Now Playing

The New Girl

Tastemaker Tyler Dawson brings San Fran chic to SoCal.

Tyler Dawson in her new Venice digs

What’s old is new again for interior-designer-about-town Tyler Dawson, who is planting her flag in SoCal after spending five years in San Francisco. While there, she launched Tyler Dawson Design (tylerdawsondesign.com) and helmed projects that put shelter mags like House Beautiful on notice.

Donning her DIY hat, Dawson repurposed furniture from her San Francisco abode to freshen up her new nest in Venice. “The challenge is that this place is completely different—architecturally, environmentally—than our SF home,” she confesses. “Pieces that looked perfectly natural there feel fussy in Venice.” Nothing a little paint can’t fix. Dawson is using the interior cure-all to tie design elements together in a new way, incorporating contemporary art pieces and lightweight, natural textiles like linen and sisal to achieve what she dubs a more “beach-suitable vibe.”

Adapting is something Dawson knows innately, having shuttled between Northern and Southern California most of her life. She picked up her love of decorating from her maternal forebears, and an appreciation for construction from their paternal counterparts—a storybook footnote for someone who built her own business, if somewhat circuitously. Dawson worked for Natasha Esch Design in L.A. before defecting to New York, where she studied art history at Columbia University, then graduated to acclaim in the Windy City.

Now, Dawson brings her “moody and layered” aesthetic to SoCal. In Venice, which Dawson describes as “easygoing, but with an edge,” the tastemaker has found the ultimate incubator for her eclectic design ethos, which calls for mixing styles and eras with found objects, the use of metallic accents, and unusual color and pattern combinations.

Although a ladylike apartment in Beverly Hills, a family residence in Studio City and her own at-home studio at the beach are all on Dawson’s to-do docket, she’s got projects worldwide, too. “I’m working on getting an inventory of vintage furniture, lighting and home accessories up and running on One Kings Lane.”

Dawson’s Hots
Wash-and-go hair, serpentine accessories and motifs, open-mindedness, scrappy rescue dogs, hand-painted wallcoverings and fabrics, dive bars

Dawson’s Nots
Bad manners (especially at the dinner table), hoarding, matchy-matchy outfits and interiors, the 405