DMTV Milkshake: Noz Nozawa on Creating a Home You Love

This week’s DMTV Milkshake guest is interior designer Noz Nozawa, founder of San Francisco’s Noz Design. Noz shares her design fundamentals – and how she’s learned to trust her instincts while creating her signature dramatic, personal spaces. “I always say, if you love something, that’s the end of the road for me,” she says from her home in San Francisco’s Hayes Valley neighborhood. “I believe that your home should be filled with things that you love, even if they don’t make sense to somebody else – or even if they’re things that might not go with everything else you’re putting together. If you love it, that’s important.”’

That perspective plays into the pandemic-era home trend she hopes is here to stay: While the tricked-out home office, she thinks, might end up no more than a temporary necessity, she hopes a renewed sense of personal investment in our homes will linger. “I think being home as much as we’ve had to be during the winter has really awakened – or reawakened – our love of and appreciation for our surroundings, these shelters that keep us safe,” she says. “That could mean that if you have $50 to spend, it might be silly, but you’re going to pick that mug that you super love, or you’re going to buy a plant that’s just for you, and you’re going to be home enough to take care of it.” On a larger scale, she says, that perspective could apply to renovations intended to increase the owner’s enjoyment of the space, rather than the house’s resale value. “It’s a lot less about making choices that restrict your joy and your full happiness, just in order to think about resell,” she says. “That’s what I really hope is going to stick around.”

Also in this Milkshake, Noz shares the most valuable lessons from her art history degree, her favorite color combinations, and why she loves to work dark shades into a room – a perspective in practice in her own living room, seen here.

“I think weird things go well together,” she says. “I love combining warm tones with cool tones, and then making sure that you have a black point in your design. In photography, ‘black point’ means the darkest thing in your picture. In the context of interiors, I really think that it’s really important for a room to be grounded with something in the space that is quite dark – something that allows your eye to relax and understand, ‘Well, if this is dark, then everything else colorwise in the space relates to this form of darkness.’” Tune in to get a look.

Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, The Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.

Milkshake, DMTV (Design Milk TV)’s first regular series, shakes up the traditional interview format by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to select interview questions at random from their favorite bowl or vessel. During their candid discussions, you’ll not only gain a peek into their personal homeware collections, but also valuable insights into their work, life and passions.