Interview with Jamie Bush : design elements


Interview with Jamie Bush

categories Designer, Interviews    

LA-based designer Jamie Bush “is recognized for his ability to mix period and contemporary furnishings with a fresh and discerning eye. Layering rich colors and textures with exotic and organic elements transforms each of his spaces into an inviting, modern, and unexpected environment.” I’m impressed by Jamie’s portfolio especially by his midcentury designs and warm minimalist interiors. Reason enough to ask him some questions… Enjoy the conversation. I sure did!

How would you describe your own style?

I think you could call it ‘Organic Modernism’. Organic in that I am mostly inspired by nature and its infinite variations of color, texture and pattern and try to incorporate elements in my design that reflect that perfect imperfection. Modernism, not in the movement but in the way of looking at things in which pertain to today. I am always focused on the way in which an object sits in a specific context and in the best of cases helps clarify its setting and define a particular moment in time.

What inspired you to get into design?

My family and their interest in nature. I am lucky enough to have grown up surround by both nature (farms on long island and summers in an under-developed beach community on fire island) and surrounded by artistic family members. On my fathers side there was a small but very concentrated group of creative people living on Long Island and New York – a model, painters, shoe designers, a photographer and an interior designer. And there were crossovers where as some individuals farmed and were artists as well. I was immersed in both in birth.

Looking back at your first project what decorating knowledge do you wish you had back then designing the interiors?

More resources and a better business sense, both of which I’m still working on.

Is there a designer that has influenced you?

Yes many, first off Kelly Wearstler whom I worked for years ago when she was first exploding on the scene. She was fearless, beautiful and super chic and it was exciting to be around her at that time. Right now I’m always looking at the work of Commune in Los Angeles and Alex Vervoordt in Belgium.

Some designers believe that the first piece for any room is the rug or a painting that sets up the colors palette. What is your first source of inspiration?

The architecture. I am trained as an architect and do a lot of remodeling in my practice. I am firmly rooted in the idea that in order to get the interiors spot-on you have to start with the architecture. It should influence everything even if you are contradicting it you are still doing it consciously. In almost every job we have done over the past 10 years we do some type of remodeling and architectural work (at least 1/2 of our practice) while simultaneously designing the interiors to achieve a seamless over design.

Your spaces attract me with their unexpected mix and comfortable and lived-in feel. How do you do all this?

For me it’s important to use a combination of natural materials with great visual texture and layer that base with a mix of eclectic furnishings and accessories. The mix is successful only when you carry though a color story but when it works it creates a great warmth even in the most austere spaces.

How do you achieve a good scale?  Scale is a really interesting and difficult topic.

Scale is key in any good design. You must first understand the architecture and exploit it’s good points and compensate for its shortcomings. The biggest mistake people make it to be timid in a small space. You must do the opposite and create large gestures in small spaces. Most times doing a few large moves in a small space will make the space feel larger, cleaner and have more design impact.

What is the biggest mistake people make when they decide to decorate their own homes without the guidance of a designer?

Several things. Most people think too small rather then focusing on the big picture of the project. For example they are figuring out where the sofa goes rather than what they want the space to feel like. Sometimes clients concentrate too much on individual pricing rather then an overall budget and also feel required to use everything and anything that they already have even if it hurts the overall design intention. My job is to look at a project objectively and come up with a design that marries the clients aspirations and one that is appropriate to the architecture.

What do you love to do when you are not designing?

I love to be in nature devoid of anything man made.

What are your favorite books?

Ones that inspire me to create more. I love historical architecture books from Asia and the Middle East, books on fine Jewelry, animal photography, bugs and beetles, travel and ancient cultures. I will one day be living on the park bench because all our money goes toward beautiful books!!!

What does success mean to you?

At this point in my life and my career, success is having the ability to take on the projects that I choose.

My signature Design Elements question – what are the most important design elements?

Space, time and quality.

photos: Jamie Bush & Co


31 Kommentare zu “Interview with Jamie Bush”

  1. classiq am 05.07.2011 um 09:20 Uhr 

    Great interview, Maria! I love his take on designing small spaces: create large gestures. :)

  2. MidCenturyHome am 05.07.2011 um 09:28 Uhr 

    I so agree with him when he explains the importance of the architecture for a room’s decoration!
    Sometimes I see ‘blind interior designs’ like they did not consider at all the space at all!

    Amazing interiors, thanks for sharing the interview :)


  3. meenal@maison marigold am 05.07.2011 um 12:49 Uhr 

    A very interesting read!! Love the images you have featured with the interview.. Hope you are enjoying the day with you children! Warm hugs..xx meenal

  4. hila am 05.07.2011 um 13:08 Uhr 

    I would have to thoroughly agree with his list of most important design elements. Great interview!

  5. Michele at am 05.07.2011 um 15:02 Uhr 

    I have fallen in love with Jamie’s designs. Beautiful. I love his clean, contemporary style.

  6. Rowaida Flayhan am 05.07.2011 um 15:07 Uhr 

    Great interview love his design.

  7. Rowaida Flayhan am 05.07.2011 um 15:12 Uhr 

    Great interview Love his design. Trying to catch up with your amazing blog and great post. Hope you are enjoying the summer.

  8. Dave am 05.07.2011 um 15:22 Uhr 

    Wonderful piece Maria! Jamie is one of my favorites these days and I’m so glad to learn more about how he approaches his work.

  9. cabbagerose am 05.07.2011 um 16:02 Uhr 

    i so enjoyed this convo. i like jamie’s use of a color story and texture. his rooms are very inviting. jamie, please come to my home….xx

  10. maureen am 05.07.2011 um 16:49 Uhr 

    cool interview! what did he mean by “time” as an important design element? does he mean the period?

  11. sherry am 05.07.2011 um 17:40 Uhr 

    Thanks for the introduction! He is quite talented and you can see his background in architecture in his work. I love what he had to say about “the big picture”….taking into consideration the space before starting.

  12. Stacey am 05.07.2011 um 17:41 Uhr 

    do you know how much i adore jamie bush? this interview was a great read! xx

  13. mary jo am 05.07.2011 um 18:05 Uhr 

    I really enjoyed this interview Maria, I love that his aesthetic incorporates nature in such a resonate way {being from California, I respond to the colors and big shells} but it is universally modern, not in the cliche sense. Loved it!

    xo Mary Jo

  14. Jimmy The Undercover Designer am 05.07.2011 um 19:34 Uhr 

    Love his style and his mix. The tones are fresh and natural. I loved the photo with the fireplace.

  15. George am 05.07.2011 um 20:31 Uhr 

    The architecture in each of these photos is spot on. All of these rooms look large and very liveable. They are simply beautiful.

  16. Captivated by image am 05.07.2011 um 22:52 Uhr 

    His answers are great to read, it’s so interesting to know these things! He create gorgeous designs.
    Hope you had a wonderful weekend Maria :)

  17. Cez am 05.07.2011 um 23:51 Uhr 

    really great interview!!! love his work!!!! xxx

  18. Marianne am 06.07.2011 um 00:29 Uhr 

    Klasse !!!

  19. Kate @ Travelmoon am 06.07.2011 um 02:21 Uhr 

    I always love your interviews!

  20. SizzleandZoom am 06.07.2011 um 04:17 Uhr 

    He does beautiful work!

  21. Stephie am 06.07.2011 um 13:39 Uhr 

    Lovely images. his work is so fresh and clean. Hugs to you, Stephie x

  22. homestilo am 06.07.2011 um 14:58 Uhr 

    I definitely agree with his idea that you must start with the architecture of a space when designing/decorating it. I can also see he brings in his love of nature with the occasional organic piece/color. Great interview.

  23. Monika am 06.07.2011 um 15:11 Uhr 

    Great interview! I love your blog very much!!! Thank you for your comment at my blog ;) Have a nice and sunny day – Monika

  24. laine sou am 06.07.2011 um 19:48 Uhr 

    oh, wow…what a beautiful blog, i love it! and thanks for stopping by my blog, i’ll be following you now!

  25. Andrea am 06.07.2011 um 21:25 Uhr 

    danke für den kommentar :)

  26. Meta Musings am 07.07.2011 um 01:38 Uhr 

    This is one of my fav interviews! Great job! Very interesting. Thanks for the supportive comment on my latest project photos! xx

  27. Shelly Gregory am 07.07.2011 um 02:44 Uhr 

    His work depicts exactly what he intends…….
    “a mix of eclectic furnishings and accessories…. successful only when you carry though a color story ……. it creates a great warmth even in the most austere spaces.” Love his work!!!

  28. Splendid Willow am 07.07.2011 um 06:32 Uhr 

    Maria with her great interviews! And how interesting is Jamie – a person who both can build and design, who has great style and who also loves books! Is he married? (:

    I loved what he said about creating large gestures in small spaces. Great advice!

    ox, Mon

  29. Named. am 07.07.2011 um 22:55 Uhr 

    very nice pics!

  30. La Boheme am 10.07.2011 um 05:28 Uhr 

    Jamie Bush, seriously Maria? You so rock with your interviews, I can’t have enough of them! Keep it up pleeeeeease! I love Jamie’s “organic modernism”, very cool. Aaah, he is one of my favorites! Thank you for these series, xoxo

  31. Southwest Greens of New York am 04.06.2012 um 20:53 Uhr 

    this is great, thank you so much!

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