If you’re looking to design a colorful, playful, and sophisticated space, Molly Luetkemeyer is the designer for you. She defies boring and typical interiors with striking graphic designs, illustrated textiles, intrepid wallpapers—often which extend beyond the walls—and furnished pieces so specifically catered to the client’s persona that the spaces take form of something from a dream. She replaces ostentatious displays with authentic, personalized design that blends the client’s character with her light-hearted charisma.
What inspired this career path for you?
I was the kid who was always deeply obsessed with her dollhouse, decorating and redecorating each room on a weekly basis. I was also the annoying person who would come over for dinner and by the end, have all the guests up pushing the furniture around and rehanging the art. (Still am.) My host would start out irritated but end up usually quite pleased with their re-envisioned space. I had studied acting since I was a child and planned on doing it professionally, but as I got older, the pull of the design world overtook that plan. I enrolled in UCLA’s Interior Architecture program and my interest in design blossomed into love and became my career.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
Museums of all kinds. I find all mediums of art endlessly inspiring: paintings, drawings, and watercolors teach me about innovative color palettes; sculptures spur ideas for furniture shapes; even the design of the exhibits themselves can inspire. I am a sucker for bold, expressive graphic design, fashion illustration, and textile arts.
Tell us about your creative process.
It all usually begins with a conversation with the clients. I try not to approach a project with preconceived ideas about how a project should look. My goal is to help my clients create spaces that feel uniquely like them, on their very best day. Once I have seen the space and heard about their hopes and dreams, ideas start popping into my mind and it’s off to the races.
What are the biggest trends you see in interior design right now and what are you loving (and not loving)?
Trends: colorful concrete floor tiles, French mid-century furniture, hand-printed fabrics, industrial-chic kitchens and baths, 70s Laurel Canyon inspired pieces – raw wood, macramé, swings indoors. I like them all, in moderation. I am not loving the excess of stone I see being used in projects. When there is marble on all of the walls and the fireplace and the floor, the room ends up feeling like a mortuary to me. I prefer a mix of materials.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Colorful, enthusiastic, balanced, bohemian, personal, sophisticated
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
A rubber mallet. You would be surprised how often it comes in handy.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
So many people! Scholten & Baijings, Rodman Primack (who runs the widly chic Design Miami/Basel), Steven Gambrel, David Wiseman, Kelly Wearstler, Piet Boon, Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Jane Hallworth, Adam Blackman, and David Cruz to name just a few. I could go on and on. The design world is exploding with such talent and imagination right now. I feel very lucky to be a part of it.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
My dream job right now would be to do a boutique hotel in Silver Lake, one of LA’s grooviest eastside neighborhoods. It would reflect the eclectic nature of the area and be full of a mix of vintage and custom pieces, lots of art of all kinds, and rooms that invite Angelenos to “stay-cation”.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
When you begin a picture, you often make some pretty discoveries. You must be on guard against these. Destroy the thing, do it over several times. In each destroying of a beautiful discovery, the artist does not really suppress it, but rather condenses it, makes it more substantial. What comes out in the end is the result of discarded finds. Otherwise you become your own connoisseur. –Pablo Picasso
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
1stDibs. I use it to shop for clients across the country and I think their magazine, Introspective, is by far the best online. My favorite American print magazines are T (The New York Times Style Magazine) and Elle Décor. I never miss an issue. And I love a bunch of overseas publications – The World of Interiors, Vogue Living Australia, and French Elle Decoration never fail to inspire.
What do you love about Viyet?
I love that Viyet offers me an unexpected mix of high-end furnishings that I can plug into a range of projects. The quality is consistently excellent because it is curated – you don’t always get that when shopping vintage furnishings online.
Molly Luetkemeyer, founder of M. Design Interiors, draws inspiration from modern and contemporary art, nature, and fashion. Luetkemeyer has developed a signature style that is fresh, expressive, and sophisticated, combining her personal inspiration with a thorough understanding of each client’s needs.