Neighborhood: Little Italy
Job: Design director and CEO of Sormeh Rienne
Like many girls, Rienne had Barbies growing up—but she played with their dream house more than the dolls themselves. "My love for Legos and The Sims was also unmatched," she says. From her upbringing in Partille, Sweden, she went to University of Colorado Boulder to study environmental design with a concentration in architecture, then moved to the mecca for modern interior design—Copenhagen, Denmark—to jump-start her career.
At 30 years old, she was working on her most prestigious design project to date, helping convert San Diego’s downtown Army-Navy YMCA building into The Guild Hotel, and drawing from those international influences to do it. "For The Guild I wanted to embody an ‘it’s five o’clock somewhere in Europe’ vibe." But creating stimulating spaces, like the hotel’s monochromatic lobby, in her day-to-day means she often spares her personal style from any over-the-top details.
"I dream about a day when I would wear all the tulle," she says, adding that for now, "a clean, simple palette soothes me when it comes to fashion. I love a strong line, high quality, intricate design."
"Whether it’s meeting notes, sketches, or daily gratitude, my ties to Moleskine Sketchbooks are deep. The paper is super soft." From $18
Raw Earth Plant Stand Pot
"There’s nothing worse than getting a badass pot only to find it doesn’t have a matching base. This one is as smart as it is cool. It comes with an integrated water catchment and pairs beautifully with a philodendron." $109, Pigment (Liberty Station, North Park, One Paseo)
"I’m a sucker for a beautiful book. I have an endless library of design books, spiritual books, history books, et cetera, but this particular collection inspires my interior design work. It’s a staple in my projects." $75 each
Miyabi Kaizen II kitchen knives
"These knives are worth the indulgence. They complete the kitchen at all of my residential projects." $215, Sur La Table (Fashion Valley, Forum at Carlsbad, La Jolla)
"Finding the perfect solid rug is critical. It ties the entire room together. My go-to is from RH Modern. They’re tried and true when I want something effortlessly chic." From $2,025
Aēsop Oral Care Duo
"A cult follower like many, I’m a fan of Aēsop’s mouthwash and toothpaste, for hygiene and for decorating a bathroom. I love when the tube gets used and crinkles. It’s a whole vibe." $42, Aesop (Fashion Valley, Westfield UTC)
"I have a thing for monochromatic moments, as seen at The Guild. This coffee table allows everything to come together. Mine now has an acrylic tray on top of it." $223
"Virgil Abloh doesn’t confine his interests, and dabbles in whatever suits him. His clothes, like this belt, are a source of architectural and interior inspiration." $225