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Jeffrey Alan Marks: The Meaning of Home

Jeffrey Alan Marks: The Meaning of Home

In addition to being a furniture designer and creator of all-around coveted interiors, Santa Monica designer Jeffrey Alan Marks can now add author to his list of sought-after talents. His first book, Jeffrey Alan Marks: The Meaning of Home debuted this month from Rizzoli, featuring 15 projects that deliver his fresh design sensibility and uncover his personal approach. In an exclusive interview with Luxe Interiors + Design, Marks discusses writing the book, creating those interiors and his biggest obsession.

LX:  How did you decide on the direction of your book?

JAM: When I finally chose the title The Meaning of Home, the book suddenly fell into place. My work is varied and I do many different looks because my design is more about tailoring my clients’ home aspirations into something that feels right for their lives, not mine. Of course I put my individual stamp on it, but the final home is all about their meaning of home.

LX: How do you go about creating a home that will reflect the people who live there?

JAM:I watch how people really live, not just the way they say they live.? I am more about pulling out of them their real meaning of home and what will stimulate them and make them more creative in their own individual worlds.

LX: Many of the projects in the book feature bold elements—like hand-painted fish wallpaper or blue lacquered walls—why is the unexpected important? 

JAM: I try to make my projects playful. Design can get very serious very quickly. You have to add a smile to your projects so that your houses don’t look like everybody else’s houses. My partner Ross Cassidy and I have the Olly & Suzi rug from Christopher Farr in our living room. Ross tried to sell it to clients for years and nobody was brave enough to go for it. We finally decided to use it in our own house, and now everybody wants one. You have to be willing to take a leap.

LX: Even in the more formal projects that are featured, the rooms feel welcoming and comfortable. How do you achieve that?

JAM: I design for comfort first and foremost. I don’t believe in uptight chairs and stiff sofas that don’t envelop you. The furniture I design and the antiques I buy are always spacious and inviting. It’s the only way to live.

LX: What turns a house into a home?

JAM: Personality. It needs to convey the spirit of the owners. It’s easy to fill a house with tasteful furniture, but for it to have spirit and personality you need to pick pieces that are not all safe or generic.

LX: Pieces like the rowboat shown hanging from the bedroom ceiling of your Santa Monica house?

JAM: Yes, it’s vintage Abercrombie & Fitch from the days when they made things other than baggy shorts and potent cologne.

LX: What is your meaning of home?

JAM: Home is everything for me. I design them every day of my life and have for more than 20 years. I think about home constantly and change my own to find what makes the perfect space, the most comfortable chair, the softest sheet, the best shower head, the biggest bath. The way we live day-to-day is my all-encompassing obsession.

{Photos Courtesy of Jeffrey Alan Marks}

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Posted by Marie Aiello on 10/2/2013 12:18:00 PM

As an interior designer myself, I can say that I am inspired by Jeffrey's creativity. His interiors are always sophisticated, elegant and uniquely personal. And I LOVE his sense of playfulness!

Posted by Thiago daLuz on 10/7/2013 10:19:00 AM

Are any of these luxury homes for sale in California? My cousin works in real estate and sometimes lets me tour the houses. I love architecture, especially the luxury stuff. These look amazing.