In The Spotlight: Meet Michelle Niday

I have not done a segment in my “In The Spotlight” series for a long time. But rest assured, there are still many talented people I have a strong desire to share – because of the good vibes, creativity and talent they ooze – with you!

Let me introduce you to the talented, LA based interior designer, Michelle Niday. We first met through my store when she purchased not one but two of my blankets. We started to talk about design and she shared some pictures of her home with me (I showed you a tiny glimpse some time back). Our cyber connection evolved into fun phone chats and had Michelle lived any closer I would have been regularly banging on her front door. I like this girl (she is warm, fun and clever) and I like her approach to design!

Her beautiful home is featured in the current fall/winter issue of Country French (I picked up my copy at Barnes & Noble). And what a home she shares with her partner, Corey Young (a mega talented general contractor)! They live in a fabulous loft that was once part of a 1920’s toy factory.

(Pay attention to those fantastic windows!).

My Scandinavian blanket looking good on Michelle’s pretty chaise!

I have have been wanting to share our design conversations with you for quite a while. The following are the questions I bombarded her with along with her graceful responses.

Enjoy — you might just walk away with a few design tricks!

Q: How do you describe your personal design style?

MN: I try to harmonize and to juxtapose timeless contemporary with timeworn antiques. I enjoy working with neutral colors, organic textures and graphic patterns to achieve an exciting space.

Monika: OK, STOP right there! I have a very serious crush on that table in front of Michelle’s lovely French sofa. She tells me that it is a very old cheese table from France and that it has a lovely patina and the most perfect scale. She knows how envious I am…

Q: What design elements do you never grow tired off?

MN: Vintage European (Italian/French) plaster sculptures of the human body (feet, hands torso, all good!), stripes, chandeliers, textural rugs like Jute or Seagrass, giant clam shells, vintage charcoal sketches of the human body, architectural fragments/objects (wood, metal), Belgian linen and Vellum books!

 Q: What 5 things can anybody do to quickly beautify a room?


1. PAINT: You can simply paint the 4 walls in an exciting dark or pure white color or try the absence of all color, black (BM Black Suede looks terrific if done in a flat finish) or do an interesting treatment ie: paint stripes, horizontally or vertically, or paint a graphic pattern. You could even try painting a floor!

2. REMOVING: If your room has particularly pretty flooring or windows/moldings, try removing curtains or rugs and letting the attractive moldings and floor become the focal points.

3. EDIT: Remove everything from your room. And I mean everything (even wall hangings)! Slowly reintroduce pieces back in to the scheme, trying things in different places until you get a more pleasing look.

4. FLOAT: Try pulling a major piece away from a wall ( sofa, even a bed) go one step further and try angling this piece (again, much easier when room is empty!).

5. REPEAT: Try grouping your favorite collections or paintings. Usually the collected pieces become much more impactful and interesting when placed together.

Q: What in your opinion is an absolute no-no when designing a room?

(I love Michelle’s answers where she mixes dont’s with do’s!)

MN: No THEME rooms allowed please!

– Do not use poly-fill in pillows. Instead use at least 90/10 down preferably 75/25 (super soft and squishy!)

– Do not hang curtains that are too short or hung too low! In my opinion, curtains should be hung as high as possible over the window and the length should just break on the floor much like a man’s pant cuff breaks on his shoes! Interlining a drape well allows even inexpensive drape fabric to look like a million bucks! Trust me even a muslin fabric will look really fab!

– Do not use lots of little upholstered pieces. Instead use less, but use pieces that have a grander scale!

– Do not create a room that is just a pretty face, it must actually function for you!

– Do not create a “period” room. Instead MIX pieces artfully using your favorite eras and styles to create a room with personality and timelessness!

– Do not be timid, do not be afraid to make a mistake. Imperfection often makes a perfect room!


Michelle, please share one personal design trick with us!

MN: I always infuse a room with at least one or two objects/furniture that have a natural patina versus a manufactured patina as in “You can fool some of the people all of the time…….but you can not fool all of the people all of the time…” It is certainly fine to use some pieces which have man made patina but I believe the human eye picks this up either unconsciously or consciously whether or not the entire room is filled with reproductions!

(This is Michelle’s wonderful and personal kitchen!).

Now was that interesting or what, folks! I learned a lot and I hope you did too! Thank you Michelle for sharing your thoughts on design with us. You are one talented and inspirational gal. I look forward to seeing more of your work (and I look forward to many more fun chats!).

Michelle is one busy lady renovating and decorating many clients homes (incl. several celebrities’ homes such as the lovely Ali Landry’s). She is also finds time to be in charge of set designs for TV shows. Hop over here if you want to learn more about her work. And you can always follow Michelle on Pinterest — here.

Hugs to everyone and always Thank You for tuning in!

Images: No. 1 via Splendid Willow, no. 2 private via Michelle Niday, no. 3-10 via Country French (scanned from fall/winter issue 2012).


Written by Splendid Willow in: In The Spotlight | Tags: ,


  • Greet says:

    What a talented lady Michelle is!! Her work is beautiful! Indeed, these windows are gorgeous!!
    Thank you for introducing us to Michelle!
    PS I wish you a great new week! Hugs!!

  • Charlotta says:

    Monika this was one of my favourite ‘spotlight features’ so far. What a wonderful sense of design. I love it when quirkiness and solid taste come hand in hand.

    xx C

  • Delishhh says:

    One of the best spotlight features. Love the windows. Love the advice. Oh her kitchens is just fabulous!!! A very talented Designer!!!

  • wow! what a stunning place – I have just been breezing through but will certainly go back to linger, monika. what a jewel of a friend and a home! donna

  • Victoria Athens says:

    Her design aesthetic is interesting and unique, and I enjoyed reading her advice. Thanks, Mon.

  • Franki Parde says:

    *Sigh*….I have the b/w striped pillow….*sigh* franki

  • Seriously, I could move right into Michele’s home! Stunning is the word. I of course love the sculpture and art, and both coffee tables are fabulous.
    Thank you for sharing, Monica!
    Happy Monday.

  • I had the opportunity to spend time with Michelle and Corey this past year and I’ve never met two people more passionate about everything that they do; not to mention the fact that they’re loads of fun. Michelle is unbelievably talented and her attention to detail is like no other!! What an honor for her to be featured on your beautiful blog!! Congratulations Michelle and Corey!!! You’re so deserving of the grandest of recognition.

  • Isa says:

    Holy smokes, is she fabulous or what? Her work makes my heart race.

    Thanks for the intro!

    Hope all is well in your beautiful world, Mon!

    xo isa

  • Joe Clarke says:

    An old toy factory! What a place!

    The powder room is FANTASTIC.

    Will be pinning a lot and saving all the great design advice. What a great post!

    Happy Monday, Mon.


  • What an incredible designer! I love her use of neutrals, the strong black, and natural elements…and I share her passion for charcoal sketches – can’t get enough of those! Have a great week Mon and YES let’s get together again now that life is getting back to normal after the school start!

  • ooh la la i am lovin michelle’s style and advice. her place just oozes sex appeal, and i don’t think that’s the easiest thing to accomplish when incorporating antiques and layering as she does. so there are def secrets in the mix.

    awesome interview and inight from both of you!

    i totally understand the sudden hankering for a cheese table now!


  • Holy Dinah…her home is beyond stunning- I’m seriously in total awe- thanks for sharing!!!!

  • Her approach – blending new with old, different textures incorporating antiques exactly what I’m trying to do with my home. Love the way she does it – so elegant and easy. Thanks for the interview, Mon, her tips are quite helpful. And I’m also am going to start looking for a cheese table. That’s exactly what my house needs!
    Happy Monday!

  • So beautiful! I can envision myself in a place like that when I’m all “grown up” – although to be fair, I have so many different tastes that I wish I had 4 different houses to decorate at the same time 😉 Been awhile since I’ve stopped in – your site looks fantastic! Hope you’re doing well!

    Nook & Sea

  • Marianne says:

    Wow, what a gorgeous home! I love her style and think your blanket looks perfect on the chaise! Bravo for a great interview. xo

  • I love your interview style- very fun to read. Thanks Monica!

  • Tree says:

    WOW. Can see why you two are so simpatico! One question – how did she get your Seattle light into her LA home?

    Splendid Willow Reply:

    Hi Treena,

    Yes, Michelle is a good friend! Not so sure what you mean about my Seattle light, though? What am I missing?!

    Hugs, Mon

  • Treena says:

    Sorry, my humor didn’t come across very well!

    It just seemed that the light in her LA home wasn’t the typical “yellowed” southern California light one so often sees and feels in California design, but a more northern atmospheric “blue-greyed” light. Hope that makes a little more sense!

    Absolutely love your blog! (And your homeland!)

    Splendid Willow Reply:


    I thought that was what you meant! But in a week or so we are adding brand new light fixtures to the store so I got all confused for a second… (:

    Hugs to you and thank you for stopping by!


  • Tracey says:

    Love how Michelle mixes the natural colors and textures along with black and white. My favorite mix by far!! She is one talented lady. Thanks for the introduction!

  • Monika,
    I love her work. I first saw her kitchen a couple of years ago when she had taken over a former toy factory space. It was fun to see the images you’ve shared, I did buy the Country French magazine so that I could study her style.

  • Mon,
    HI! I so love Michelle’s layered, textured and chic decors. Her tips were wonderful and I’m already thinking of where I can incorporate them.

    Love how your blanket compliments her decor, too! :)
    xoxo Elizabeth

  • Monika,

    Thank you so much for creating such a wonderful article on my work! It is such an honor to know you and to be the subject of your blog today! Your readers are a beautiful reflection of you with the kind words they have shared regarding my design stlyle! Please know this has made my day very special.

    Xoxo, michelle niday

  • classiq says:

    Thank you for such an interesting interview, Monika! Michelle has shared some great design tips. She has a beautiful home too. I’ll link to this in my tomorrow’s Notebook pages. :)

  • Merci beaucoup for a fabulous interview with such an inspiring decorator. Love Michelle’s style and am now following her on pinterest.

    Cordialement from SW France, Leeann

  • Karena says:

    Mon a wonderful interview and feature with Michelle…I love her style!
    Her do’s and don’t tips are perfect for review!

    Art by Karena

  • Michelle Niday — a fantastic, unique designer with a very bright future!

  • Tereza says:

    This house is fabulous, love the neutral palette and materials such those white bricks and the sisal rugs.
    Love her tips too.

  • […] for children, Leuie, an exclusive selection of items for the home and everyday living • Great interior design tips from a talented designer, Michelle […]

  • designchic says:

    What gorgeous images and love her taste. Just adore when you do these spotlights – such great advice!!

  • Somehow the mix of old looks new and fresh. And extraordinarily tasteful and chic. Move over, Kelly Wearsler; there’s a new girl in town! This girl should have a layout in VOGUE!

  • Yvonne Hansen says:

    So inspiring! Everything looks just fabulous and I wish you (and Monika) could come to my house right now and style it up. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and advise.

  • LiveLikeYou says:

    Great article Monika and beautiful home! I hate to admit but I’m afraid I’ve broken Michelle’s ultimate no-no design rule in designing themed guest bedrooms in a ski chalet. They were actually super popular with the house guests. LOL.

  • Jimetta Moore says:

    Michelle transformed my home from an dated décor to a new edgy, chic, yet casual look. She recreated my home with many of my existing pieces to ensure that the décor represented my personality and life style. Throughout the process she taught me that matching elements in a room do not contribute to the interest or the interior design…Beware of the matchy, matchy look! Michelle has an exception eye for color, texture and design. I had the pleasure of working with Michelle and Corey. This was truly an amazing experience…An extremely talented couple and fun to work with.

  • Jimetta Moore says:

    Michelle transformed my home from an dated décor to a new edgy, chic, yet casual look. She recreated my home with many of my existing pieces to ensure that the décor represented my personality and life style. Throughout the process she taught me that matching elements in a room do not contribute to the interest or the interior design…Beware of the matchy, matchy look! Michelle has an exception eye for color, texture and design. I had the pleasure of working with Michelle and Corey. This was truly an amazing experience…An extremely talented couple and fun to work with.

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