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Life & Style

Dawn Haynes: Interior Designer, Stylist
Posted by LaDale Anderson on Aug 17, 2012 - 11:14:11 AM

Casa de la Dona

GLENDALE—At the tender age of 15, Dawn Haynes got the opportunity of a lifetime to travel with R&B legend, Teena Marie, who mentored her as she developed her craft as a designer. The singer had a conversation with Haynes’ mother and the rest was history. She has traveled on tour with Madonna, Prince, Sheila E and alongside Whitney Houston. She has worked with celebrities like Halle Berry, Eddie Murphy, Usher and Ludacris. With more than 30 years of experience in the fashion arena, Dawn is taking her love for clothes and fashion to new heights as an interior designer. Haynes spoke exclusively with Canyon News to discuss her new endeavors.


Q: When did your passion for interior design come into the mix? Or has it always been something you were interested in? 


A: As a designer, whether it be clothing, accessories or homes, there exists a commonality in allowing my creativity and love for materials, whether fine or raw, and my appreciation for symmetry of lines, to bring a vision to reality. I have always been interested in architecture and design. In 2005, I purchased a gorgeous 1929 Spanish Castle. It had a bathroom in the kitchen, the ceilings were low, the closets and rooms were small and it did not have a pool, yet I saw its potential. I hired a demolition crew and began knocking down walls and removing the old, bright yellow and turquoise tile and pulling up the old wood floors. I made split gut-driven decisions to remove the dated single pane windows and blow out the horrific white rough stucco. After 3 weeks of completely gutting the house, I got down to its essence. It was gorgeous to see how older homes were built. The wood was truly red and hard, the nails and conduits were made of real metal. However, the down size to older majestic homes is that plumbing, electrical and air conditioning had to be updated - of course, I added in "new" everything. My vision for Casa de la Dona included; a 500 sq. ft. expansion, large in-suite bedrooms, a gourmet kitchen, a salt water pool with water falls and a Jacuzzi - an oasis perfect for entertaining and raising a family. Consequently, that's what I created:



Q: If you were to give advice to anyone looking to design a new home, what would you tell them? 


A: First, begin by looking at home design magazines. Recognize what designs they tend to gravitate towards. Then consult with your designer and share your thoughts and be open to an expert’s suggestions. When I take on renovations, I suggest to my clients that this is a great time to go on a vacation or find a temporary living situation. My clients trust me, in that I know what they want and I have a great crew, my #1 desire is to bring their dreams to fruition.   


Q: When did you know that you wanted to be a wardrobe stylist?


A: Honestly, I never made the decision, it just happened. I was living my life and doing what I loved-shopping and traveling the world. I was surrounded by great people and my phone just kept ringing with A-list clients requesting my services. How do you tell Quincy Jones -- sorry but I am not available”¦ YOU DON'T!!! (Laughing).


Q: Can you tell me the designer that inspired you to want to work as a stylist?  Was it a single designer or multiple designers that influenced you? 


A: My greatest influence in terms of fashion was my Mother. She was a fashionista and owned a boutique in Massachusetts. She traveled everywhere and would bring amazing items back. I would hear the "Ooohs!" and "Ahhs!" from my older sisters and their friends. When we moved to California in the late, 70's Ralph Lauren, Steve McQueen and Chanel captivated me. They sparred no expense to create a look that was bold, clean, classic, consistent and set apart. Now, I am an avid Tom Ford fan.  His courage to step out on his own after creating amazing looks for Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent is empowering. His line is filled with sophisticated, glamorous and timeless looks and his attention to detail is impeccable.  Learning from each of these iconic designers, I was able to create distinguished looks for Jeremy Piven for the Emmy's and the Golden Globes as well as my other executive clientele.


Q: Has there ever been a celebrity you were shocked to hear wanted you to design/style them for an event? 


A: It’s always exciting to hear from a top celebrity that values my expertise. After Halle Berry won the Oscar she was the hottest actor on the planet and I received a call asking me to style her for the worldwide press junket of James Bond, “Die Another Day.” She could have chosen anyone and she chose me. That was awesome. Having worked with Eddie Murphy for many years, it was still extremely rewarding to collaborate with Donatella Versace and design his Navy Blue 2 button tailored tuxedo for the Oscars the year he was nominated for Dream Girls. Even as I say these names, the magnitude of the accomplishments continues to humble me.

Q: What makes your company unique?  


A: We are unique because we listen intently, we create beautifully and we execute proficiently. Most importantly, we are unique because I am hands-on from conception through completion. Often times I'm asked to gut and re-organize a client's wardrobe. My skill sets are utilized throughout my company's varied offerings and services. 


Q: How does it make you feel when a client is happy with their home? 


A: Creating a beautiful home that surpasses my client's expectations is rewarding. All five of my client's senses must be aroused when I complete a project - then I feel amazing!


Q: Do you have any career aspirations you have not yet accomplished? 

Dawn Haynes


A: I am going to design a swanky boutique hotel in the beautiful island of St Martin. As I continue to court investors and share my vision, I become more empowered to create a hotel that's chic, unique and appealing to the millions of visitors that visit St. Martin.  Simultaneously, I will be able to do the things I love, like yachting, golfing and designing. Living my life in a full and authentic way. This is my future and I am so excited.   


Q: If you were not a designer, what might you be doing? 


A: I have always been a designer at my core, whether designing clothes or homes, each step I take is just an evolution of who I am including my plans to design the hotel.  However, my alter ego tells me I would be an iconic, living legend, chart topping, internationally renowned singer. (Laughing).


Dawn told Canyon News the one place she’d love to visit is Bali and have the opportunity to stay in a bamboo hut in the middle of the water. She even shared with Canyon News a little about her experience with iconic singer Whitney Houston stating, “She was a humorous person, a fun spirit, full of life.”  For those interested in Casa de la Dona email or you can call Dawn Haynes at 213-444-3296 to learn more about the property.  You can also check out the Facebook page at:  For more information about her company D2D Designs USA Incorporated call 213-840-3296.


Cliffside Malibu




Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.