Vanessa Traina Shares the One Rule to Follow When Designing With Vintage

Updated 10/26/17
Courtesy of The Line

Poised, chic, elegant, and refined, these are just some of the many words we'd use to describe the inimitable Vanessa Traina. The über-stylish new mom has an eye for design, from fashion to interiors—we mimic her fashion sense just as much as her décor choices. The daughter of famed novelist Danielle Steele has carved a veritable niche of her own along with an adoring fan base that wants to live The Line life—yes, MyDomaine editors included.

So when we had the opportunity to meet up with the design maven at The Apartment by The Line in Los Angeles to discuss its new collaboration with Decaso—an online vintage site that connects the designers and tastemakers with leading dealers around the world—we jumped at the chance. Traina had wanted to partner with them for some time, and the collaboration fused perfectly with her brand. "They work with some of the best vintage dealers and curators, and their website has been a source of inspiration when thinking of what to purchase for The Line as well as for my own home," she told MyDomaine.

The Decaso pieces were chosen and curated by Traina before being styled among the other vintage pieces in her L.A. boutique. Her favorite piece is the Antique Persian Bakshaish rug from Antiques Rug Co. "It's exquisite," she says. "The weave is timeless and classic, but there's a charm that sets it apart from many of the vintage rugs I've seen over the years. It's definitively an awe-inspiring piece." In this chat, Traina reveals her tips for mixing modern with vintage pieces, how to design elevated yet kid-friendly spaces, and her number one design rule to follow.

Poppy Lynch Photography

On Mixing Vintage With Modern Décor

We've all had that moment at a flea market or at a vintage store where we've met a vintage piece we couldn't go home without. But there's always the looming question: How will we incorporate it with our existing modern and newer décor? Traina seems to have perfected this modern vintage balance in her L.A. and NYC apartments. And now with the Decaso curation, she's mixed in a lot more. "We hope to include an array of styles from classic to modern, all refined in their design," she says. "So long as pieces share a certain element—for The Line, it's refinement—they will complement each other in a way that feels organic."

Courtesy of The Line

On Designing Chic, Kid-Friendly Spaces

As a new mom, we were intrigued to know if her home décor choices had changed to accommodate a family-friendly aesthetic. Turns out she doesn't believe you should alter your taste and that you can absolutely achieve a stylish space with kids in mind.

"I don't think any child's space should be too drab or serious, one should have a sense of whimsy when approaching such a project," she explains. "Your child will be interacting with that space daily, so have a bit of fun with it and try using color or wallpapers to give the room a personality. If you are looking to add a touch of elegance, an iconic chair or dresser is the perfect accent."

Poppy Lynch Photography

On the #1 Design Rule to Follow

While Traina is adamant that rules were made to be broken, there is one she stays true to. "I wouldn't say that there's one thing you should never do," she says. "It's important to go with your gut and select pieces that move and inspire you. Stick with what you love and will for years to come."

Poppy Lynch Photography

On Her Favorite Colors to Work With

From looking at The Line interior, you'd be forgiven for thinking Traina sticks to the neutral end of the color spectrum. But it turns out the design visionary loves bold hues. "In my personal spaces, I use quite a lot of color," she says. "My library is painted a deep shade of cobalt, and our country house is swathed in shades of green. I find that both colors have a soothing quality to them." Who knew?

Courtesy of The Line

On Starting Your Own Business

While we had access to the successful entrepreneur, we had to ask: What is her advice for those who want to start their own design business like you? "Stay true to your distinct vision," she explains. "If that is clear in your mind, it will come through in the execution and appeal to others."

Poppy Lynch Photography

On the Biggest Lessons Learned

From her carefully curated Instagram to the many interviews she's given, it can be easy to think that Traina has it all, but she's still figuring it out and learning lessons along the way. "[I've learned] the necessity of a work-life balance," she says. "Family is very important to me." Hear, hear.

Courtesy of The Line

On Her Love for Vintage

With such an obvious love for vintage, we were intrigued to know where that passion began. And just like her aesthetic, it was very organic. "I suppose I've had an affinity before ever understanding that it was vintage," she says. "I've been enchanted by pieces of furniture that my mother has had, for example, in homes over the years. Early and recurring exposure to timeless, classic design has definitely shaped my current taste and what I now gravitate toward."

How do you infuse vintage pieces at home? Do you have a favorite store (online or bricks and mortar) that you swear by for sourcing chic and cool finds?

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