Upon stepping into Nicky Rising’s eponymous interior design showroom in the West Hollywood Design District, it’s easy to felt swept away into another world. Or rather, many different worlds—an aesthetic it comes by honestly. The longtime design enthusiast was born in England, raised in Nigeria and Libya, and lived in France before finally settling in Los Angeles, where she ultimately opened her shop in 2011. And as if that wasn’t enough globetrotting, Rising has made pit stops all over the world along the way. Her showroom, which offers fabrics, wallpaper, furniture, and accessories from a unique array of vendors, draws an elite, design savvy clientele who turn to Rising to help them find the details that make their spaces stand out. We caught up with the shop owner to learn more about how her travels have inspired her, what she loves most about living in Los Angeles, and more.
Have you always been interested in interior design? What’s your earliest memory?
My early memories of shopping with my mum in the souks must have left an indelible mark on me! The last few years I have been going to Marrakech and I feel so at home: the smells, noise, and colors all feel so familiar to me. Growing up in Tripoli and Lagos definitely molded my taste for anything and everything you would find in those markets. Hand-dyed cloth from Mali, Nishapur bowls with years of dust, and Berber silver make me giddy! And as a child it was fascinating.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your work?
I am so lucky to represent the best hand-painted wallpaper in the world, de Gournay Ltd. There’s nothing more beautiful and decadent and it’s exciting to see this company taking 18th century chinoiserie and giving it purpose in today’s world. Besides wallpaper, I represent some wonderful fabric companies. The passion and talent behind them is amazing and it’s so rewarding to see them doing well.
Many of your finds are inspired by your travels. In terms of nearby getaways, what are a few of your favorites?
I recently visited Santa Fe, and I loved the slower pace and spirit of the town, with everyone draped in Indian silver jewelry. That’s my kind of place!
What fabrics are trending for interiors of late?
Blues, indigos, reverse-dyed fabrics made in far away places. With today’s printing technology, people like Rebecca Atwood, Adam Jones from Quercus and Co, and Bruce Slorach at Utopia Goods can translate their painting onto fabric. It’s all so exciting!
What do you love about having your business in the West Hollywood Design District?
A million years ago I used to work in the Pacific Design Center and would take a lunch break and walk over to Bodhi Tree, grab a juice at Elixir café, and wander into Details. I never dreamt I would one day have a shop of my own in that spot! One of my favorite parts of the neighborhood now is Gracias Madre, which was beautifully decorated by a client of mine, Wendy Haworth. She really epitomizes Southern California in her design style.
How are you inspired by living in Los Angeles?
It took me a few years to fall head over heals in love with LA. I arrived at a terrible time; riots, earthquakes, fires, the OJ Simpson saga. There was no rosé, no French cheese…the city has come along way! That said, who doesn’t love the beautiful light in this town, I know it sounds silly, but it’s so white! You have to remember my place of birth has “grey” light—I really notice the difference!
Visit Nicky Rising at 8625 Melrose Avenue in the West Hollywood Design District