A Diamond from the Rubbish

The Spirit and Aesthetic of the Latest Project from Silver Lake’s Most Sought-After Designer, Scott Mangan

If you live and work in L.A., you’ve no doubt heard of Scott Mangan and his Silver Lake storefront, Rubbish Interiors. A designer playground of sorts, it’s long been the place to go for expertly curated homewares—a place where you are encouraged to have a seat, give the resident poodle a pat, and peruse the ever-changing mix of masterpieces.

“I like the best of everything,” Mangan told us. “I love classic. I love antiques. I also love new contemporary design—it all fits. The store isn’t really curated. It’s more of a feeling.”

Rubbish Interiors
Rubbish Interiors offers expertly sourced pieces to complement a variety of interior design styles.

Creating that feeling for fellow professionals and homeowners alike is part of Mangan’s mission, and he’s managed to establish an environment in which the design-inclined can gather inspiration and share in his profound respect for the treasures arranged within. “The store is really just filled with objects I like,” Mangan said. “When I’m decorating, I try to have a little bit of a mix. I try to find a balance of several periods. That way, I can explain it, and clients can visualize it.”

Mangan long ago established himself as the go-to purveyor of midcentury modern inspiration and furnishings, but his style influences know no bounds. Some vignettes delve into Danish and Hollywood regency styles; others borrow components from his travels abroad. All of them speak with a singular voice: that of an artist.

Artistry in Action

Mangan’s design business is built on the foundation of his fine-arts background. His expertise as an artist and his former work for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art have instilled in him a knack for creating beautiful spaces, and word of his talents spread quickly around the Los Angeles area. Rubbish Interiors was born of this passion, swiftly becoming a sort of design-lovers mecca in the then-quite-unexpected neighborhood of Silver Lake.

According to some, the evolution of the surrounding community can be traced back to 1994, when Rubbish Interiors first opened its doors. “When I opened, mine was the only store like it in Silver Lake,” Mangan told us. “There was an insurance agency, a liquor store, a residential photo store, a 7-Eleven, a couple of hair salons, and me. People used to laugh at me. But now it’s totally different.”

Rubbish Interiors
Rubbish Interiors also offers a variety of finishes and textures that add multidimensional charm to a space.

The shop caters to design professionals and homeowners alike, but no matter what you’re seeking, you’re bound to find something to love amid the ever-changing inventory of unique items. We can’t help but appreciate Mangan’s dedication to this labor of love, located for over 20 years in Silver Lake’s burgeoning creative nexus. “I don’t know what it is,” Mangan said about his choice to stay in the neighborhood. “I can’t leave. It’s always felt like home.”

It’s easy to see that Mangan is in his element. He takes care to tailor his services to the needs of each client, whether he’s working on a residential or commercial project. He also takes into consideration the purpose of the spaces he designs. “I just feel it organically,” Mangan claimed. “I decorate for the people. If they have children and don’t entertain a lot, it’s different than if it’s a single director who has parties all the time. I just kind of listen to the people.” The result of his efforts is a blend of identity and purpose that never fails to impress. And he has achieved this balance in his projects time and time again.

Rubbish Interiors
Baroque meets rustic in LAMill, designed by Scott Mangan.

Among Mangan’s most prominent designs are the interiors of L.A.’s most sophisticated coffee boutique, LAMill. A combination high-end restaurant and coffee roaster, LAMill Silver Lake is outfitted in baroque-meets-rustic style with teals and reds at the forefront. Situated across the street from Rubbish Interiors, it serves as a testament to Mangan’s exemplary work. LAMill’s second location, in LAX, borrows the vibrant red walls from the flagship cafe and the same casual-chic atmosphere, somehow managing to convey a similar sense of luxury despite being wedged into the comparatively tiny airport-retail space. Wherever the locale, Mangan continues to amaze with his skill and ingenuity.

A Rising Hollywood Star

Urban renewal has been a hallmark of the West Coast ethos in recent years. And Columbia Square, the former CBS broadcasting facility, located in Hollywood, at the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Gower Street, is no exception. The 4.7-acre creative-media campus has been recently converted from an abandoned studio lot to a lively hub of residential, commercial, and entertainment space. The complex, a symbol of old-Hollywood ambition since 1938, originally housed the theaters and recording studios that transformed the Hollywood area into the entertainment capital of the world.

With the recent conversion, a wide variety of companies are integrating the historic spaces into their modern-day business ventures, preserving the old while injecting new life into the mixed-use campus. The Columbia Square complex is leading the charge for revitalization in the area and serves as a prime spot for select Hollywood retailers.

The Gem on Sunset Boulevard

When the former co-owner of LAMill Coffee, Jean Shim, noticed the changes taking place in this historic spot on Sunset Boulevard, she saw an opportunity. Having spent her previous life as a marketing and branding executive and a film director, Shim is no stranger to the design world, and she knew that she needed to hire the best to bring to life her vision, Rubies+Diamonds. Enter Mangan.

Shim’s latest venture takes the shape of an inarguably glam and supremely cool experimental coffee and tea shop in Columbia Square, pairing the latest trends in tech-forward beverage brewing with a truly inspired atmosphere courtesy of Mangan. Rubies+Diamonds is a feast for the senses and a masterwork of creativity, with nitrogen-infused coffees and teas, delicious eats, and eye candy galore.

Take a tour of the sparkling Rubies+Diamonds cafe, in L.A.’s Columbia Square. The space was designed by Scott Mangan, of Rubbish Interiors, and features blush hues, shimmering gold, and a stunning art installation. Photos by Victor Boghossian.

As if the hashtag #notajewelrystore emblazoned on the wall isn’t invitation enough to share the R+D experience on social media, patrons are given plenty of snapworthy opportunities, thanks to the exquisitely appointed interior. “I wanted to pay homage to the space, where it’s been and what it’s been through,” Mangan said when asked about the source of his inspiration for R+D. “And I knew I really wanted something spectacular because the ceilings were so high. That was probably the beginning of the design for me.”

The utterly glamorous and one-of-a-kind ceiling sculpture, Cascade, by artist Vincent Tomczyk, dominates the room, offset by the soft turquoise and pale salmon–colored walls that seem to glow with a rose-tinted recollection of long-ago walks on the red carpet. The high shine of the gold-rimmed coffee tables evokes the flare of flashbulbs, and the alluring collection of original artwork brings the aesthetic a more contemporary vibe. The seating consists of long black banquettes and comfy club chairs dressed in luxurious tawny fabric. The entire space is illuminated by a blend of natural light, well-placed fixtures, and expertly chosen colors playing throughout the interior.

The Colors of Rubies+Diamonds

We had to ask how this marvelous color scheme came to be. When selecting décor for Rubies+Diamonds, Mangan found himself unexpectedly restricted by the type of lighting required to keep the project in line with new regulations: LED bulbs. The cold blue-white light of LED illumination presented a challenge, but not an insurmountable one.

He considered the ways in which many women use color-correcting makeup to minimize the harsh effects of unnatural lighting and decided to take a similar approach. His use of blush tones tempers the unflattering LED glare and plays up the glow reflecting off the furnishings’ metallic accents, especially when the California sun comes streaming through the storefront windows in late afternoon.

Replicate the warm, welcoming atmosphere of Rubies+Diamonds with this curated Pratt & Lambert color palette.






“I used a lot of peaches and reds and maroons and salmons,” Mangan said. “I was thinking I just wanted it to kind of glow.”

Mangan is thrilled with the finished project, and he’s not alone. “The best part about commercial spaces is a lot of people get to see them. I’ve done private homes for celebrities and very few people get to see it. The commercial spaces are nice because you can share them.”

Whether or not the rumblings about additional future Rubies+Diamonds locations prove to be true, we’re hoping Mangan will still find ways to share his talents with the L.A. design scene for a very long time.