Haute bohemian. That’s how Nicky Rising, owner of her namesake showroom in Los Angeles, describes the current trend of blending ultra high-end, hand-painted wallcoverings with more casual décor. “People want the luxury of chinoiserie, but now they’re pairing it with a cotton woven rug to keep things from getting stuffy,” says Rising, whose clients include interior design gurus Michael S Smith and David Phoenix. “Juxtaposition,” she declares, “is very big.” Located on bustling Melrose Avenue, Rising’s showroom is like stepping into the beautifully appointed living room of a good friend. “I always serve tea,” says the British-born businesswoman, who touts everything from intricately detailed de Gournay florals to modern graphic designs from Seema Krish. The latter is reminiscent of the ikats and other bold patterns Rising was exposed to growing up in Libya and Algeria. “My mother often took us to the local markets and even then I was drawn to ethnic designs and fabrics,” says Rising. “Today when I need inspiration, I head for the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.”
LX: Design muses...
NR: Fashion designer Paul Poiret and Madeleine Castaing, antiques dealer and interior designer.
LX: What is inspiring you now?
NR: Seema Krish fabrics. The embroidery for less than two yards of fabric takes an entire day! She employs women in Bangalore, India, who previously earned just pennies sorting tobacco leaves. It humbles me to know I can make a difference in their lives by selling her fabrics.
LX: Keep an eye on...
NR: Traditional scenics in grisaille tones are back and they’re hot! Chinoiserie designs with a lacquered finish will be the next big thing.
LX: What do you collect?
NR: Fabric. I have a weakness for old embroidered wedding blankets from places like Asia and North Africa. I also collect Native American pawn jewelry in silver and turquoise. I have old cuffs, necklaces and rings.
LX: I’m reading…
NR: Wild, by Cheryl Strayed, Empire of the Summer Moon, by S.C. Gwynne, and A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry.