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Design, Decoded.


Firstly, I sincerely apologize for the hiatus. My full-time job took me away from my side hustle and I've been traveling a ton so Stylexicon took a nap. But she's back and I'm beyond thrilled to share this edition's Designer Spotlight.

If you haven't heard of Jake Arnold (or been exposed to his work) then you're in for a real treat today. The British-born L.A.-based interior designer has been my secret obsession since I first discovered him through my former boss (founder and CEO, Who What Wear and Versed), Katherine Powerhe designed her stunning Beverly Hills home. It's equal parts European charm and California cool with a moody neutral color palette and texture galore. I've personally been inside this house and I can report that it is just as (if not more) beautiful in person.

In fact, that is Jake's gift to design. He can layer neutrals and moody tones with vibrancy and richness. It never feels flat or dull thanks to his unique gift for texture, mixing raw with smooth materials and the old with new to create depth and visual interest. Follow him on Instagram and you'll be hitting that "follow posts" button, I guarantee it. Ahead, Jake shares his design philosophy, tips, advice, and his favorite places to shop online.

Additionally, I've included my top five clicks of the week and five pieces to get Jake's moody look at home.

As always, if you have someone you'd like me to feature, a new Instagram account, brand or designer I should be aware of, please email me:

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Top 5 Clicks of the Week
  • Kicking it off with a humblebrag because I'm proud of this feature. Hunker came over to shoot the "ineffable cool-girl aesthetic" of my living/dining room (blushing!).
  • Okayyyyyy... this Spanish-influenced homestead in the Byron Bay hinterland, Australia makes me want to pack up and head to the hills for a quieter (albeit incredibly stylish) simple life. Who's with me? Or maybe I just need to bring the outdoor in like this plant mama?
  • So proud of my friend Erin of Apartment 34 on finally finishing her 1850s Victorian home. It took five years to renovate and design this space in San Francisco’s Bayview neighborhood and I won't be the only one who says the blood, sweat, and tears was totally worth it. Every inch of this home has been carefully curated and thought through with an attention to detail I don't see very often. Congrats on your Domino feature in print and online.
  • Speaking of projects that have blown me away, this Studio Giancarlo Valle downtown NYC home is a sight to behold. As AD writes, "he uses color to dramatic effect, chooses forceful accents, and plays with asymmetry." It's definitely one to pin and reference for years to come.
  • I have been a big fan of Katie Martinez's design for years now so I was thrilled to see her featured on Jenni Kayne's Rip & Tan blog. She definitely brings that Cali-cool vibe to the Bay area with an air of sophistication and timelessness.  
Designer Spotlight: 
JAKE ARNOLD, Interior Design

Photo: Michael Clifford

Design is a broad term, but what does it mean to you?
"Design is a lifestyle—it’s all-encompassing—you have to make it part of your daily life. Being inspired and detail-oriented and creating and living experiences is all design."

Having your own business while being creative is a juggle. What motivates you to keep going?
"Balance is everything and hiring the right team players that take on tasks that don’t serve you—it's all about working smarter and not harder. Being around an amazing team keeps me motivated and focused."

Sometimes we can let fear get in the way of our dreams, what is your advice to push past doubt?
"Everything comes down to believing you are good enough. For me, I look inward and don’t compare my inside emotions to someone’s outside façade. We all have what it takes to be successful in whatever we do but harnessing your strengths and surrendering to your weakness (and learning not to judge yourself) is key. Self-compassion is everything."

Photo: @jakealexanderarnold

Favorite piece in your house and why?
"I love my sofa because I like to be comfortable and feel like I can unwind. I am impressed by the simplicity and don’t hold any attachment to things because they aren't important to me. Feeling relaxed and in a safe space is key for me."

"Everything comes down to believing you are good enough. For me, I look inward and don’t compare my inside emotions to someone’s outside façade."

Favorite place in your house and why?
"My outdoor area because I love to meditate and take advantage of the California weather because it’s the opposite of what I grew up in."

What does your home say about you?
"My house is minimal and comfortable and again it's about the feeling it evokes when I or any of my friends walk in. It’s like a deep breath. It says that I'm all about self-care and being in relaxed environments. You will never go into my home now, or in the future and feel like it’s precious."

Photo: @jakealexanderarnold

What do you think about when decorating and why?
"Emotions and feelings are number one. How you want your home to feel is everything. People who just care about being flashy are not my type of clientele. My clients appreciate and want to create spaces that allow for that and respite."

Favorite affordable home décor/furniture store/s?
"Sixpenny has amazing sofas that are super affordable and chic. CB2 does it the best out of all those big box stores but you have to edit. I also love Food52."

"Emotions and feelings are number one. How you want your home to feel is everything." 

Favorite place to buy furniture/décor for your home and clients?
"I make a lot of custom now because clients want their own unique pieces where we can tailor scale, proportion, and size. I love vintage and shop a lot in L.A. at Galerie Half, Obsolete, and Orange. Stores are very pricey but for special pieces, you make an exception. Online I really keep to a minimum other than accessories and some lighting because I like to see finishes and materials in person. I’m a stickler for them."

Favorite place to travel for furniture/design? Why?
"Belgium. Elegant, understated and comfortable in terms of design aesthetic and functionality."

Photo: Michael Clifford

What is your design motto/mantra/philosophy?
"Edit, edit, edit."

Name your top 3 design IG accounts and why?
@MONC XIII—gorgeous furniture and inspo.
@Galerieprovenance—sophisticated style.
@Pierre.yovanovitch—unique and stylish. 

"I like to be cozy and feel like I’m removed from the world when I’m at home."

What's the one piece that got away that you still think about? 
"This enormous mirror that was 12 feet tall that was so beautiful because the scale was major."

Favorite color scheme and why?
"Black, brown and bone—always in style."

Photo: @jakealexanderarnold

Vintage Or new? Why?
"Mix. I don’t like vintage sofas unless they are leather or beds so I like a mix."

You often err on a neutral or darker/moodier color palette, where does this come from? Why?
"I like to be cozy and feel like I’m removed from the world when I’m at home."

What are you working on now that’s inspiring you?
"I’m working on a townhouse in TriBeCa which is extremely exciting as the client is fun, has unique ideas and is so open to exploring the possibilities."

Photo: @jakealexanderarnold

5 Pieces to Get the Jake Arnold Look at Home
Thank you for reading this all the way to the end! If you have any industry news, brand updates, new product launches, or stories you'd like to share or see featured, please email me:

Images of the living room and coffee table in my apartment are photographed by Jenna Peffley
Copyright © *2019 *Stylexicon*, All rights reserved.

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