon on Thursday, May 8th from 2:30 - 4:00 pm. On Friday, May 9th, Nathan will be joining his Million Dollar Decorators co-stars Jeffrey Alan Marks, Kathryn Ireland, and Martyn Lawrence Bullard for their not-to-be-missed, “Don’t Hate, Collaborate” keynote presentation at the Dragonette Showroom from 9:30 am – 10:30 am. Nathan and I recently had a conversation about his background, design inspiration, and love of travel. I am sure you’ll find him as delightful as I do!


Paloma Contreras:  How would you describe your style?

Nathan Turner: Because of my love of antiques and objects, I favor a “collected” rather than “decorated” look.

GreystoneBlue2{A Chic, Collected Vignette by Nathan at the Maison de Luxe Showhouse at Greystone Mansion}

PC: Has living in Los Angeles influenced the way you decorate in any way?

NT: I think growing up in California in general has always played a huge part in the way I decorate. I’ve always lived a very indoor/outdoor life which is definitely reflected in my work. The whole California lifestyle can be very relaxed and casual. I definitely adhere to that. I believe that you don’t have to sacrifice style to have comfort.

JenniKayne_1 {This outdoor dining space designed by Nathan for fashion designer, Jenni Kayne is the embodiment of California indoor/outdoor living.}

PC: What do you love most about what you do?

NT: The diversity. I’ve always been an open-minded person. Open to new opportunities and ventures. There are so many different aspects to work in and I’ve enjoyed working with them from magazine shoots, to books, to product design… it’s never boring.

GreystoneAmber2 {The second room designed by Nathan for the Maison de Luxe Showhouse at Greystone Mansion was done in warm, amber shades featuring a worldly, eclectic vibe.}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

NT: I would say that I am constantly inspired by travel. Just getting out of my own environment sparks inspiration, so it can be a far flung trip to Istanbul or just a drive up the coastline. But I’m always inspired on the road.


{A Photo of a Chic Dining Space Nathan Posted on Instagram during a recent Trip to Costa Careyes, Mexico}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

NT: Spending an entire Sunday in bed.

Snip20140505_35{A Little Piece of Paradise at Nathan’s Home in Malibu}

PC: What trait do you most admire in a person?

NT: A sense of humor is everything to me.


{A Second Look at one of the Rooms Designed by Nathan for the Maison de Luxe Showhouse at Greystone Mansion}

PC: Finish this sentence. “Before I die, I’d like to…”.

NT: Before I die, I want to travel to as many places as I can.

Snip20140505_37 {A Beautiful Blue Doorway Captured by Nathan on his last Trip to Paris}

PC: What three things are you currently obsessed with?

NT: Vintage French Wicker, Mid-Century California Pottery, and Vintage Japanese Textiles


{Series of French Wicker Mirrors from the 1950s, A Mid-Century Pottery Lamp, and Japanese Indigo Boro Textile}

PC: What is your idea of “living la dolce vita”?

NT: A life filled with travel, food, friends and family, and a lot of beach time.


{Nathan’s Beloved Dog, Nacho at his Chic Malibu Home}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

NT: I’m working on book number two. Stay tuned!

NathanTurnerAmerican04390J {Nathan’s First Book, Nathan Turner’s American Style}



Outfit: blue check monogrammed shirt, tan trousers or white jeans depending on the time of year, and a loafer.

Style Mantra: Don’t ask me, I dress the same as when I was 13.

Scent: Royall Lyme… the same as my dad always wore

Color: Blue

Design Element: Paint

Era for Design: It’s impossible to choose one since I’m such a fan of mixing great design from all eras.

Hostess Gift: Perrier Jouet Rose Champagne

Fabric or Textile: Being a Californian, I’m a linen kind of guy. I also love vintage textiles.


Drink: I do like a Campari and soda.

Meal: Not very original, but I love a good hamburger and French fries.

Way to Unwind: On the beach with Nacho

3 Things I Love about LA: the weather, the beach, and the creativity

Weekend Destination: Anywhere in Mexico, especially La Careyes

Hotel: Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur and Blackberry Farm in Tennessee

City: It’s too hard to pick one. Istanbul, Mexico City, San Francisco, and Paris

Artist: Cy Twombly

Actor/Actress: Faye Dunaway, 1970s Jane Fonda, Julie Christie

Prized Possession: Nacho, my black lab

Risk Worth Taking: Flying. Believe it or not, as much as I travel, I hate flying.

Greatest Extravagance: First Class travel and good hotels


{Images Courtesy of Nathan Turner}


Karena Albert said...

Love Nate, love his design style, and oh yes Royall Lyme!

The Arts by Karena

Anonymous said...

I love Nathan!! He and Mary were my favorites on M$D. I wish they would do another season!

Amanda said...

I love his all-American aesthetic. Great interview! Thanks for sharing.