A Conversation with JEFFREY ALAN MARKS

Long before the popular Bravo TV show, "Million Dollar Decorators," made California-based, Jeffrey Alan Marks, a household name, he was already an accomplished, well-established figure within the interior design world.  With his casual yet refined style, Jeffrey's design aesthetic is functional and beautiful all at the same time.  In addition to his thriving interior design business (both residential and commercial) and popular furniture collections, Jeffrey has also penned his first book, "The Meaning of Home," which will be out in bookstores next month.  Covering a wide variety of rooms and spaces he's designed over his career, "The Meaning of Home" will showcase the depth and diversity to Jeffrey's projects.  We cannot wait to be "wowed" with this widely anticipated book!

We had the pleasure of meeting Jeffrey and his partner, Ross Cassidy, in L.A. earlier this year. He was perfectly charming and quite the gentleman. No ego. No attitude. We were smitten.  Even better, we've kept in touch and were recently able to interview him for our post today!  Enjoy!

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What do you consider to be one of your design "golden rules?" On my business card it reads, "Rules are made to be Broken." I don't follow trends or rules in design. I tailor each project to my clients needs. Design, when it's done right, is all about detail and customization. How would you describe the South? With your home base being on the west coast, how do you feel Southern Style differs from California Style, and are there any commonalities between the two? The South is all about hospitality . Homes in the South are built to be extra inviting, warm and embracing. In California, the focus shifts to opening up almost every space to the outdoors. Open plan living is so fashionable in LA, but it's less conducive to warm, inviting spaces and can almost be a little cold. I make a conscious effort to try and incorporate that southern coziness and charm into all of my projects. Which do you consider more challenging to design: commercial spaces or residential. And why? Commercial spaces are much harder to design than residential ones. There are a lot more cooks in the kitchen and budgets are much tighter. Finding fabrics and furniture that are durable enough to hold up to the extreme wear and tear is tremendously difficult. Most contract fabrics are just hideous! There are so many unique pieces within your furniture collections (both for Palacek and A.Rudin) for the home. Can you single out a few of your favorites? Where have you placed them in your own home? I use my Exchange barstools all the time. They are in my home and most of my clients' homes. I just put a Dunmere Lounge Chair in my living room along with a Brockton Coffee Table.

Exchange Barstool

Dunmere Lounge Chair

Brockton Coffee Table

  You use so many beautiful neutrals in your work. Can you tell our readers a favorite neutral paint color you use frequently and where you use it? My walls in my house are Pratt and Lambert Pewter. It's the perfect blue.  It reads as grey at first glance, but when you take another look, it's really a gorgeous shade of blue. It shows so well and compliments most fabrics. I don't like beige, its dull. Life is too short to live without color! My neutrals are always a subtle color.

Pratt & Lambert (Pewter)

What would you consider to be your favorite room in your house and why? My bathroom. It has a center island instead of the traditional vanity shoved up against the wall. The floor plan really works for me. And it's a really comfortable room with a chaise and sofa, so I can hang out and watch TV.

Jeffrey Alan Marks' bathroom

Any famous individuals you've designed for (that you can mention)? My client, X-files star Gillian Anderson's, London home is featured in the book. It's a treasure trove of rare and unique items from her travels that I curated into a cool and unusual home.

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Thank you, Jeffrey, for chatting with us--it's truly been a pleasure! We wish you luck on your book's success! (To pre-order "The Meaning of Home", click here).

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Interior Canvas' Anna-Kristin Yarbrough and Jeffrey Alan Marks

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Jeffrey Alan Marks

www.jam-design.com

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 Interior Design Blog

(Images: 1-11- jam-design.com; 12-myperfectcolor.com; 13-sheknows.com; 14-Interior Canvas)