Design Q&A with Tamara Kaye-Honey of House of Honey

Design Q&A with Tamara Kaye-Honey of House of Honey

Abby Stone
May 17, 2013

Canadians take a lot of ribbing, but one look at Tamara Kaye-Honey's work will put an end to that. The former Northerner, who moved to Los Angeles in 2003,  quickly made a name for herself. This is a woman who knows what she's doing.  Her interiors are traditional without being stuffy, she knows how to use a vintage piece without getting mired in the vernacular of the past, and she has a former fashion buyer's flair for mixing pattern and shape without it looking overly theatrical or clownish. You were saying?

What is your favorite design moment (house, restaurant, building, public space) in Los Angeles?

The former Ambassador College campus in Pasadena (where I live), housing the Fine Arts and Science halls. Both designed by Peter J. Holdstock  in 1966-67, they are insanely beautiful modernist buildings that are, sadly, being bulldozed  next month.

Let’s pretend you have $400 to update a 250 square foot space, how do you spend it?

Paint. Can make such a dramatic difference.

Tell us a little bit about your window for LCDQ's (La Cienega Design Quarter) Legends of La Cienega event?

I’m delighted to be designing the windows for Waterworks; we are huge fan at House Of Honey and frequently use their Henry fittings in brass for client projects. The Henry is such a great mix of old and new, which is what our designs are all about. For this display we thought it would be relevant to showcase the Uptown dresser which I recently designed for Nurseryworks. With its homage to 15th century Britain mixed with a bit of Dorothy Draper glamour, it’s the perfect blend of past, present, and future. We have paired the dresser with a stunning vintage brass frame rocking chair from Lee Woodard; such a masterpiece. The rocking chair has itself been around for hundreds of years, and I love this midcentury modern interpretation. A 1960s sheep statue in the style of Francois Xavier Lalanne adds a dash of whimsy, while the gold disco ball is a House Of Honey signature. The vintage gold lattice screen is the backdrop and creates pattern and depth. A midcentury 7’ oversized silk tassel hangs above the vignette for that punch of unexpected playfulness. Antique books are stacked throughout for personality and history. Books really do inspire and add soul to any space, while tying together the past present and future of design. ‘We must look to the past to reinvent the future.’ 

What 5 things would you put in a time capsule?  (NOTE: The theme of this year's LCDQ event is Time Capsule: The Past, Present and Future of Design).

My gold disco ball, a recent copy of Elle Décor, a Birkin bag, a rare John Dickinson African Table and my RayBan Wayfarer sunglasses.

What period of history would you most like to have lived in?

It depends on which country I was in and how much money I had!

What would you bring with you if you were time traveling?

Pictures of my kids, my journal and a copy of today's Wall Street Journal. 

What 5 things do you recommend keeping on hand for unexpected guests?

Kistler Sonoma Chardonnay,  Cire Trudon French (Moroccan mint tea) candles, cozy Matteo bedding, The xx on my Sonos, and, of course, a happy face!

What’s your biggest design or home-related indulgence?

Vintage Italian lighting.

What’s your favorite home from a movie or tv show?

Auntie Mame.

What do you love most about LA?

The weather, the architecture and the fact that you can drive from the ocean to the mountains in the blink of an eye

What’s your favorite cheap design trick or tip?

Always mix old and new. An artful blend of old and new gives any space a personality.

To learn more about Tamara and see more of her work, click here; for more information about her shop, click here (she also sells her work via 1st Dibs).  To learn more about the La Cienega Design Quarter Legends of La Cienega event, which begins May 7th in Los Angeles, click here.  

(Image: Tamara Kaye-Honey)

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