Designer Crush: Alexander Design
We’re smitten with the thoughtful, layered work of Vanessa Alexander of Los Angeles-based firm Alexander Designs. Her spaces exude a collected, personal vibe while remaining sophisticated and chic. Read on to see why we can’t keep our eyes off of her portfolio.
“I grew up traveling extensively around much of the world with my family, and was influenced early on by those experiences, as well by my mother’s strong aesthetic,” the designer shares. “After a few years in the entertainment industry, I decided to leave that business and focus on my family and finding a way to transition into designing and building homes for ourselves and others. After doing a few projects for ourselves, Alexander Design was born. The Serra Barn, a ground-up built in Malibu, was a turning point in my career, garnering quite a bit of attention. Things have been wild and wonderful since then with lots of opportunity to show different aspects and sides of my style.”
“Five things really drive me in every space: the needs and wants of the client’s lifestyle, how to create a home that fosters that lifestyle, an obsession with light both natural and curated, the flow between spaces, and the materials and furnishings,” says the designer. “I like to tell the story of the client that begins at the front door and unfolds throughout the space. My design style incorporates a mix of contemporary, bespoke furniture, and vintage pieces to create a feel that is layered and rich in texture and influence. Every piece is beautiful but functional. This is what I consider ‘modern.’ I don’t want anything to feel staged but rather authentic to my client.”
Vintage textiles, modern art and photography, the work of Ilse Crawford, Vincent Van Duysen, Axel Vervoordt, and John Pawson, leather, wood and mixing various metals, combining patinated objects and materials with living finishes (like bronze, reclaimed wood, and stone) with modern elements to juxtapose hard and soft, roughness and refinement.
The casual yet sophisticated look of her interiors. Raw, rustic, historic pieces combine seamlessly with refined materials and sleek lines to create compelling visual compositions, which feel at once accessible and luxurious.
When not crafting gorgeous interiors or developing her furniture and lighting line, Alexander focuses on family. “Free time is all about my husband, three kids, and extended family,” she tells us. “I also have a heavy-duty love of great food and wine!”
“I’m just finishing up a Caribbean island vacation home,” Alexander shares. “I’m also building an exciting modern concrete Olson Kundig-esque home in Malibu, a weathered contemporary family house in Rustic Canyon, a Moorish restoration in Los Feliz, and an industrial work and retail space in New York City. The mix of styles of these projects is an exciting way for me to flex my creative muscles.”
“Now and always I’m inspired by light in general,” the designer shares. “Natural light in terms of the way it plays in a room, illuminates textures, and creates a mood, and light fixtures both modern and vintage for their pure artistry. Lindsey Adelman and Bec Brittain pieces are like artwork. Both make statement fixtures but if you can swing their costs, it’s worth it!”
“I’m also really into what I call sustainable luxe—incorporating sustainable elements and the work of local artisans. I’d love to follow the model of Maiyet, whose products are luxurious but socially relevant.”