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Community Highlights: Meet Leslie Denham of Denham Interior Design

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Denham.

Hi Leslie, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’m a California girl from the East Bay and have always loved travel. My studies in History and French at University lead me to study abroad in the south of France where I studied art history and architecture.

Post-graduation were spent traveling throughout small town America from the Carolinas, Georgia, Ohio, Arkansas, and even an extended stay in the Puerto Rican countryside town of Arecibo where I fell in love with southern design & Spanish Colonial architecture. Countless hours were spent scouring antique shops for antique & vintage finds and exploring the localities. It was during these years that I decided to go back to school to study Interior Architecture at FIDM in downtown LA.

While in the midst of my studies, I interned with Hollywood at Home and eventually became a Senior Designer at Peter Dunham Design. It was these years with Peter, under his mentorship, that I really learned about all things design from textiles and custom furnishings to architecture. Working with Peter allowed me to work on projects from small beach bungalows on Lido Isle, a Paul Williams estate in Beverly Hills, transitional homes in Silicon Valley, and a sprawling country home in Aspen. Peter’s unique and strong point of view really instilled the importance of story-telling thru design and the art of filtering the client’s wishes while implementing one’s vision to create timeless spaces that are comfortable, beautiful, and as Peter used to say, “keep the eye moving.”

I launched Denham Interior Design in 2012 and have worked on projects in the Hamptons, southern California, Hawaii, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The most exciting part of design is being able to tell a story that creates a visual aesthetic representative of the client’s point of view. I love an eclectic mix of traditional and modern that incorporates color and pattern, texture, and pulls from the past and present. Whether it is ground-up construction, a remodel or decorating, I love creating beautiful spaces that reflect the best version of the client and how they live.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
A smooth road would be boring and when most of your clients are in LA with money it’s bound to be a bumpy road!! In our work, you have to always be ready for the unexpected request or for things to go wrong. Like many industries, the impacts from covid have also made it challenging from supply chain delays, production on custom items slowing as we deal with labor shortages, skyrocketing construction costs, and cost of goods…the list goes on, so my number one issue is managing client expectations. Clients watch shows on TV or see beautiful images on social media and glossy mags and want it right away. Often clients have been waiting and sitting on decorating a space for a while so by the time they actually call you, they are beyond ready to go and want it to happen in an instant. We call it Amazon Prime culture, so really it’s about educating the client on the process, the cost (design is not cheap), and the beauty in being patient and waiting for beautiful things that will last a lifetime. Homes and the interiors evolve and allowing that process to unfold usually yields the best results.

As you know, we’re big fans of Denham Interior Design. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
I founded Denham Interior Design 10 years ago with the vision of creating beautiful spaces and helping shape the way people live and use space. I am passionate about color, pattern, craftsmanship, and the functionality of space and am known for always bringing in texture and warmth. I really spend a lot of time getting to know my clients and ask lots of questions like how they see themselves using a space, how they actually use a space, their dreams for their space; all of this data that hopefully I can bring together with my own point of view and create a beautiful space that tells a story about the client.

Design and hiring a designer can be very intimidating and I think what sets me apart from many is that I am very approachable. I have a small firm that allows me to have creative control and I can work closely with clients to help bring their visions to fruition. I also think it’s important to note that I enjoy working on projects of all types from ground-up construction, to remodel work, to decorating, or giving rooms a minor facelift. Often people are intimidated about their budget but many times I have taken on projects with small budgets and we either do spaces in phases or I take it on because something about the project is exciting; like the location or the client’s aesthetic, etc.

We all have a different way of looking at and defining success. How do you define success?
Success for me is being able to continually work in this field and to be able to continue my creative journey. Running my own firm and being able to have the flexibility that comes with it has also been a dream come true. As a single mother raising two kids the fact that I can to an extent create my own hours and tailor my work schedule around my family life has been amazing and I would consider that single luxury a success.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.denhamid.com
  • Instagram: @ldenhamid
  • Facebook: Denham Interior Design
  • Twitter: @ldenhamid
  • Other: @mamoucheamerde tiktok

Image Credits
Amy Bartlam @amybartlam Sam Frost @samfroststudio Martin Salgo @mrdn

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