Saturday, May 30, 2015

Chatting with Ashlina Kaposta of The Decorista

I have been a longtime fan of interior designer Ashlina Kaposta, not least because we share a profound love for black... but I fell further head over heels for her after getting to know her warm and humble personality.  Interior design is a saturated and competitive market, but Ashlina -- the author of the captivating blog The Decorista -- has no problem standing out of the pack not only for her ability to turn a space into pure fabulousness, but because she has dedicated a large part of her career helping people chase their dreams and find their inner  "ista." In fact, she has a number of helpful resources for budding designers or entrepreneurs in other fields.   If you need help unleashing your ista, Ashlina is your girl.  And, if you haven't already, check out her website... run, don't walk. 

It gets better, she has a sale on Joss & Main right now! If you love her style, you will definitely make some purchases from this sale. I already made a couple, but I had to slow my roll before things got ugly in the bank account.  

It gets even better better. I had a little chat with Ashlina on here, blog.  Eeeek! So, if you are a burgeoning designer and looking for some tips, or you simply want to learn more about the design genius that comes in the form of Ashlina, keep on reading (and ogling at these snaps of her work).  

YK: Can you describe your typical workday?

AK: My morning starts out at 6:45am, with a large cup of coffee of course. I spend about 15-20 min meditating and praying and clearing my thoughts in my journal. Then I go to work. I spend the first half of my workday on the computer, and the second half out in the field. Whether that be checking out the latest design shops, networking, taking a seminar or writing. 

YK: What is your current paint color obsession?

AK: Well finding the perfect shade of black for every room is something I am working on right now. I also love to play with gold on the walls. 

YK: What are your sources of inspiration?

AK: Thank goodness for Pinterest and Instagram, but my most favorite is traveling. I love to get inspired by everyday beauty in different cultures. 

YK: What are your top 3 favorite home décor shopping stores/websites?

AK: I love Joss & Main, One Kings Lane, you can find fabulous things at great bargains. I also love Horchow

YK: How did you start your career in interior design? What advice would you give to entry‐level interior designers and decorators? What do you wish you knew?

AK: Recognize early your passion and don't fight it. I remember decorating my sorority house for almost every event in college. I knew then that this was something I had to pursue. But at the time, I didn't think it was a legitimate career and I doubted my talents but after persuading conversations with friends,  I went to design school. 

Don't discount any jobs. After graduation I moved to L.A. and after failed attempts at getting a job at a design firm, I took a job at an antique house, JF Chen. At the time I thought I was taking a job just to pay the bills but I got to work with the most famous designers all over the world and assist them in shopping for items. I learned so much about the history of furniture and design. I learned how to cultivate an eye and an aesthetic working there. It was WAY better than getting coffee as an intern at a design firm. I was so thankful I took that retail job and still to this day it was one of my absolute favorites. 

Stay focused and don't stop. I knew that retail wasn't my thing, I wanted to be an actual designer. So, I kept at it and kept at it and kept at it. I would create business cards that offered design services for anyone and everyone I knew, I was always decorating places even if for free. I would frequent local design stores and attend as many design events as I could. Eventually, one day at a design event, I got to meet my dream interior designers and a week later was working in their firm. I know so many people who would have given up in the process. This goes for more than just interior design, in any job and with any goal or dream. . . giving up should not be an option. If it isn't working try a different way, take another job in the meantime but still pursue your goal. It will happen when its meant to. 

YK: What factors are key to building and running a successful interior design business?

AK: There are probably too many to discuss here (I talk about this in my blog and my newsletter "the paid decorator"). One key thing is to constantly be evolving. A lot of my coaching clients refuse at first, to things like internet marketing, social media, personal branding, etc. This is the direction of business today and it's important to constantly evolve and keep up with the times. 

YK: What is your favorite space that you have designed?

AK: My very first project in Manhattan. It was a dreamy high rise apartment for a young successful couple. They let me do what I want. Dark walls, a gold ceiling, everything over the top glamour. To this day I still love that place. 

YK: If you could shadow one designer for a day, who would it be?

AK: I love love love everything John-Louis Deniot does. 

YK: What do you think are the top 3 design faux pas?

AK: I think design is all about your own taste so everything is acceptable. However, I can't stand too many patterns in a room, I think its tacky and like a bad outfit. I also am really over seeing art walls filled with words and quotes, its for some but to me it's not proper design. Oh, and rugs. These days everyone and their mom has the exact same rug, the moroccan & the over dyed. Try something new and make sure its the right size. Don't get a trendy rug because everyone has it, make sure you get the right rug fit for your space. 

YK: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

AK: I'll be doing some real estate flipping and definitely have my studio/boutique open. Fingers crossed! 

All images are from 

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  1. I just love Ashlina's style and the image with the gold ceiling is a favorite!!

    1. You and me both! I agree, so gorgeous. I am also drooling over that black fireplace.

  2. such a great interview! she is one talented gal!

    1. Talented and a sweetheart! Thans for stopping by and commenting. Xo, Yelda

  3. Love her glam style! Wonderful interview! xx

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Xo. Yelda