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Jeffrey Alan Marks, laid-back luxury and 'The Meaning of Home'

September 10, 2013|By David A. Keeps

Jeffrey Alan Marks declares in his debut monograph, “The Meaning of Home,” due out Tuesday: “To create a really outstanding, satisfying home, you need to throw out the rule book.”

Indeed, the interior designer lives in a Santa Monica home with a rowboat mounted to his bedroom ceiling. Marks brings such surprises -- and an eye for bold color -- to an Old World home in Newport Beach; a modern Spanish ranch in Austin, Texas; and model Amber Valletta’s residence in Los Angeles. Though the book's focus is on laid-back luxury, Marks also offers some cost-effective decorating tips.

PHOTOS: Jeffrey Alan Marks' "The Meaning of Home"

In a Nantucket living room, the designer neutralized what he called “ugly pine floors” with gray paint and made the white walls more interesting by adding inexpensive molding strips as battens, spaced at equal intervals. “I painted the battens a slightly brighter white to give the wall a bit of texture,” he said, noting that the look can also be achieved with two shades of any color or with two different finishes of the same paint, such as satin versus gloss.

“The clients said I must use catalogs,” said Marks, who found plenty of options. The sofa and round mirrors (positioned to look like portholes) came from Restoration Hardware, and the rugs and white light fixture over the fireplace were bought at West Elm. The chairs are from Crate & Barrel, and the coffee table is from Jayson Home. 

Marks is known for his appearances on Bravo’s "Million Dollar Decorators," his designs for Suzanne Goin restaurants, his furniture collection for Palecek and other work featured in L.A. at Home stories about budget shopping and dollhouse décor. For a deeper look at his new book (Rizzoli, $45), check out our related photo gallery.

Corrected: An earlier version of this story misspelled Amber Valletta's last name.

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