With over thirty years of industry experience—including being principal of his own Southern California-based design firm—Douglas Truesdale can count the likes of Sharon Stone among his clients, and Architectural Digest and Traditional Home among his featured editorials.
You can capture Douglas’ elevated and classic design sense through his personally consigned pieces on Sotheby’s Home.
How did you discover your passion for design?
Interior decorating/design is definitely in my blood. My grandparents had Ruby Ross Wood and Billy Baldwin as their interior decorators, and Billy Baldwin also decorated my childhood home. So, you could say that a passion for design is part of my DNA.
What is your favorite decorative object at home?
I love things that have a personal connection most of all. So, my answer would have to be a portrait of my father, painted by famed portrait artist Harrington Mann. It was painted in 1931 when my father was nine years old, and currently hangs in my living room.
Can you pick your five favorite items you are consigning, and tell a little bit about what makes them special?
- Gregorius Pineo Arrowhead Lowback dining chairs: These fantastic dining chairs tick a lot of boxes: they are stylish, comfortable, suitable for both traditional and contemporary interiors, and have a sumptuous Pierre Frey fabric!
- Michael Taylor Far East Collection for Baker chest of drawers: This is a classic design—it falls into the mid-century modern category, but also references Asian and modern designs as well. It is the chameleon of casegoods!
- Art Deco Lion’s Head Coffee Table: Again, this is a marvelous transitional piece, equally at home in a traditional or contemporary interior. I love steel furniture like this, as it’s reminiscent of Jansen who also combined steel and brass elements in their designs.
- Biedermeier oval dining table from Rupert Cavendish, London: This is an incredibly versatile piece. The size is fully adjustable, making it suitable for small and large dining spaces, and the Neoclassical style also works with a wide range of interiors.
- Gina Berschneider accent pillows: Who doesn’t need a little Hermès in their lives?!
Is design an art or a science?
Both. I think that the planning of interior spaces, the furniture plans, kitchen & bathroom design, lighting design, built-ins, moldings, casings, etc., all fall into the “science” category, while the soft furnishings, fabric selections, drapery, carpets, antiques and artwork all fall into the “art” category. Art could also be a synonym for taste.
Do you have any go-to color or pattern combinations?
Color choices are almost always client-driven. That said, I love pinks & browns, grey with any saturated color, green & ivory, red & black.
When do you consider a completed project a success?
If my clients feel “elevated” by simply walking into a room I’ve designed, then I’ve done my job correctly.
Share your biggest design secret.
Don’t overthink the process. Be true to one’s self and trust one’s instincts.
What is the most common design mistake you see?
Trying to “wing it” without an overall vision or even a furniture plan! The importance of scale, proportion and suitability can never be underestimated.
How do you balance style, comfort and functionality?
These questions can all be answered by listening to one’s clients’ needs and aspirations!
Is there a specific item you typically use as a starting point? (ex: rug, artwork, statement piece, furniture)
It varies by client and even room, at times. If a client has a stellar art collection, then that would be a logical starting point. Lacking art, I would most likely start with a statement piece and/or treasured heirloom. And when a client collects antique rugs, I always start from the floor up.
What do you think about Sotheby’s Home?
Sotheby’s Home is an invaluable resource for me and my clients. It is quite often my first stop when sourcing products for a new job, because the vast inventory spans all imaginable periods, styles and budgets. It makes my job much more streamlined and efficient.