Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Mark D. Sikes' Head to Toe Makeover

So if you missed it, last week I did a "Look for Less" on the new living room decor at designer Mark D. Sikes' private home in the Hollywood Hills, which he shares with his partner Michael and their French Bulldog, Lily

My inbox was flooded with messages about the new decor, and more than one request to show a full series of before and afters of the room from the time they moved into the home til now. 

It's not a shock that Sikes has provided a lot of inspiration to those of us interested in interior design, first with his gigantic welcome to the "scene" with the cover spread of his home in House Beautiful, but then his book, featuring two versions of his decor along with various client projects. 

I happen to have my favorite version of his home, and have cataloged a lot of images for inspiration, so this task was relatively easy! So, for those of you who asked, sit back, relax, and enjoy the evolution of a living room - the Mark D. Sikes way.   

I think any good before and after post has to start with the REAL before, don't you? When Mark and Michael bought the house in 2010, it had been decorated by the previous owner. It's possible she hired a decorator to do this for her. A young actress, she definitely had an aesthetic that was unique. Black high-gloss paint coated all of the moldings of the windows and doors, and that plaster fireplace surround. The floors were painted, sort of two shades lighter than battleship gray, and the room was wallpapered in a tone on tone damask. She ended up selling the house at a small loss, likely due to the general problems that surfaced after the house had ended up being too much to handle and upkeep fell way behind.

Snatching up the amazing deal,  Mark and Michael got right to work after moving into the house in the summer of 2010. Mark had all the wallpaper removed, the floors sanded down, bleached, and waxed. The moldings were painted white, and that paint that had coated the plaster work on the columns and the fireplace surround carefully peeled back to reveal the detail beneath. 

After the interior of the home was finished, the couple began work creating the terraced back yard and brick courtyard we've all come to covet. With some landscaping questions looming, Mark asked a neighbor (who just so happened to be a scout and editor of House Beautiful) over for some advice on the garden. That, my friends, is how it all started. 

Test shots of the entire house were taken to send to the editors of House Beautiful in 2011. And if you've ever been asked to send scout shots to a magazine, you  know they want all the lights on, and full room shots. House Beautiful was clearly impressed, and in short order Mark's house was soon the subject of every internet blog, including this one. 

Now that you've got the beginning all burned into your brain ... let's get started with three versions of this room, photo by photo - frame by frame.





The changes in version three began in the Spring of 2018, and by July of 2018, this room was fully decorated with just snips released on his instagram, until AD published a few photos this summer.


Version I: 2012

Version II: 2014

Version III: 2018


Version I : 2012

Version II: 2014

Version III: 


Version I: 2012

Version II: 2014

Version III: 2018


Version I: 2012

Version II: 2014

Version III: 2018


Version I: 2012

Version II: 2014

Version III: 2018


Version I: 2012

Version II: 2014

Version III: 2018

So there you have it, all four corners of the room - scene by scene. I wonder which is your favorite, and if you'll be able to guess mine? If you'd like to take a closer look at his decor, you can always check out his website here, his instagram account here, the Mark D. Sikes Interiors instagram here, or you can purchase his book:

One thing is for sure, there are some consistencies throughout all three versions of this room: 


There are pieces that are repeated in all versions, but most notably are the jardineres that Mark's ficus are planted in. 

One photo shows the interior of the jardinere, with beautiful green moss covering the root ball of the tree. 

This has long been regarded as my favorite way to treat the visible layer of dirt in any pot, something I happened to pick up from Joan of fortheloveofahouse who uses both fresh moss she picks up in her forest walks with her husband and four beautiful puppies, but also spanish moss. 

I say mix and match! Some pots with Spanish moss, some with green preserved or even live if you can find it! 

You can find great prices on blue and white porcelain accessories throughout Amazon, but here are a few of my favorites: 


The gorgeous lamps that Mark has in his living room are trade only and expensive. Known as the grasshopper floor lamp from Galeries de Lampes, the lamps are a huge splurge - if you have the patience to wait for one. But there are other options: 


Decorative boxes dot nearly every surface in the room, from the coffee table in version one, to the octagonal skirted table in version two, to the fireplace in version three. Here are some of my favorites: 


Without a doubt, one thing that never changes in any room of Mark's house are the copious volumes of coffee table and design books. Whether stacked next to a chair to create drink table, piled artfully under benches or tables, or neatly shelved in a bookcase - they're on display ... and many are quite expensive. There are a few coffee table books that seem to be on at least one surface in EVERY designer's home, and high-end magazine features across the board: 

But there are some that I think are both wholly inspiring AND beautiful to look at that aren't going to cost you hundreds of dollars each: 

Hope you enjoyed a look into the corners of the room in all three versions of the decor. It seems from all my research that every 4-years there's been a substantial change, so if you're not a fan of the decor this time around, 2022 may have your name on it! 


  1. Am I the only person in the world who doesn't care much for Mark D. Sikes ?
    It looks somehow contrived to me , I cannot pinpoint exactly why .
    All contemporary interior designers stand on very big shoulders .
    If I had to choose it would be version II , more fresh and neutral .

    1. Oh no, you're not the only person. Promise! I don't get a lot of blog comments but I get plenty of emails and there are others who share your thoughts. Ver II is my favorite, too!

  2. His house, no matter which version, is just gorgeous to me. Give me any version. I wouldn't complain. Looking at the first picture, I can't even imagine what she was thinking of!