The Design Questionnaire with Michelle Ruben

In this edition of Love Happens’ Proust-style Design Questionnaire, join us for a peek inside the creative design mind of Michelle Ruben, founder and principal designer of the eponymous California-based interior design firm. After opening in 2004, Michelle’s firm quickly established itself as a front runner in high-end commercial and residential design in Los Angeles. Today, her mission to enrich people’s daily lives through exceptional design, bespoke details, and artistic solutions is instantly seen in each of her beautiful creations.

Michelle Ruben top interiors designers la

Michelle Ruben

Michelle’s vision is distinguished by a medley of different styles that are invigorated with Mediterranean influences, comfort, and modern refinements. Drawing on inspirations ranging from Horst P. Horst and Avedon photographs to painter Johannes Vermeer, Michelle has designed interiors, exteriors, products, and furniture. Her trademark approach is infused with minimalism, abstract expressionism, and
contemporary luxury.

Michelle Ruben Luxury living room with Fireplace

Michelle’s Home in Venice, CA

Known for her warm outgoing personality and family-like relations with her clients, she approaches work and life with a sense of joy that is infectious!

A Peek Inside the Fabulous and Inspiring Mind of Michelle Ruben with the Lh Design Questionnaire

michelle ruben at her home top interior designers in la

Michelle Ruben at her home. (Photo Courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar)

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

An expansive view, a breeze on the patio, a large table filled with friends—enjoying gentle, intimate moments of dinner conversation with loved ones over a nourishing meal. Being present at this stage in my life, where everything seems to be coming together in an organic way; and able to allow experience and acceptance to pave the way for a sense of satisfaction in life.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Becoming myself and stepping into my power.

What profession does your alter ego have?

Perhaps I’d be a painter with a large, light-filled studio on the coast of Venice—California or Italy. 

The project you will never forget.

I have so many, as I design everything with memorable elements that inspire or move me, but I think it would have to be my home. I was not only picking pieces I loved enough to live with every day, but also learning so much through my own exploratory process. As I assessed the mechanics of living within the space, I asked what’s within my control, how does that impact my daily life, and how can I make an easier, calmer environment? Going through that taught me a lot about myself and gave me a lot of freedom. 

outdoor living fire pit garden room michelle ruben california harper's bazaar

Outdoor living space at Michelle’s home. (Photo Courtesy of Harper’s Bazaar)

Your favorite business tool or resource.

I love my old-fashioned planner. For business, I use my higher-tech calendars, but for my personal life and needs, I keep a handwritten planner. It helps me stay clear-headed, focused, and ensures I stay embodied and centered in my decision-making. If I’m being my most authentic self, then everything runs like clockwork. It’s the little things.

The most timeless design.

Nature in all of its incarnations.

white luxury kitchen design

Interior by Michelle Ruben

The biggest design faux pas.

Overcrowding space—monumentally with too much furniture or minutely through too many accessories. Keeping design clean and clear keeps the mind clean and clear.

white modern living room

Interior by Michelle Ruben

Your design motto.

There’s magic on the other side of fear.

If you were to design a room around one KOKET piece, which would it be, and why?

The Gold Gia Chandelier is the perfect grounding piece for a room. The delicately gestured design of gold bell petal shades in a chaotic yet streamlined bouquet provides a dramatic source of light that is also an eye-catching beacon. Paired with a neutral, earth-tone palette and modern lines, the contrast and balance would command the presence of a room while tying the aesthetic together. 

nature inspired brass chandelier lily flower pendant koket

Love happens when…

You’re open to receive it.

Explore more beautiful work by Michelle Ruben at!

By Anna Beck Bimba


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