Design life like Nicole Sassaman (and wear a Gucci tool belt while you are at it)
When you walk into a crazy, beautiful penthouse in downtown LA, the last thing you expect to see is a life-sized Barbie. Yet somehow it makes sense in the home (showpiece) of celebrity designer Nicole Sassaman.
Nicole is a leading tastemaker in Los Angeles, having designed and sold more than 100 insane residences throughout SoCal. Don’t worry, you won’t find Barbie in these other redesigned spaces.
We dig her designs so much. She is a VintageView’s showcase partner, meaning you can trust her acumen — and brand — more than most. Maybe that’s because she arrives to job sites in style, fully-equipped with a Gucci tool belt. Who else does that?
The showroom that Nicole runs on Robertson Boulevard in West Hollywood is a mix-ed use place where she can think out designs with clients. It also a serves as retail store, selling niche decor items. This blend of retail and consultation helps her stay on top of both industries.
“Having a retail store allows me to be more creative,” she says. “And to have a space to bring my own clients to so that I actually show them things that we build for them — like the wine cellar — and they can see, touch, and feel it.”
Nicole’s most popular redesign is the aforementioned Barbie Penthouse. This project name comes from the residence’s first owners — the real-life Barbie, Barbara Siegel. When Sassaman bought it and embarked on a design refresh of the space, she wanted to create a contemporary penthouse with the finest materials that paid homage to the Mattel royalty.
She created an open floor plan that is sophisticated and clean with contemporary elements such as lights, a stone lit fireplace, and of course, a wine cellar. Pops of color, texture, and décor makes this house every little girl’s fantasy.
Of course, she put Barbie art up, tastefully, throughout.
In addition to her impressive home and a portfolio of projects spanning both coasts, she’s been a regular on HGTV shows and the Style Network. She has also published three books, Design Life!,Barbie Penthouse, and 100 Sassy Tips. While we love them all, the latter is a go-to resource when we are trying to solve a DIY design problem on our own.
“I am a builder and a designer,” Nicole says of Sassy Tips. “Because I know so much about building it really allows me to make my designs better, and I wanted to share some of my very useful tips with people in an easy way so that they could actually sit down and read it cover to cover in one sitting.”
Of course, we have a one-track mind when it comes to interiors. So in all of her projects, we head right for the wine cellar. The Barbie Penthouse’s glass box is unexpected and greets you at the front door. It is an immediate focal point that welcomes you to the space and leads you into the rest of the home. In 100 Sassy Tips Sassaman shares that she likes to create floor to ceiling cabinets that the bottles can simply rest inside. She features contemporary wine displays in many of her clients’ projects as well.
“The wine walls are a piece of art to me.” Nicole says. “Each one that I have designed is so different and unique to the space. Adding lighting details allows for them to turn into little gem boxes in the evenings that set an entirely different mood in any space.”
Basically, from the wine room to every other inch of a home, she brings unique luxury-forward design (with or without Barbie). Not to name drop, but if Janet Jackson and Madonna trust her (both past clients), you might want to give her a call.
She shows up with a Gucci tool belt, after all. Who better to design a home with a wine cellar.
You can find VintageView at her showroom:
Nicole Sassaman Showroom
116 S. Robertson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90048