Design Without Borders

by By Andrew Myers | magazine | April 7, 2011

Raised in San Miguel de Allende by parents she describes as “expat artist hippies,” Rachel Horn did her best to rebel. But nature seems to have won out: After completing an undergrad thesis at Scripps College on Spanish colonial architecture and design, Horn took an “interim” job as a designer’s assistant (“Basically,” she says, “I started as a translator to all the Spanish-speaking crafts people”), which led to the realization that “decorator” did not necessarily mean bored bourgeois mother. So after working in the L.A. design trenches for six years, Horn took a short vacay back to San Miguel de Allende. The sojourn lasted 10 years (and counting), during which time she started her own design firm, opened a shop in the Mexican city specializing in handmade local furniture and accessories, refined a personal style that might be described as restrained baroque (sinuous, even intricate shapes pulled back with a modern perspective), and landed clients such as Yahoo Vice Chairman Tim Koogle and MTV founder Robert Pittman. 

            Now she and her business partner/husband Justin Kreizel are back, at least part of the year. They’ve just opened a 1,100-square-foot showroom-shop-design studio in a 1920s bungalow in Hollywood. As with the shop in Mexico, everything from credenzas to candle sticks is handcrafted using traditional materials and techniques—albeit with the occasional contemporary treatment or finish in le style Horn. “I love to mirror anything,” she says. 1450 N. Spaulding Ave., L.A., 310.295.0100,