Sittin' Pretty

By Ida Rosenberg / Photography by Paul Body

Styled by Andrea Ross |  Hair by Maegan Cooper for A Robert Cromeans Salon | Makeup by Lisa G. Artistry, lisagartistry.com | Shot on location at Hold It Contemporary Home, Mission Valley, holdithome.com

It's been a great year so far for ballet instructor and San Diego State University student Cassandra Kunze.

At the January 4 state finals of Donald Trump's Miss USA pageant , the Grossmont High School Graduate and current double-majoring undergrad (Television, Film and New Media; and International Security and Conflict Resolution) was crowned Miss California USA 2014.

"It has been a dream come true," says Kunze (she goes by "Cassie"). "Now, I'm aspiring for Miss USA, which seems fantastically out of reach... which is all the more reason to go for it."

A rising star with stars in her eyes, Kunze says she plans to move to New York City to attend the New York Film Academy if she wins. Her inspiration - Lucille Ball.

"She worked hard her entire life, following her dreams, and became not only one of the first successful comedic actresses, but also the first woman to own a production company," Kunze says. "It would have been an honor to exchange a few words with her."

As for what she'd say to Trump if she met him in person?

"Pick me!" she says.

Inside Man

(interior design commentary by Hold It Contemporary Home lead designer Dwayne Lutringer): By adding pops of color - like artwork on your walls or pillows on your sofas in the photo above - you can brighten up a sectional, a bed or an entire room, quickly, easily and affordably.

Inside Man 

(on above left photo): Shag rugs are excellent for helping to create an inviting and stylish room. They also give a room richer texture, not to mention a soft place to take a nap; (on right): Mirrors serve several purposes. They add depth to walls and provide great reflective energy to a home by spreading light and enhancing the visual dynamics of a space, especially when placed perpendicular to a window wall.

Inside Man

(above): Raw textures and materials are invigorating. Adding warm woods, oxidized metals, soft and fuzzy faux furs and organic wood sculptures to a room helps to create a cozy and relaxing environment.

Inside Man

 (on above left photo): With the right texture, color and spice, one throw pillow can give a dull room zing. Plus, we're talking design on a dime, so there's no risk of guilt... just of over- cluttering. WARNING: collecting pillows is easier than parting ways with ones you fell in love with way back, even when it's their time to go; (on right): With thousands of chair options out there, trying to select the exact right one can be overwhelming. But it can also be a blast figuring out your own personal style. Fun geometric shapes and brightly colored fabrics get noticed, but there's nothing wrong with classic black.

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Film's Cool

Working in conjunction with Quartararo & Associates, Hold It Contemporary Home presents the San Diego Design Film Series, showcasing films - mostly documentaries - about architecture, interiors, art, fashion, urban planning and the like.

Upcoming documentaries (tickets are $15) include:

In No Great Hurry
March 11 at Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park
Having risen to fame in his 80s, color photography pioneer Saul Leiter sorts through decades of archives piled high in his overflowing New York apartment.

Human Scale
April 8 at Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Downtown
Danish architect and professor Jan Gehl shows how modern cities repel human interaction and argues that
future metropolitan development can take the human need for inclusion and intimacy into account.

The success of the series and its sold-out events thus far prompted organizer Todd Quartararo to create this fall's upcoming San Diego Design Film Festival. Certain parts of San Diego "have really developed into a hotbed for creatives and designers," says Quartararo, who will serve as the October festival's executive director and also produces the Newport Beach Film Festival. sddesignff.com

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