March 23rd, 2014
Interior Designer & Blogger

Mark D. Sikes

Mark Sikes

Mark D. Sikes photographed by Agnes Baddoo for KiC.

A few years ago, a number of my interiors-obsessed friends started mentioning Mark D. Sikes’ eponymous blog, and were raving about his posts. When I visited his site, I knew instantly why it was generating so much buzz– MDS is the perfect mix of “chic people, glamorous places, and stylish things”.  An L.A.-based interior designer with impeccable taste, Mark had created a must-follow blog.

And follow I did.  As it turned out, Mark was following me. After commenting on each others’ posts, an email exchange, and my begging him to join me at an event with Deeda Blair, we became fast friends.

Besides my favorite MDS posts on vintage imagery, iconic women, and envy-worthy interiors, I love that Mark uses his blog as a platform to promote other designers, illustrators, and creative folks. This sharing is the hallmark of his generous spirit. Henry James’ famous words “[t]hree things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind” pretty much sum up my dear friend.

Mark and his partner Michael kindly let us photograph them (and beloved Frenchie, Lily) at their drop-dead, and newly renovated, Hollywood Hills home.

The best part of profiling a tastemaker is getting them to divulge their must-haves and inspirations. Mark shares his list below.


MDS inspiration board: top interior Carolina Irving’s old NYC apartment, bottom Oscar de la Renta’s home in Punta Cana.

1) China- For everyday, Pillivuyt white French Porcelain, for fun, blue and white Spode Willow dishes. I love to mix in antique blue and white porcelain serving ware… for special occasions, Michael’s grandmother’s china.

2)Linens- Well, I love white linen sheets from Merci in Paris, we get them monogrammed. Michael loves D. Porthault Marie Antoinette embroidery bed linens in blue. To compromise we switch off every time the bed is changed

3) Stationery- I’ve been using Smythson stationary for over 20 years, I love to mix the Bond Street Blue and Nile Blue cards and envelopes. I also have a whole cabinet full of my custom MDS stationery that gets a lot of use. And for special occasions I like to commission artist Hayley Sarno to do a watercolor for a card.

4) Fabric- I’m so passionate about fabrics. I have so many favorites- Soane, Peter Dunham, Robert Kime, Lisa fine, Veere Grenney, Hill Brown, and I’m using a lot of Brunschwig & Fils lately, but if I had to pick a favorite I’d have to say Carolina Irving Textiles.

5) Paint color- My favorite paint color is Kelly Moore Swiss Coffee, there isn’t a project that I haven’t used it in, and I always say “everything looks better white.” I’m also loving right now Farrow & Ball’s Blue Ground, St. Giles Blue, and Stiffkey Blue.

6) Destination- We love to go to St. Barths. For many years we would rent Rudolph Nureyev’s house right on the beach. We also love weekend trips to Santa Barbara, and of course Paris is a must once a year. I love staying at the Hotel Costes, if not for the pool alone. But the best destination of all is just being at home. I’m happiest in my garden or my bedroom. My favorite shopping destination is right here in L.A.- RTH, the best store I know of, actually now there are two, one a few doors down from the other.

7) Books- Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to read… but I do love books. My all time favorite book is Vogue Living: Houses, Garden, People. I think I have six copies. I also love Cecil Beaton: The Art of the Scrapbook… Francois Halard and Stephen Sills’ new books are unquestionably perfect.

8) People- This is a long list. Here are a few- Steve Mcqueen, Grace Kelly, Spike Jonze, Tilda Swinton, Bill Blass, Phoebe Philo, John Jr., Pharrell Williams, Chessy Rayner, Marina Rust, and I have to say, I think Jennifer Connelly is my definition of beauty. mark-sikes-3 9) L.A. hangout- The Sunset Tower Hotel- at Tower Bar a Few nights a week for dinner and by the pool at The Terrace for work lunches and weekend brunch. If I’m not there you can usually find me down the street at Mel’s Diner. I love a diner. Every once in a while you might find me dancing at Giorgio’s at the Standard Hotel on a Saturday night, however, I’m usually home a little after midnight.

10) Downtime activity- Blogging. I love it. It’s like therapy for me, I escape into all the things I love. I’m beyond obsessed with Instagram, it really makes you look at everything differently, everything becomes a potential photograph with a filter. I enjoy going to the movies every Saturday, I spin at Cycle House LA every weekend and I my new years resolution was to do more yoga… so far, so good, if I’m not traveling, I’ve been going every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon.

11) What inspires you? Beautiful things, simply things that are pretty, not complicated, and people. I’m a people watcher. Ever since I was a child I’ve been fascinated by what people wear and their mannerisms. When I was young, every Sunday after church I could tell everyone at the Sunday lunch table what every single person in the congregation was wearing by church pew, left to right. Believe it or not this attention to detail, and being able to visually memorize things, has served me well.


What's New


Park small grained-leather shoulder bag


Silvia silk-twill scarf


Logo-embellished leather loafers


Crocheted Cotton-Blend Midi Skirt


Inca straw bucket hat


Cropped crocheted cotton-blend wide-leg pants


Amuko leather-trimmed suede tote


Crochet-knit cashmere, wool and silk-blend mini dress


Braided leather bangle


Delcie tie-detailed ramie midi dress


Gate knotted leather slippers


Postcard fringed crocheted straw bucket hat


Solitaire swimsuit


Santos de Cartier metal shield sunglasses


Small raffia bucket bag


Double-breasted virgin wool coat

  • My first stops every morning are to grab my coffee and sit down with your blog and Mark’s blog. I love them both and am so excited to see him profiled here!

    SandieMarch 23rd, 2014  3:58 PM

  • Just love Mark’s blog! He always shows the most beautiful people, places and things. Also, he is so positive and enthusiastic.

    claireMarch 23rd, 2014  4:52 PM

  • I have become a big fan of both your blog Preston and Mark’s; Impeccable taste, an inquisitive spirit, and the never ending quest to always showcase beauty in whatever form, these are aspects that you both share. Keep it up please!

    GiadaMarch 23rd, 2014  6:00 PM

  • I love Mark’s blog and agree with Claire…along with his great taste, his consistetnly positive and enthusiastic tone is what sets him apart.

    A Note On StyleMarch 23rd, 2014  6:07 PM

  • Thank you for the introduction to Mark and his wonderful blog. I’ve always noticed his comments on your blog, but had no idea who he was. Just spent a wonderful hour perusing his blog and have bookmarked it. Absolutely love his home.

    KathyMarch 23rd, 2014  6:11 PM

  • Would just like to add my name to the chorus above. Love both your blogs and follow each of you every day.
    Thank you both so much.
    Cindy F from Oz

    CindyMarch 23rd, 2014  6:29 PM

  • Two places visit every day! Keep it chic and mds Enjoy marks best dressed lists each week. He introduced me to the man repeller and now I am in love with the white shirt! The rooms he profiles are terrific! Another great thing I have discovered thanks to you, Preston! The list keeps growing! Here’s to good taste and great ideas!

    PaulaMarch 23rd, 2014  11:17 PM

  • Simply divine x2. You are both fabulous and not to be missed.

    MaryMarch 24th, 2014  9:11 AM

  • Just love this profile. Mark is the best! Couldn’t agree more, Preston. He is unbelievably talented on so many levels, but above all he is incredibly thoughtful and kind, which in my book is the epitome of chic.

    SarahMarch 24th, 2014  9:13 AM

  • Mr. Sikes truly has an wonderful eye for all things Chic and beautiful. I think Harper’s Bazaar or Vogue should hire him to do their Best Dressed list or as an editor!

    mojiMarch 24th, 2014  9:19 AM

  • Agree with everyone else. I love Mark’s upbeat happy tone and constant fascination with the world he blogs about. I also love that he opened his store. Thanks, Mark!

    kimMarch 24th, 2014  9:21 AM

  • MDS and KiC are my favorites!

    KarenMarch 24th, 2014  9:37 AM

  • I couldn’t agree more — your two blogs are my favorites (for very different reasons)! And it makes me so happy that he is featured here!

    NancyMarch 24th, 2014  10:25 AM

  • I couldn’t agree more…I too check out KiC and MDS daily and I am not a blog follower. I only get jealous when the two of you meet up in NYC and I am not there- LOL! You both have brought wonderful inspiration to my closet and my home!! Thank you!

    MaryBMarch 24th, 2014  10:26 AM

  • BTW I love your book I am interior designer from Canada and I think ‘designers own homes’ are truly the BEST! I follow your blog, Preston and Marks, all three are inspirational. What I like the best about Mark’s blog are the pictures of his garden!! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the clipped boxwood, brick paving, the terracotta pots, the level changes, his office opening to the garden through French doors! Perfection! I am envious of that climate I am presently looking through french doors out to a foot of snow in my back garden! UGH!

    Sue TothMarch 24th, 2014  11:39 AM

  • Oops…thought I was commenting to ‘All the best’ blog but you understood. Preston, my favourite blogs are Keep it Chic, All the Best & Mark D Sikes!! LOVE all three!

    Sue TothMarch 24th, 2014  12:03 PM

  • awww…I love Mark D Sikes! He has an incredible eye and shares the most beautiful images. So glad you featured him. His Pinterest images are always my favorite. I loved his response for what inspires him!

    aliciaMarch 24th, 2014  1:47 PM


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