Eye on Design with Julie Massucco Kleiner and Melissa Warner of Massucco Warner Miller

Eye on Design with Massucco Warner Miller, San Fransisco, CA,

(1) What UECo light do you like to use the most and why?

The Chisholm Hall light! It’s such a stylish rendition of a classic lantern, and it works in a traditional home or a more modern home, and it’s fantastic in a painted finish. The cutwork pattern on the metal is a small but powerful detail.

(2) Your six picks of favorite UECo lights?

1. Chisholm Hall, 2. Lillebette V.2 (This fixture is amazing painted a bright shade of coral), 3. Melissa Quartz (and not just cause it’s got a great name!), 4. Betty (We have yet to use this, but are dying to), 5. Hamilton (We are suckers for anything two toned!), 6. Maxine: such a great multi-tasker! We love to paint the shade, and do the arm and backplate in brass…

(3) What is your design philosophy?

We love our interiors to look layered but not cluttered, and collected but not curated. We don’t want our interiors to feel precious, or off limits. About 90% of our clients have children, and being moms ourselves, we strive to make every interior very live-able for real life! That said, we do it with elegance and nobody is the wiser to some of our strategies to make spaces really easy to live in.

(4) What is something people many not know about your firm?

We have two locations, but we used to all work together in the San Francisco location! It was a big change to move our office to Seattle and LA, but we pride ourselves on the fact that not everyone even realizes we aren’t in the same city! We love being able to cover projects up and down the West Coast. San Francisco will remain a beloved city always, since we started there, and we continue to have lots of clients there.

(5) What is your favorite part of a home to design and why?

Family rooms! It’s a fun challenge to figure out how to design for a room that’ll be used for lounging, eating, homework, game playing, entertaining… They’re usually pretty playful, and often where a client will let us take more risks. We love to pop in unexpected extra seating, and imagine new ottoman styles to make it ultra-comfy, and, of course, good lighting is key!

(6) Three design resources you can’t live without?

Our sunny studios in Seattle & La- Both locations are perfect for scheming fabrics and colors before presenting to clients. LL Bean boat & tote bags- They manage to hold all of our design presentations, even the heavy stuff like stone samples, and you can toss them in the washer. i-phone- The camera is our constant companion on every site visit, meeting, etc. The level feature, calculator and notes are all very handy, too!

(7) Best design tips you have learned from experience?

Always have a professional installer or workroom measure for things such as wallapaper and window treatments! Designers are good at lots of things, but we don’t consider ourselves to be pros when it comes to calculating how much wallpaper or fabric one needs. Coming up one yard short on wallpaper or fabric could spell disaster, especially since we love handprint & block print fabrics & wallpapers that typically vary from one order to the next…

(8) What do you collect?

Julie: Black and white family photos in frames, and trays of any kind… vintage enameled trays, Lucite trays, small ceramic trays, wooden trays… I have them all over my house and office!
Melissa: Vintage furniture -- I love its history! Scouring vintage stores looking for the perfect piece to reinvent is one of my favorite activities! I’m also obsessed with collecting dessert plates...I can't get enough!

(9) What are your favorite paint colors to use?

Benjamin Moore “Simply White” works every time- trim, cabinets and even walls when you want a clean backdrop. Benjamin Moore “Seapearl” – A true chameleon color- Grey, greige, pale taupe… call it what you want, it’s a great all around neutral. Benjamin Moore “Soft White”- it’s the most delicate and sophisticated blush tone! We have used it on furniture, in dining rooms, nurseries, dressing rooms… It’s used in both our LA & Seattle offices, too.

(10) What are your favorite design books?

Suzanna Salk’s books: “Be Your Own Decorator” and “Decorate Fearlessly”- not just because we have projects featured in the books, but they’re hugely inspiring given all the (other) talent that is showcased in them!