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Tastemaker: Vanessa Matsalla

The North County–based interior designer shares her favorite boho finds


Age: 32
Neighborhood: Carlsbad
Current job: Owner of her namesake design firm and showroom in Carlsbad Village, Studio Matsalla. 
Background: After getting her start working with some of San Francisco’s leading designers, Vanessa broke out on her own in 2014. Her work has been featured on Design Milk and in Domino magazine.
Design philosophy: Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. Just because you have negative space doesn’t mean you have to fill it and drown out the beauty. Less really is more. 
Personal style: Simple bohemian, with an edge.

Her Favorite Things:

We use vintage rugs in almost all of our projects. This Moroccan beauty is a favorite because of the naturally faded saturation and texture. Loom + Field vintage boucherouite rugs, prices vary, etsy.com


Styled by Emily Henderson is a new favorite resource and coffee table book for inspiration and eclectic beautification. $22, barnesandnoble.com

This ring by Mociun is simple, unique, and timeless. It’s one of my most highly coveted pieces. Curved turquoise triangle ring, $557, store.mociun.com

When I’m not working and carrying around client samples and plans, my weekend bag of choice is my Rais Case “Vida” fringe bag. It’s casual, stylish, and really well made. $235, raiscase.com

I love the different materials and subtle pastel palettes artist Thomas Campbell works with. They feel serene and funky at the same time. Prices vary, thomascampbell-art.com

Wearing my mala beads helps remind me to stay in the present. They’re also a fun addition to most of my workweek outfits. Padma Design “Wanderlust” handmade mala beads, $105, etsy.com

I’m a big fan of all-natural products, and local company Mr. B’s makes some of the best soap and candles I’ve ever used. Facial mist, $23, and travel candle, $10, mrbsnecessities.com

Oceanside-based Raen designs sunnies that make you feel instantly cool. I love my Remmy 49 frames. $170, raen.com

Vintage Hmong textiles and pillows are a staple in many of my interiors projects. They add soul. Vintage pink pillow, $115, studiomatsalla.com


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