Ryan Saghian is making a name for himself. Touted as one of LA’s most in-demand designers, he is as prolific in his work as in his Instagram posts, which share his exuberance for design, his strong connection to his Jewish-Iranian heritage and his unquenchable desire to continue designing spaces with wow-factor. We sat down with the young talent to hear more about his career trajectory and latest book, aptly entitled Unapologetically Chic.
Have you always been drawn to design?
Always! I can’t recall a time when I didn’t know design is exactly what I was put on this earth to do. I started working in the industry as an intern when I was 15. A lot has changed since then, and when I look back – with a lot more perspective – I recognize how much my journey saved me. It gave me purpose and filled the voids caused by my personal struggle to self-acceptance.
How has your work evolved?
The evolution of my style is the cultivation of what I consider to be a signature formula that transcends all design genres. The key for me has always been designing with emotion and intuition while leaving the thinking to the end. I design to my fullest potential, not limiting myself to budget or client restrictions, then editing down more analytically.
The key for me has always been designing with emotion and intuition… I design to my fullest potential, then editing down more analytically.Ryan Saghian, interior designer
What are your most iconic or successful projects to date and why?
My Bel-Air and Hollywood Hills projects. Both these projects were opportunities for major creative exploration and tested me in so many ways. For my Bel-Air project, I had the opportunity to design a “Weed Lounge” where we built a wrap-around green leather banquette with walls dressed in a handsome green suede. For our Hollywood Hills project, we created a moody and sultry piano bar that was just insane. No doubt, these two are the most epic I have worked on.
What are your favourite showrooms and galleries?
For one-offs, vintage finds, and antiques I am a big fan of a string of galleries in Palm Springs that never disappoint. Hedge, Pietra Gallery, and Gallery24 are some of my favorites because I always find those “wow factor” pieces that I just can’t live without.
Do you have a hand in sourcing art in your projects, and if so, where from?
I always have a hand in selecting art, but the extent to which I am involved also depends on the level of art our client wants to invest in. For example, if our clients are collectors or would like to begin collecting fine art, then we enlist the service of art advisors like Creative Art Partners (CAP Art) and Art of Choice. But if a client has no desire to go the fine art route, then we source from our trade vendor galleries (like Leftbank or Wendover) as well as some extremely talented local and emerging artists.
Are you seeing any particular style requests trending among your clients?
Yes! A huge trend in wabi-sabi aesthetics and earthier palettes. I will say, however, those requests come with an additional request to maintain the Ryan Saghian “wow factor” that they’ve come to know me for.
You recently self-published a Ryan Saghian coffee-table book. What are you hoping to share with readers in Unapologetically Chic?
I want to show readers yet another example of how anything you want in life is possible with your own will and might. Although I have been open about my story from the beginning on social media, in this book I go way back. I share my story as a first generation, Iranian-Jewish American who, despite feeling like all the odds were against him, followed his dreams, and created his reality. Also, in all-black, it’s so damn chic!
Tell us about some of your homeware product lines
My products include a tabletop and vase collection for Alepel, an upholstery line with Moss Home, a rug line with Caravan Rugs and a wallpaper line that will soon be launching an exclusive Los Angeles themed design with S.Harris.
What’s the most important interior design lesson you’ve learnt?
Measure, measure, measure! And when you think you got the measurements right – measure one more time to double check. ryansaghian.com
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