The Style Files: John DeBastiani

I have admired the work of Los Angeles-based interior designer, John DeBastiani for quite some time. His aesthetic is classic, tailored, and timeless. Dexterous in his design talent, he can execute a completely neutral palette or one filled with a burst of color and pattern with equal aplomb. While I admire designers who have created a signature look, I love it when a designer can master multiple looks and make it feel effortless. Originally from Boston, John has called Los Angeles home for several years now. In fact, we met for the first time at this year’s Legends of La Cienega in LA. John’s firm has offices in both LA and New York with projects across the United States. John’s work has been published in House Beautiful, Luxe, and Traditional Home. I hope that you will enjoy getting to know John as much as I have!

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

John DeBastiani: “New Traditional” in concept. Using a soft color palette, clean lines and always practical and comfortable.

PC: Has living in Los Angeles influenced your aesthetic in any way?

JD: In Los Angeles, everything is so informal and the lifestyle is very laid back. My design esthetic has definability become more casual. “California Casual” is definitely something to embrace! The houses and rooms are also much larger than say the East Coast so furniture scales usually increases as well. 

PC: What does your home say about you?

JD: My home is definitely eclectic, so when I come across something I love, it will work right into the overall design. 

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

JD: It sounds a bit silly, but lately, definitely Instagram as well as the shelter magazines. It’s fun and inspiring seeing so much great work.

{A Glimpse of a Recent Project John shared on his Instagram, @johndebastiani}

PC: Who are your personal style icons?

JD: I think Steven Gamble’s work is genius. Its fresh, creative, well balanced and most of all makes sense. From the past it would have to be Billy Baldwin. So classic with bits of modern thrown in and always used a beautiful color palette.

{A Project by Steven Gambrel as featured in ELLE DECOR}

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

JD: Honesty

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

JD: Ice cream, I’m currently crushing on here in LA the “Salt & Straw” shop. Loving the “There Weavers Spent Grain with Black Berry Fig Jam flavor!

PC: Who or what has been your greatest professional influence?

JD: I had an amazing boss when I worked for Brunschwig & Fils in my late 20’s. He taught me the basic rules of design. Things like scale, pattern, color and appropriateness. I would not be where I am today without that education. It’s beyond important and I think its where many of today’s young designers fall short.

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

JD:“The Good Life” always reminds me of the Frank Sinatra song!!! I believe one should posses inner happiness and mix in doing what you love (sometimes they go hand in hand), having a great love in your life, and being able to have a little pocket change to have some fun!

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

JD: I’m looking forward to growing my business. I am getting a lot of work on the East Coast and it would be fun to expand on that. I would also love to try to design a furniture line. I design and make most of everything in my projects and it would be fun to start really honing in on the most successful pieces.


Go-To Outfit: Blue shirt of some pattern or plain with white jeans and dressy moccasins and a wide ring belt

Style Mantra: Keep it simple.

Scent: Hermes- Un Jardin Sur Le Nil

Piece of Jewelry: Stainless Datejust Rolex…It has a platinum bezel so that dresses it up a bit.

Color I Never Tire Of: BLUE BLUE BLUE!!!

Flower: Lily of the Valley

Indispensable Design Element: Wonderful Pottery

Era for Design: 1960’s– an age when traditional values where challenged

Dream Project: A Beach Compound on Nantucket

Fabric/Textile: Any Texture from Holland & Sherry 

Hostess Gift: The Bougie Apothicaire Candle in the Spirituelle scent

Meal: Anything on the grill

Drink: Bourbon Manhattan Straight up, very cold

Way to Unwind after a Long Day at Work: On the Sofa with Netflix

Weekend Destination: Montecito

Hotel: The Carlyle in NYC

City: London

Museum: Beauport House in Gloucester, Massachusetts–Built in 1907 by Henry Davis Sleeper, one of America’s first interior designers….beyond fabulous!

Artist: Cy Twombly

Song that Always Puts Me in a Great Mood: “Turn me loose”- Lover Boy

Actor/Actress: Jane Fonda

Prized Possession: None.. I am not attached to anything, really!

Risk Worth Taking: Falling in love

Greatest Extravagance: Any purchase from Tom Ford

Go-To Color Palette: Soft muted colors, probably blues

Rule to Break: Having white wine with beef

Movie Set Design: It’s a huge cliche but, Auntie Mame. Her living room was forever being re-decorated in a really good way.

I can never have too many… Good Friends


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  1. LOVE this guy! Love his interiors, his philosophy! Sorry to miss the LCDQ this year! I will be there next year and hope to see you! I heard it was really great this year!
    Great article about him! I may run into him in Montecito!!!

    Brava Paloma!