CAPID Designers Interview: Monica Nordquist

CAPID designers welcome Monica Nordquist, ASID, CID, NCIDQ,  of Monica Nordquist Design to our conversation.


Monica NordquistCall her@  805.499.9685

Email her@

Visit her @





Hello Monica,

Did you always want to be an Interior Designer? 

I have always wanted to be an interior designer, even though I didn’t always know what one was. As a girl, I would imagine friends’ homes and how I would move walls or change things. As an adult at my grandmother’s funeral, I was talking with old family friends and I blurted out in the middle of a serious conversation, “YOU live in an Eichler home, don’t you?!” My adult designer mind was connecting with my childhood memories! I was made to design.

What is your specialty or niche market?

I specialize in custom whole home builds, renovations and remodels as well as kitchen and bath remodels.

How long have you been in the design industry?

I have been officially designing for 12 years.

Let’s get real…what is your home’s secret shame?

My home’s secret shame is my master bath sink area. I insisted on designing it when I had only been in design school for a few months, much against my teachers’ advice, and now I am stuck with two pedestal sinks, that I longed for, and a cheap cabinet in between them. This leaves me with a poorly designed space that irritates me every day AND no counter space.

Whose home would you give up a year’s worth of mani-pedi’s to decorate?

A year without mani-pedi’s? Well, I’d have to say Jimmy Fallon. I seriously was just thinking yesterday that I’d love to do work for him; I have no idea why I thought this either. Maybe because lately I have been watching some of his numbers and interviews and am finding him quite talented and hysterical. And, I like his look with the clean lined suits. I could SO create a space that reflects him.

What is your favorite design job ever and why?

For two years in a row, I was selected to design for the Beverly Hills Greystone Mansion Showcase House. My rooms were a guest bedroom/bathroom and a boys’ room. The mansion was built in 1929 and is 45,000 square feet of real charm and character. That is hard to come by in So Cal. I was in absolute heaven!

Boys' pirate bedroom Beverly Hills, Greystone Mansion

Boys’ pirate bedroom Beverly Hills, Greystone Mansion


Guest Bedroom, Beverly Hills, Greystone Mansion

Guest Bedroom, Beverly Hills, Greystone Mansion


Guest Bathroom, with crazy existing tile, which was not to be touched, Beverly Hills, Greystone Mansion

Guest Bathroom, with crazy existing tile, which was not to be touched, Beverly Hills, Greystone Mansion

Most over-used design term?

That’s just gonna make it “POP”! I can’t stand it when I hear myself say that.


What is the most unique project you’ve ever done?

A Tiny House! Believe it or not, it is 7’x19′!!


What is your favorite kitchen gadget?

I adore my Cuisinart immersion blender these days.


What’s the one item or feature that every room must have?

A little bit of red somewhere.

A bit of red in every room from the blog "The Inspired Room"

A bit of red in every room from the blog “The Inspired Room”

What is your design philosophy?

My company, Monica Nordquist Design, leaves clients with a refined, sophisticated space that uniquely reflects them. I have an exquisite eye for color, materials and details and this skill works wonders in remodels, renovations and whole home builds. I will collaborate to achieve a creative environment that solves your space problems and leaves you with a 3D interpretation of your persona. Your soul is waiting to be satisfied, depend on me to help accomplish that.


What other ways can we connect with you?










How To Make Sure Your Color Choice is Right

Color Choice Friendly Advice

One of my clients actually had a room painted three times just because they didn’t follow this advice!


Save yourself the expense and follow these simple steps. When you have narrowed down your color selections, ask your designer for 8”x 1 2” color samples or buy small sample bottles of each color. If you have the paper samples, tape them together to form a large square , then tape them to the wall. You’ll be moving these samples to all of the walls in the room. If you have the actual paint, put a 4’ x 4’ square on the wall, or several 1’ x 1’ squares on four of the walls.

chipped fabric

View the swatches during the day and night. The amount of sunlight and artificial light that shines on the surface will change. Please also look at colors as they will be seen. Don’t put the samples on a table or horizontally, since they will be seen vertically on a wall. Watch the colors for several days. You should be able to eliminate the colors down to one favorite.

In my early 20’s, I did not use this method, much to my dismay. I chose a background color for all of our pepto pink downstairs walls and up to the vaulted ceilings based on a background color I had in a mauvey striped wallpaper. After choosing from a 1” x 2”square, my entire downstairs plus all the way up to the second story turned Pepto Bismol pink at 4 o’clock every afternoon. It was a lovely color at other times, but if I had lightened it, the stark shiny pink part wouldn’t have been so visually offensive.

Use the samples to your advantage and save yourself heartache. You will love your room for as long as you live there!

To help you out, Sherwin Williams has some fun tools online to get you motivated:



Written by Monica Nordquist, Nordquist Design