CS: I love your delight, dazzle, and divert mantra for stylish small-space living. Can you explain what it means and give examples of how you like to achieve each?
JL: Small spaces come with inherent flaws. Usually it's not just the lack of square inches that is the challenge but bad views, low light, and the absence of any architectural details.
As a defense strategy, I've developed the 3-Ds. First, "delight" your guests with thoughtful and surprising details. I have hung a collection of 20 caviar tins on my kitchen wall, made chandelier light boxes that glow in my living room, and covered my filing cabinets with Louis Vuitton-inspired vinyl embedded with my own initials. People are so entertained they forget I live in a box. Second, "dazzle" them with flattering lighting and luxurious fabrics that give off a flattering glow. I mix in mirrors, mercury glass, and silks that reflect light into a space. All of my lights are on dimmers so I can create a lighting design depending on the mood and I have swapped out regular light bulbs for pink ones in my bedroom for a soft, flattering hue. Finally, "divert" any negative attention from the flaws in your tight space with whimsical decorative finishes that add levity and humor to the space. In my bathroom, I have completely covered my windows with custom-printed window clings that say, "You Look Good in That!" They are tinted a soft pink so you get that flattering glow right out of the shower when you're at your most vulnerable. You don't notice that there's not a million-dollar view to speak of.