L.A. Designers to Watch in 2017

A Snapshot of the Hottest Talent on L.A.’s Interior Design Scene

Here at Design in Color L.A., our mission is to bring together designers and decorators around the world in a singular place where we can share our passion and applaud the achievements of the visionaries in our midst. So, as the end of 2016 draws near, we decided to take a moment to provide a snapshot of a few Los Angeles designers we think deserve special mention, and we’re certain you’ll agree. These designers' fresh takes on modern and classic interiors have us completely inspired.

Natasha Baradaran

Natasha Baradaran, the founder and creative force behind Natasha Baradaran Interior Design, is known for curating interiors that are, in a word, striking. Although she’s been taking the Los Angeles design scene by storm since founding her company, in 2000, her momentum continues to build, and we continue to be left speechless by her limitless creativity. Her aesthetic is chic and rich, and borrows inspiration from Baradaran’s diverse cultural background and love for travel.

“At the moment, I am drawing from the architecture and fashion in Milan,” Baradaran said about what currently inspires her. “I've just completed my second furniture collection, CURVA, which is inspired by childhood visits to see my grandfather who lived in Milan.” Most important, though, is her goal to properly reflect each client’s personality and lifestyle.

Natasha Baradaran
Images of herself and her interior design work provided by Natasha Baradaran.

We asked Baradaran about her approach to color in her designs. “While I do love color,” she told us, “I tend to be more focused on color through art. Most of my clients have art collections that are constantly changing, and I tend to select neutral wall colors to complement and not clash with art.” Of course, the word neutral doesn’t necessarily mean boring. “Lately, light pink has become my color, as it’s a neutral with interest and depth. It can feel feminine, as one might expect, but paired with grays and graphite can feel quite masculine. It is also one of our standard finishes in my furniture collection. I love to mix it with rose gold.”

When asked what makes L.A. such an important place for this world traveler to call home, Baradaran couldn’t speak more highly of the City of Angels. “I've never been happier to be an Angeleno,” she said. “I love having my studio in the La Cienega Design Quarter. In a world of digital sourcing, I love that I can walk downstairs and have the best of design. Some of my favorite galleries in the neighborhood are Jean de Merry and Claremont.”

Baradaran’s location in L.A. has also presented her with exciting opportunities: “One of my favorite projects has been the contemporary home I completed for a sci-fi director in the Hollywood Hills. He asked me to create interiors that would feel futuristic in the 1920s. I drew from art deco design while putting together spaces that feel very current by using contemporary artisans and makers. We used some of my favorites, like Robertaebasta, in Milan, and Wyeth, in New York. I am commonly associated with a feminine aesthetic, and I love how this project shows a different side of my design style.”

Between her versatility and well-traveled verve, there’s no denying that Natasha Baradaran is going places.

Ryan White

Ryan White has caught our eye (and the attention of numerous home-interiors publications this year) with his carefully chosen pieces, expert use of color, and clean, sophisticated aesthetic. White, alongside his team at Ryan White Designs, has designed numerous upscale spaces throughout California and uses his previous experience in the New York fashion industry to stay on top of trends and dress every project to the nines.

When asked about his style, White told us that it’s “all about cultivated living” and that he draws “inspiration from different eras and styles to develop interiors that are both contemporary and classic.” White is inspired by traditional Americana, classic design, and handsome details, wherever he may find them. And he emphatically touts the use of layers when incorporating color. “I prefer deep hues and jewel tones. I like sophisticated colors that have depth,” he said. “Within every project I begin by building a color palette, then bring in the accents that create that special jewel moment.” The result? His projects seem to glow with an inner light, as evidenced in his latest design for a Los Feliz residential client.

Ryan White
Images of himself and his design projects provided by Ryan White.

“It’s a traditional Cape Cod home built in the 1920s that desperately needed TLC.” White said. ”Ryan White Designs was brought in to guide the renovation to be sure the historical details were respected and preserved while developing a new, contemporary language for the home.” Unlike a typical development project, where everything must be new and on the cutting edge, this historic home presented a particular challenge. As White put it, “It was important to all involved that the soul of the home was preserved. We accomplished that through smart details and beautiful pops of color throughout.”

We asked White what makes L.A. so special to him. “The diversity of design,” he explained. “Whether it be midcentury to Spanish Colonial, or a traditional Cape Cod, you see every style here. It’s never boring. L.A. breeds a classic cool, relaxed style that suits my personal taste well, and I love working in beautiful weather every day.”

With designs as beautiful as the SoCal weather, Ryan White seems to have a bright future ahead of him on the Los Angeles interior design scene.

Katie Hodges

Katie Hodges manages to develop one-of-a-kind style in every project she touches. And after earning her stripes at some of the area’s top interior design firms, Hodges continues to cultivate her style while she runs her very own design business, Katie Hodges Design. Her work is rustic and bohemian, yet refined and modern. Interested in more than just beauty, Hodges seeks to fill each home with a sense of soul and purpose, and she doesn’t believe in “untouchable” spaces. We adore her playfulness with color and her knack for combining eclectic elements to establish a cohesive, timeless vibe.

Above all, Hodges is adaptable as a designer. “My design aesthetic varies based on the project I am working on, but the common denominator in all of my work is the use of color and varying textures to achieve the greatest impact. Simple, unfussy furniture silhouettes paired with beautiful textiles in varying colors and patterns is the approach that I naturally employ in all of my design work.”

Katie Hodges
Images of herself and her interior design work provided by Katie Hodges.

While creating one of her interiors, Hodges said she is “constantly aware of the delicate balance that exists between maintaining the home’s original authenticity, while bringing it into the 21st century. And my design approach focuses around a color palette that feels organic and authentic in the space.” We think that her recent work on a historic 1930s Spanish home in Beverly Hills is an example of her personal style and dedication to the needs of her clients. We especially love her use of color on the bookshelves—organizing the tomes by color lends an eye-catching and playful vibe to the Spanish home’s sophisticated library. While the structure of the home has its own simple elegance, with its exposed beams and attractive fireplaces, Katie Hodges Designs brought a decidedly current and completely original element to this historic beauty.

Hodges explores luxury hotels when she travels, and regardless of the price tag, she takes a moment to find inspiration in the expert work of other designers and their efforts to make guests feel at home. “Even if I cannot afford to stay in them, I make it a point to visit the best spots and soak in the vibes,” she told us. “Hotel design tends to be more creative and daring than residential, so immersing myself in someone else’s vision and experiencing their point of view is something I value as a designer.”

When she’s not traveling the world, however, Hodges finds inspiration right here at home. “L.A.’s diversity is one of my favorite characteristics of the city. Within a thirty-minute drive, you can find yourself in a completely different neighborhood, with its own distinct personality and culture.” As for us, we’re thrilled that Hodges is contributing in her own way to L.A.’s diverse and vibrant creative culture.

We can’t wait to see what’s next for these West Coast designers. There’s no question that their upcoming projects will ignite a creative spark in the hearts and minds of the Los Angeles design community, and we remain on the lookout for still more young designers who might soon follow in their footsteps or forge their own paths.

Who else should we be watching? Tell us in the comments who you think will be the next big thing in L.A.’s design world.