Ryan Answers Your Questions!

Ryan Brown answers your hard-hitting design questions.


Ryan was kind enough to answer some of your questions via Here are his answers:

Stephanie Mathis wrote: I love the show and especially Ryan's design style. I have seen stools upholstered in zebra and I am dying to know where I can purchase one.

Answer: The little zebra stools that you saw in my house are a great accent to just about any room. I have one in my bathroom next to the tub. The "Neta" stool is available from Seva Home - one of my favorite furniture stores in L.A.

Jennifer Gonzalez wrote: I feel like selecting paint chips is always such a hard and huge decision, especially when trying to choose perfect muted earthtones. I always LOVE your selections. Do you have any favorite choices for greys, browns, greens, neutrals and blues?

Answer: There are so many great colors out there it's hard to play favorites, but below are a few that I find work well in many applications. Remember, as I've said before, make sure you go out and buy a small quart of any color you are thinking of using and mock it up on the walls you are planning on painting. Paint colors look very different from room to room. All of those listed below are from Dunn Edwards. Browns Chocloate Chunk Bison Beige Neutrals Porous Stone Nomadic Taupe Green Flint Stone Grey Ash Grey

Ericka Horton wrote: Where can I get some of the ideas that you use on your rehabs other than the show. I love the design. Are there any magazines you could reccommend?

Answer: There are a ton of great design publication out there right now. House Beautiful is an amazing resource for updated traditional design with an edge. Metropolitan Home and Elle Decor are great for modern. Interiors is also a great magazine with full page photos for inspiration.

Christopher Alan wrote: How did you make your start into design? ... Did you base your degree around design or was it something you pursued after school? Also, what advice can you give me at 21 that you would have found beneficial?

Answer: My design education started at a very early age. My father was a developer who designed and built custom homes. He is an artist at heart so every outing was a chance for him to teach us more about design and architecture. I credit him with teaching me that everyday life is the best classroom. I encourage you to look around your hometown for inspiration. When time and budget allow, travel to other countries. Some of my best ideas come from abroad.

I love the Ralph Lauren Home print ads. There is nothing the epitomizes my sense of style and taste than that look. I want my house to look like one of them. Any advice on achieving this without spending about $1M on RL furniture?

Answer: Ralph Lauren is an amazing designer in many fields. The thing you like about his work is the "layered" look. More than just the furniture (which is beautiful) a room needs the proper accessories and art to complete the design. Its like putting on a dress for a formal event without adding and jewelry. When I'm designing a traditional room I bring in accessories that tell a story -- like hanging old boat oars on the wall or framing antique family photos. Finally, wall coverings are a great way to warm up a room -- grass cloths are great!

Brian W. Kim wrote: I am a Junior (to-be) at Cate School, a college preparatory boarding high school in Carpinteria. As I am a boarder, I live in a dorm known as schoolhouse. Well, I got last room pick when the room lottery was done, and I supposedly got the worst room. Fearing the worst, I opened the door and I saw, to my surprise, that the room was what I was looking for. Most of the rooms at our school have balconies, but mine did not. Instead it was tangibly larger. Another aspect of the room was its personality. It wasn't a rectangle like other rooms, no, it had a roof that sloped inwards suddenly on one side, and a pillar like extension that looked like a good place to put an antique whitewashed night stand and a painting that I inherited from a senior (who now attends Pratt). Anyways, the bed in my room is lofted, so I have quite a bit of space to put stuff in underneath. There is a small desk, a closet, and this medicine cabinet that sinks into the wall with drawers underneath. Because Cate is an old school, the flooring is smooth cement and the walls are dark cherry wood paneling (still intact from 1910). So the dilemma: -I need functional yet elegant (not ikea cold-modern) solutions for storage and organization, without going crazy on budget. -Do you guys have any suggestions for accent pieces I can put in the room that are not posters and other items typically gracing the walls of educational housing?

Answer: Making your dorm room a fun and functional room is easy. As you mentioned, posters on the wall: thumbs down. Start with a cool photography book with images that you like, chop it up, then find some frames on sale to mount them in. If you want furniture that is a bit warmer than Ikea, try West Elm. They have great accessories as well. Finally, the best way to make a small room look smaller is CLUTTER. Get rid of all the extra stuff in your room and make it a sanctuary.

Ed wrote: Hi Ryan, where do you purchase your contemporary lighting from?

Answer: We have a number of resources that we use for contemporary lighting. In fact, we are in the middle of posting some of our favorites on our Web site. Check there soon. Thanks again everyone for your questions and for supporting the show. Season 2 was great and I'm hoping Season 3 is right around the corner. F

or additional tips check out my design blog at Until next time ... Ryan

Jenni Battles Lewd Snowmen

Jenni dishes on her HR struggles during the office's attempt at a "new day."


Jeff's therapist Doctor Donna explains it all to me and Jeff.
We need to be professional.
Jeff explains it to the office at Gramercy.
Following the doctor's instruction, I ask everyone to do a little homework.
When they are at home, they write down what respect means.
Adding how they feel they have been disrespected at the office.
Jeff is not happy with the business time waste.
I am visibly unhappy with the behavior that causes it.
Zoila weighs in on respect, which she thinks is at zero all round.
Design Dad AKA Jeff wants a "new day'" starting tomorrow.
Andy clearly still wants to play "old day."
Jeff finds something obscene to stir the pot before the "new day."
Human Resources not amused.

New clients George and Monica Eads are down to the studs.
The budget has gone way up for their renovation in the Hollywood Hills.
Monica has to tell her husband George.
Never a fun moment to tell your significant other about shipping purchases or a renovation budget increase.

In Playa Del Rey client Judy's beach house is for sale.
She is moving to Palm Desert.
Jeff makes it clear he wants to buy her incredible beach house.

Gramercy is dealing with Andrew's construction crushes.
Plus we are questioning his shirtless employee screen-savers.
Personal and professional boundaries have to be established ASAP.
Andy and the word or concept of boundary are in no way connected.
Cast as the enforcer by default causes my popularity to take a holiday.
Jeff needs to support me, and frankly he would rather be the leader of the bad boys.
Just call me Buzz Kill. "New Day" at Gramercy begins with an early office meeting and truth encounter.
Jeff is surprised at the amount of employee complaints.

Monica is taken to meet with Joseph the owner of Living Square.
Jeff hopes he can entertain her with some renovation details.
Megan cannot believe that every plumbing fixture can be provocatively described.

Andy and Megan visit the Eads' work site to supervise David the contractor and his crew. "Cracking the whip" is a term Andy prefers to use.
Andrew volunteers that "Megan will give you special favors" for speedy completion. Megan is embarrassed and asks contractor David to ignore Andy.
She is questioning the "New Day" concept when dealing with Andy's "old day" behavior.
At Gramercy Andrew's boundary free conduct is discussed with Jeff.
How are things ever going to change heading in the current direction?
Jeff keeps boundaries blurry with his own crossover fun.
Gramercy is the setting for Zoila and Gage's war zone.
When she calls him "a bitch" in "New Day" Jeff and I  have to step in: "Jenni we're stopping all this crap."Judy in Playa Del Rey has strong opinions and gives Jeff as good as she gets.
I love it.
Jeff wants her beach house, so he thinks he's on good behavior.
And he sweetly asks for a "special price."
Jeff thinks she is steps ahead of his games, because she's a therapist.
And he casually asks her to define his issues.
She without hesitation says he is "needy with low self-esteem."
I don't think these are the answers he was expecting.
She says we are both "passive aggressive."
I quickly admit to being needy with low self-esteem.
Are these the ties that bind us?

Jeff and Megan do another walk through at the Eads renovation with David. Measurements are not adding up, and Jeff is stressing.

Gage blows the whistle on Andy's office iPad photo saying, "He's a weird dude."
Snowmen with a lewd human close encounter...and carrots are involved.
Clients don't need that nasty revelation imbedded accidentally by Andy into a work file. Andy is told to remove it -- the snowmen three-way has to go.
He refuses and is clearly upset thinking we are all overreacting.
Jeff is having some very unpleasant employee realizations.

We found out Andrew has not been taking his medication.
Jeff thinks that could explain the recent behavior.
Desperate for change Jeff is on the phone with spiritual healer David Elliot.
He wants to book ailing Office Lewis for one of David's spiritual retreats in New Mexico. Six years ago Jeff first worked with David.
A three day group bonding, healing retreat is the plan.
Jeff says there is hope for so many stunned employee faces.

Monica Eads is given the revised budget by Jeff, and it's a smidgen over a million.
Her husband George is willing to look at the new numbers.

In Palm Desert and we are working on the design consultation with Judy.
What goes where is a Jeff versus Judy showdown.
Arguing over pottery placement is driving Judy to drink.
After a few she is easing up on the opposition.
This results in Jeff being given carte blanche to get on with the job.
Judy loves the end result and is talking future work.
Then she drops the bomb: she has sold the beach house.
Someone met her price and Jeff is bummed.
He thinks she played him to get good behavior and better prices.
Jeff said he played her to get the beach house.
I hope this was an educational experience.

George Eads gives a firm OK for the new budget.

Zoila does not want to participate in Jeff's planned office retreat.
"I am not going anywhere with this guy."
Zoila is not up for a Telenovela free zone that includes Gage.
Does David know what he's getting himself into?
Who heals the spiritual healer?
We might need that number. At Gramercy Gage is talking about howling at the moon.
The entire office is discussing finding your spirit animal.

Our plane lands in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Design dad drives us all to the mental medication location.
Andy gets scared when the long dirt road seems to lead nowhere.
Jeff's reference to chain saw massacre delights Jeff, and Jeff only.

Watch team building send Andy over the edge and...
What's next for Jeff Lewis Design?