As a Laguna Beach-based designer, Ohara Davies-Gaetano’s projects cater to their idyllic surroundings, with seamless indoor-outdoor living spaces, ocean vistas at every turn, and window-side soaking tubs. But her designs demand attention in their own right. Ethereal palettes, whitewashed woods, French-influenced furnishings, and thoughtful architectural details make for interiors that are grand yet intimate, and feel soulful and timeworn.
What inspired this career path for you?
I grew up in NYC; my mom was a textile designer and my father an artist. Although I did not set out to be an interior designer, designing was just part of my DNA. Throughout my formative years, I was very fortunate to travel and volunteer abroad regularly. I spent a year and a half in Central America, summers volunteering in Italy doing stone masonry work on a medieval fortress, and I lived in London for a year while in college. During these journeys, I fell in love with architecture, color, and the texture of timeworn spaces.
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
Traveling is a huge source of inspiration for me. The destination can be near or far, it does not matter. For me, the ability to be in an environment that is new, that breaks the mind-set from the everyday, always proves inspiring. Aside from traveling, I have a huge library of books and I subscribe to almost every design magazine from around the world.
Tell us about your creative process.
I really spend time understanding my clients and the way in which they will live within their home. Once I have captured a glimpse of their personas, I start going through inspiration imagery from either my own internal database or through my library. I print and tag anything that I feel could be relevant and then I lay it all out—all over my office, walls, floors, and boards. I then study the inspiration and start editing to a more direct perspective. From this point I start adding in texture and color—I love amazing floor and ceiling details, so I see how I can weave in beautiful interior architectural detailing that will really make the design unique and authentic to the project and the client.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
Curated, beautiful, comfortable, authentic, timeless, approachable
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
Not sure you mean “tool kit” in a literal since or not. If you mean literally, then the best tool is a pair of scissors—when doing an install, there are always tags to be cut, flowers to be cut, etc. If you do not mean tools in the literal sense, then… white linen. You can always update any space with white linen.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
Darryl Carter, Stephen Sills, Axel Vervoordt, Steven Volpe
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I would love to work on the restoration of an old estate along the Côte d’Azur or on Lake Como, and my ideal client for this would be someone who has an incredible collection of modern art.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
Buy the best and you only cry once.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
Pinterest—makes researching so easy.
Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet, e.g., do any have unique back stories, in what kind of space do you hope they end up, etc.?
I have helped clients consign items to Viyet. Currently I have a client who has some really wonderful antiques and new lighting that was custom-made, but was not right for her home. The hope is that the “finds” always become the perfect piece, the perfect treasure that will complete a room.
What do you love about Viyet?
I love how Viyet has made it possible to have access to so many fabulous vintage, antique, one-of-a-kind, and consigned pieces. Time is our biggest resource, and I just do not have time to shop brick-and-mortar stores like I used to. Viyet allows me to source great options for my clients with ease.
laguna beach, ca