MDS-How would you define your style?
MSS- I rely on others to define my style since it’s ever-evolving. But, I’ve heard it described as “updated traditional” or “a juxtaposition of modern and traditional.” I don’t want to be restricted or roped in to thinking of myself as only one thing.
MDS- Where did you grow up and how do you think that influences your work?
MSS- I grew up in an aesthetic, design-oriented family in Newport Beach, CA. The area is very much a culture of set rules of what houses were supposed to look like. So, for me, not sticking to a certain sense of style – a California style – just wasn’t a part of it. But even things like seeing the fog on eucalyptus leaves as I rode my bike to school each morning helped define my idea of a California room. It’s a bit second nature when you grow up in it.
MDS- If you weren’t doing this, what would you be doing?
MSS- I’d be a real estate developer. I always loved building as a kid – blocks, Legos. I built an underground city on graph paper. I also love organization and structure. One of the things I do to relax is check out the rental markets.
MDS- Who or what is inspiring you right now?
MSS- I am captivated by the Billy Baldwin 70s aesthetic right now. Basically, if you take away the pop, groovy 70s you get a “hippie meets casual.” Think Bob Evans or bamboo matchstick shades or a Karl Springer table covered in batik. It’s sexy without being sinister; an interesting balance of Bohemian with a sense of lightness.
MDS- What is the favorite room in your home?
MSS- My bedroom in NewYork. There’s a crazy rock crystal chandelier in it that appears differently throughout the day. It’s great to wake up and fall asleep to it because it has this magical, other-worldly quality to it.
MDS- Is there anything you obsessively collect?
MSS- Karl Springer. Warhol drawings as much as I can, specifically the black and white pieces from the late 70s and early 80s. There’s also a pair of silvery-gold Converse tennis shoes they just discontinued. I buy up every pair I can find.
MDS- Fill in the blank: “I could never own too many ____________ .”
MSS- I could probably own too much of anything. But, if I had to pick something: houses. There’s a particular cotton-linen J. Crew navy cardigan I have quite a few of too.
MDS- If you could decorate anyones home – who’s would it be and why?
MSS- Beyoncé. I just think she’s so great. Her whole presentation: it’s so together. I love someone who is incredibly strong and professional.
MDS- What do you want to be known for?
MSS- I think I don’t know yet. A question better asked at the end of my career.
MDS- What do you think is chic, stylish and glamorous?
MSS- People who are really confident and can move the needle forward in an intellectual way. They are truly chic, stylish and glamorous. Of course someone can have a veneer of those things – photos and moments are ephemeral – but depth is the really interesting thing.