Kishani, in Los Angeles
KISHANI PERERA is a Los Angeles interior designer known for her high-end hip meets flea market chic designs and star-studded clientele. Her work has been featured in House Beautiful, In Style, People, Zavvi Rodaine, in an American Express commercial and in her first book, Vintage Remix.
Never one to rest on her past successes…
In 2011, Kishani fulfilled a lifelong dream and opened her first shop, Rummage, in Los Angeles, so that she could share her vintage finds and custom designs with the world. Kishani is also fascinated with architecture and often dreams of restoring and redesigning some of the historic buildings and neighborhoods around Los Angeles.
Kishani’s passions and interior design success are not surprising to family and friends who recall her constantly re-arranging her bedroom, shopping yard sales and being in-demand at UCLA often redecorating her friends’ dorm rooms for fun. Kishani’s clients are just as enthusiastic about her talent and often work with her on multiple projects which, I believe, is the ultimate complement to any designer.
I’ve always admired Kishani’s global style and was honored to interview Kishani about her passions for design, music, travel and her adorable dog, Bob.
Kishani, did you always have a passion for interior design?
I did! I didn’t realize as a teenager that what I was doing was interior design necessarily, but I knew that I loved discovering interesting and unique pieces, rehabbing them, conceptualizing and planning spaces and doing all the things that interior design entails. It wasn’t until my twenties though that I realized I wanted to make a career of design.
About your book, Vintage Remix, how did your signature style evolve?
My style and design philosophy has always been very eclectic, finding inspiration and beauty in all places. From a very young age I loved vintage pieces, thrift shops, flea markets as well as high end, priceless antiques, and the combination of these elements. The philosophy of mixing high and low, vintage and new, perfect and imperfect has always struck a chord. As I’ve grown as a designer, this aesthetic has remained but evolved as life experiences and my exposure to varied cultures and resources has grown.
What inspires your creativity when starting a new project?
The catalyst to inspiration varies with every project, but often it’s a fabric, an amazing piece that I’ve found, or an image. But I really pull inspiration from everywhere, so you never know!
Which style and design innovators have most influenced your work?
I always cite Tony Duquette as my design hero, and probably always will because I love how fearless he was in combining worldly, vibrant elements, he layered, layered, and layered some more, and was so glam in everything he created.
Describe a dream collaboration.
Stella McCartney because she’s an animal lover like me, has impeccable style, and of course, her rock and roll lineage!
What’s the most challenging aspect of managing your own business?
There are many challenges, but the most challenging aspect is not having enough time in the day to accomplish everything I would like to. Even at 2am, when I often call it a night, I feel as though I’m going to sleep with a full list of things to do.
Any tips for people wanting to start their own business?
Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked before! There is so much to do when running your own business, but the long hours, sleepless nights, and all of the sacrifices are totally worth it when you see a project come together and the smile on your client’s face!
Describe your personal style.
Much like my design style, my personal style is very much a mix of high and low, vintage and new. Nothing too fussy!
What are your three must-have beauty essentials.
Kiss My Face mint lip balm, Moroccan Oil curl control and Suki facial moisture oil.
Name one unforgettable place you’ve traveled to.
I love Denia, Spain for no other reason than I had the most amazing time there once, with the most amazing person.
Name one place you’d like to see before you die.
The list is long and varied, Yolanda. Maldives, Corsica, Mauritius, Morocco, Iceland, Cook Islands, Bali, Myanmar, Thailand, Portugal, Monaco, Tahiti and Belize.
Name a song that takes you some place special whenever you hear it.
Music is my soul, so my association with it and my life experiences is really strong. So many songs transport me. Tiny Spark-Brendan Benson, On Your Side- Pete Yorn, That’s Entertainment- The Jam, All I Need- Radiohead, America- Simon and Garfunkle, Beautiful World-Colin Hay, Shake the Disease- Depeche Mode, Fear – Sarah McLachlan, Only You- Yaz, The Suburbs- Mr. Little Jeans, Piece of Sky- The Wonderstuff, Happy- Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Tangerine-Led Zepplin.
How do you create balance in your life?
I’m still working on that!
Bob (her dog).
What advice do you have for younger women?
Don’t be so hard on yourself, and embrace who you are. Both things I work on still, but I’m happier than I’ve ever been having let a lot of that go.
If asked to write your memoirs, what would the title be?
Yolanda, I may have to get back to you on that! But something about what a wild and amazing journey it’s been would be appropriate!
Interviewed December 2012 by Yolanda, editor of Zavvi Rodaine.
Images: Becky Sapp, Lara Rossignol, Joe Schmelzer and David Waldorf.
© Zavvi Rodaine.com 2013. No part of this interview may be used or reproduced in any manner without the express written consent of the Editor of Zavvi Rodaine.com.
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