The Style Files: David Phoenix

The Style Files: David Phoenix | La Dolce Vita |

David Phoenix has been at the helm of his synonymous design firm for over fifteen years and in the industry for more than twenty. Based in Los Angeles, David brings restraint and classical elegance to the quintessential California style made famous by some of David’s own design icons including Michael Taylor, Kalef Alaton, and Rose Tarlow. The way in which these legendary designers married a formal, traditional aesthetic with the effortless ease of California living is evident in David’s design work today. His tailored approach has resulted in an enviable client roster including A-list celebrities, political luminaries, and Middle Eastern royalty. David’s work has been featured in many top publications including Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, and LUXE.

I have admired David’s work for quite some time and became an even bigger admirer after seeing the chic, tailored retreat he designed for the 2015 Kips Bay Decorators Showhouse. David and I finally met while in High Point last month and he could not have been lovelier. There are so many talented, inspiring people in the design industry, but when I meet someone who is as kind and engaging as they are talented or successful, I always take note. David is certainly one of those people and I’m glad to have had the opportunity to interview him for The Style Files. Enjoy!


Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

David Phoenix: Classically refined and comfortable.

The Style Files: David Phoenix | Kips Bay

{A Chic, Tailored Bedroom designed by David Phoenix for the 2015 Kips Bay Decorators Showhouse}

PC: Has living in California influenced the way you decorate?

DP: Certainly. The casual elegance of the California lifestyle; the natural, relaxing color palettes that surround us influence my work. And our unlimited accessibility to the outdoors has a big impact.

The Style Files: David Phoenix

{Indoor/Outdoor California Living}

PC: What does your home say about you?

DP: My home would tell you that I enjoy nice, beautiful things but never at the expense of being comfortable. And, that I love to entertain well.

The Style Files: David Phoenix

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

DP: Of course, travel. But, I can also lose myself in historical architectural and design books.


{The Hotel de Russie on a Recent Trip to Rome via @DavidPhoenixInc on Instagram}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

DP: I love old Hollywood glamor and style. The designers, actors and musicians and creative professions of classic Hollywood were polished. There was a timeless, elegant ease and gracefulness about dressing, driving, travel, making conversation, entertaining, and decorating during those “Golden Years. I don’t try to literally reproduce old Hollywood aesthetic visually, but I do appreciate their lasting results.


{A Glamorous Apartment at Los Angeles’ Exclusive Century Tower}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

DP: First class travel with someone special

The Style Files: David Phoenix

{A Vignette from David’s Room at Kips Bay}

PC: What traits do you most admire in a person?

DP: Honesty and good judgement

The Style Files: David Phoenix

{A Vignette from David’s Room at Kips Bay}

PC: Who has been your greatest professional influence?

DP: Michael Taylor, Kalef Alaton, and Rose Tarlow

michael taylor 1971

{This space, designed by the original icon of California style, Michael Taylor, looks as fresh today as it did when it was photographed in 1971.}

PC: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?

DP: Being happy and healthy. And being able to do the work I love to do.

The Style Files: David Phoenix

{A Classic Kitchen Designed for an A-List Celebrity Client}

PC: What can we look forward to next from you?

DP: The completion of several projects that have been years in the making. Stay tuned for a book!


{The Bedroom David designed for Kips Bay was among my favorite spaces in this year’s showhouse.}



Go-To Outfit: Jeans & sport coat

Style Mantra: Comfort & quality

Scent: Guerlain Vetiver

Piece of Jewelry: Rolex

Place to Shop: Wilkes Bashford San Francisco

Color I Never Tire Of : Green

Flower: Roses

Indispensable Design Element: My library

Era for Design: Pre-War

Dream Project: Boutique luxury hotel

Fabric/Textile: Chapas Textiles

Hostess Gift: A handwritten note with flowers

Meal: Steak & baked potato at The Palm

Drink: Pellegrino

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: A Run


Favorite Place: Capri

Weekend Destination: Most weekends in Palm Springs

Hotel: The Peninsula in Paris

City: London

Museum: The Met NYC

Artist: Basquiat

Coffee Table Book: Any on art & design

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: Fly Me to the Moon

Actor/Actress: Jake Gyllenhaal/Meryl Streep

Prized Possession: My dog, Jake

Risk Worth Taking: Being Creative

Greatest Extravagance: Flying Private

Go-To Color Palette: Soft hues of greens, blues, & beiges

Rule to Break: What Rules?????

Movie Set Design: Something’s Gotta Give

I can never have too many… Opportunities…or shoes!!!

Paloma Signature

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