ask a designer

Ask an Expert // Kaylee Moehling



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1. Can you tell us about your background and how you got into the design field?

Initially, I got my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from UCSB but around my junior year, I just had this gut feeling that I needed to give interior design a shot. It was never the career I thought of myself having, as I never really thought of myself as the “creative type” growing up. I think when I moved out and got my first place on my own and had the chance to really make it mine, I realized how important it is to be in a space that is designed well and reflects your personality. I loved it. Realizing how important the design of my home was to my well being and happiness really made me want to help other people feel great in their spaces as well.

2. How did you know you wanted to work for Bungalow 56?

I have been a long time admirer of Bungalow 56. I have followed them on social media for the past few years and would look at their projects as a source of inspiration when working on my own projects for school! Aesthetically I just felt like we were on very similar pages. So when I saw there was a position open I knew I had to jump at the opportunity and figure out how to make it work! After meeting with Jessica and Karyn, I could just feel that it would be a great fit.

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3. Any advice for design students out there balancing work, school and life?

Oh boy, a lot. First and foremost, remember this is a temporary stage in life. It can get really overwhelming and frustrating sometimes when you feel like you have little to no time for yourself. At the end of the day though, it’s important to remember that it won’t always be this crazy (hopefully!) and working hard now is just setting you up for a better future! 
I’ve found it’s also incredibly important to build in time for yourself in your schedule (easier said than done!). When figuring out my schedule, I always make sure that I have one day off a week, without school or work, that I can either go do something fun or just get all of my chores done! And I try my best to take one weekend off every month or so where I can get away and recharge the ol’ batteries.

4. What is the best advice you ever received?

As cliche as it might sound, the best advice that I’ve received is to not take life too seriously. Of course, there’s a time and a place but at the end of the day, keeping this advice in mind, I’ve learned that everything works out in the end. Rather than stressing and worrying my life away it is so much easier (and more fulfilling) to laugh at the hardships and just enjoy and be grateful for what I have in front of me!

5. How would you describe your design aesthetic? 

I would characterize my design aesthetic as “California Eclectic” (as Amber of Amber Interiors has so perfectly described it). Clean and simple, layering lots of textures, selecting carefully curated pieces that make the space feel special and unique, using mainly neutral colors with pops of (muted) color here and there. Incorporating greenery into a space is also super important for me, it really makes the space come alive and provides a connection to the outdoors. 

6. What are your 3 favorite products in the Bungalow 56 shop right now?

After doing some exploring, my three favorites right now are:
1. Floretine Footed Flower Pot - I mean it’s just so cute! How can you not love it? It reminds me a lot of some pottery that I found when I was in Copenhagen that I loved. Add a cute little succulent and you’re set.
2. Black Currant Skeem Candle - Smells incredible and love the simplicity of the design.
3. Mohair Wool Throw  - I’m a big fan of movie nights and comfy throws. Not to mention it’s super cute too.

Floretine Footed Flower Pot

Floretine Footed Flower Pot

Black Currant Skeem Candle

Black Currant Skeem Candle

Mohair Throw

Mohair Throw

7. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren't at school, doing projects or working? 

Getting out into nature! Whether that’s going on a long hike or just laying at the beach, stepping back and slowing down a bit puts things into perspective for me and eases the stress a ton! 

Ask an Expert // Jessica Nicolls




1. Can you tell us about your background and how you got into the design field?

I grew up with Architects all around me. Every family vacation had an architectural sightseeing tour, a visit to an antique store or just aimlessly driving around looking at houses. My obsession with space planning and decorating began at a very early age. I was OBSESSED with my doll house and use to steal the discontinued carpet samples from my Stepdad's architecture firm to carpet my doll house's rooms. Out of high school I interned with my Stepdad's firm in their Interior Design department and fell in love with the ins and outs of bringing a design to life. 


2. How did you come to start Bungalow 56?

Karyn and I had been talking about starting our own business since working together in the fashion industry for 5 years. We both ended up in the interior design field and knew that we needed to combine our talents. I came down to San Diego to finish design school and would send her pictures of the beach while she was back in Tahoe shoveling snow in her driveway. Needless to say I won and she finally moved down south and the rest is history. 

3. How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I love layered neutrals with pops of wood tones and vintage pieces. I have a slight obsession with vintage rugs and try to put one in every kitchen and bathroom we design. It is hard to narrow down a specific style because I can envision my perfect Tahoe cabin, my cozy beach cottage, my retro palm springs house and my modern meets Spanish country home. I just need one of each. 

4. What has been the biggest challenge of starting your own business?

I would say the biggest challenge of owning your own business is wearing multiple hats. At the beginning you are the secretary, the accountant, the photographer, the marketing manager, the boss and somewhere in there an interior designer. Once our business started to take off it was so nice to be able to out source some of those jobs. It has been such a wild ride and I wouldn't change a thing. P.S. I would make an awful accountant. 


5. Where do you see yourself and Bungalow 56 in 5 years? 

I am so excited for the future of Bungalow 56! I definitely see us with a larger design studio and an expanded shop with some of our own furniture, textile and pottery designs. 

6. What is your favorite thing to do when you aren't working?

I love spending time with my husband and three children out in the California sunshine. You can also find me obsessively shopping online for vintage rugs or reading. 

7. If you weren't an interior designer what would be your dream job?

I have always had a passion for graphic design but I also think I would have made an amazing paint color namer. 

8. What are your three favorite products in the B56 Shop right now?

I just LOVE our new Coronado bags. They are perfect to take to the beach or the grocery store. My second favorite are the new bath rugs we just got into the shop. The third would be the gorgeous wall basket we just used in our Aruba Bend project