Celebrity Designers People

DESIGN :SETTING THE TRENDS: FAYE RESNICK DESIGN

DESIGN :SETTING THE TRENDS: FAYE RESNICK DESIGN
KEVIN MORRA

How did Faye Resnick Design first get started?

I have always had a love for art and art history. In the past, I had the fortunate ability to travel and I owned several homes throughout Europe. It was my unique pleasure to take each one of those homes and bring forth the true essence and architecture of each country and weave it into the design. To my surprise, this lead to a barrage of friends and acquaintances asking me to design their homes. Later, I opened an antique store here in Los Angeles where I also had my design studio. Finding it impossible to do both, I went back to my first love… Design, design, design.

Why is designing in Los Angeles different than in other markets?

The difference is our unique clientele. My clients, in particular, are accustomed to ultimate luxury and staying in the hippest and most sophisticated hotels all around the world. Having said this, my clients want their homes to be as luxurious as these hotels but also to reflect their own personal style we encourage and embrace their input. Our goal is to make a magical environment for them so that when they are in their homes, they are able to relax and forget the pressures of the outside world.

As you are working with people on their homes, I imagine there must be a special trust that is formed with you and the clients of Faye Resnick Design?

Trust is essential… all of our clients entrust us with the design and privacy of their homes. Having this trust enables us to make decisions for them comfortably, knowing who they are, since most of them travel and are out of town consistently. We are very thankful to have worked with many of our clients for such a long time, strengthening this trust so that we are now working on their second and third homes… I believe this is one of the characteristics that separates FRD from most design firms; the understanding that each client has a unique sense of self. Their needs must be explored in order for us to enable them to feel as if they are waking up every morning in a surrounding that nourishes their soul and inspires them to continue to achieve greatness in there lives. We refer to this as the Discovery Phase. Everyone’s needs and lifestyle are unique and exciting; therein lies the challenge for us as designers. This developmental period is essential and it allows my firm to exceed the client’s expectations.

You certainly work with an eclectic and fascinating clientele. Do they find you or do you seek them out?

Once again, I am extremely fortunate; they somehow seem to find us. What was the approach to the design of Paris Hilton’s Hollywood Hills house? Paris is the most unique of all my clients. She is the quintessential heiress/starlet. Her work ethic is unbelievable and truly admirable.She films her shows, quite often, at her home. My firm was given two months to create an environment that not only she would love and be comfortable living in, but would also be featured in her first show, “The Simple Life”. This is why I coined the term “Industrial Couture.” We created a chic and glamorous old-Hollywood feel combining French Regency style with young contemporary, since she was 25 at the time. Keeping in mind that she grew up living at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York, we created a hotel-like environment, which for her, was how a home should feel. We are now working on her third home. The goal for this design is not only expressive of her glamorous self and lifestyle but can endure camera crews and the Hollywood parties. Paris and her sister Nicky, who is also a client, love to entertain in their homes with elaborate dinner parties for family and friends. Paris’ new home is yet to be published but is extremely sophisticated with a young, unexpected twist. Paris was intimately involved with every aspect of the design of this home, which includes the most extraordinary recording studio for her next album and an actual dance club, which, of course, is named “Club Paris.” Her 55 magazine covers surround the staircase leading to the club. The projection room is inspired by a French chateau that I fell in love with in Bordeaux, France — Baroque in style with Louis XV appointments; it is my favorite room in the whole house. Her love of animals inspired us to build a mini-version of her home for her dogs, appointed with a chandelier, wall sconces, French settees and a winding staircase that leads to a balcony, which enables her Chihuahuas to be able to have a view of the pool. The dogs love it!

What about Nick Lachey’s?

Nick’s home has a breathtaking, 360° view, which we utilized to dictate the design. Everything about this home is centered around the pool and view creating a straightforward, contemporary space. Sports are very important to Nick, so we concentrated on his projection room to showcase his sports memorabilia and since most of Nick’s friends are athletes we wanted to make it very fun for him to entertain his friends and family. Because he travels so much, being home is extremely special to him. Everything was built with comfort in mind and with a masculine and contemporary sensibility. Nick is one of the most fit and healthy individuals I have ever known, so his gym is a key factor in his life. We designed the gym to open out to the pool and the amazing view for inspiration. His media room is immense with an 18 x 12 foot custom made sofa that will envelope anyone who is fortunate enough be invited and complete with an 8 ft Stewart Screen. It also opens to the pool and is actually very James Bond in that the lights dim and drapes open or close with one touch of the remote. It is appointed with a built-in beverage bar that also has a flat screen above it so he can watch a movie at the same time as viewing a sports program. The den is also full of sports memorabilia, pool table and the perfect lounge. Nick’s pool is one of my favorite creations. We have cabanas draped for lounging that are separated by a walk-through waterfall. The entire home is set up for music indoors and outdoors with exterior televisions, a swim-up bar with pool seating that overlooks the entire cityscape and magnificent ocean view. Nick purchased his home from Seal and Heidi Klum through real estate magnate, and another client, Mauricio Umansky who is the best in the business when it comes to finding the perfect home for celebrity clients.

Entourage star Kevin Connolly?

Kevin is one of my very favorite clients to work with. His home was a typical Hollywood Hills Mid Century but now is anything but that. The Footprint was extremely challenging because a mountain surrounds most of his home. Again, we utilized this environment to our benefit by incorporating it into the design with falling waters that create an amazing backdrop to the view of the city. Kevin was very specific when it came to his pool and cabana areas. He insisted on only the most exotic details so we designed a space with a crystal fire pit that appears out of nowhere, a 300 year old Buddha atop his luxuriously draped cabana and a 60” state-of-the-art Pantel outdoor television. Water is extremely calming for him, so we created waterfalls that can be viewed from all areas of the home. He also loves to cook so we recently created a magnificent indoor-outdoor kitchen that incorporates the presence of the mountainous landscape. We designed the interiors of his home with a sophisticated gray palette and espresso woods that work perfectly to highlight his collection of vintage movie posters. Kevin’s projection room has a spectacular view of the city and once you’re there, you never want to leave.

Color Salon at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is one of your commercial designs and yet it still retains that feeling of genuine glamour and sophistication one would expect to find within the gated walls of an exquisite private residence — not quite your average salon. Can you take us through that particular motivation?

My firm designed Color Salon for one of my very best friends, Michael Boychuck, who I have known for many years. The design was inspired by one of my favorite designers, Dorothy Draper. Her unique sense of glamour is ever-present throughout the salon. The lighting and color palette are a key element to the design. We collaborated with Fendi to create the glamorous custom furniture and kept the palette in monochromatic whites and silvers. The salon’s clients are surrounded in absolute luxury with 10 foot high Venetian Mirrors, dripping Crystal Chandeliers and beautiful Silver mosaic tiles. The attention to detail is what I am most proud of with this project. We mulled over every last detail from the grand Venetian Corona down to the custom hinges on the doors. Here, we aspire for every woman to feel as if she has finally discovered the true definition of luxury.

Speaking of Fendi, they have celebrated your artistry in the past on several occasions. Can you describe your relationship with them?

I appreciate Fendi’s diversity in design and have collaborated with them on several projects. I adore the luxurious style of a designer that uses couture styling in their furnishings. Fendi has a great attention to detail and an understanding of quality like no other furniture designer. Their pieces juxtapose perfectly with classic design and can provide that extra finishing touch needed to enhance any space.

Is there a minimum budget that your company is willing to work with?

Budget does not dictate our decision to take a project or not. Our motivation is knowing that we can bring something new and unexpected and, more importantly, that we adore the client.

Have you ever fallen in love with any of your projects so much so that it is actually difficult to say goodbye upon completion?

Unfortunately, I fall in love with all of our projects. At the end of each one, I really have separation anxiety. Fortunately, for me, most of my clients become my dear friends so I get “visitation rights.”

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