Interview : design elements

25
Mrz

Interview with Jonathan Segal

categories Architecture, Interviews    

I can barely contain my enthusiasm for the work of Jonathan Segal. The San Diego based architect has been responsible for the design and development of over 300 medium to high-density urban residential, mixed use, and live/work units totaling over 300,000 square feet of construction. His strong urban designs have been awarded six AIA Honor Awards. “Jonathan Segal has been a champion of an alternate practice paradigm for architects: he develops, designs, and builds his own projects.” He eliminated the client from the traditional formula. His online seminar for aspiring architects / developers is named “Architect as Developer”. It’s about how to develop your own projects and take the first steps to design and financial freedom. Jonathan Segal believes that the most important design elements are proportion, harmony, rhythm, beauty and purity. He loves to collect and restore cars.

the union, photo: paul body

When did you first realize that you wanted to be an architect?

After I failed my chemistry per exam to get into class in college….no medical school for me.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

Urban design and strong individual planning notions and ideas for each project.

the charmer, photos: matthew segal and jeffrey durkin

Looking back at your first project what design knowledge do you wish you had back then?

Nothing…ignorance has always paid off.


You have designed incredible places. If you had no limits, what would be your dream project?

Thank you. I would have loved to see my q building built in the meat packing district in New York. So I guess a small project in NYC or Brookland.

the lemperle residence

How does your home look like?

We currently have a place in downtown San Diego, la jolla and McCall Idaho. Each is different. In their planning layout and relationship to their environment. The la jolla home is almost complete. It’s all cast in place concrete as is our Downtown penthouse in the Q.


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

Collect and restore cars and be with my wife and dogs. I’m trying to learn to relax, it’s not going well.

hsieh residence

Your favorite books?

Anything that deals with entrepreneurs and works by Clive Clussler. I have a hard time finishing a book.


You have been awarded 6 AIA Awards. What does success mean to you?

The National Aia awards are an honor but respect from your peers is all that one hopes for. Fortunately this success has enabled me to meet many great friends and more importantly speak in many cities and spread the word of architect doing their own development. Financial success has helped me not need any investors since 1998.

k lofts, photo: paul body

What’s your advice to the architecture students?

Don’t grow up to be poor architects. Work for a few years and learn the business of putting a good set of drawings together and then do your own work for yourself, NO CLIENTS.


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

Proportion, harmony, rhythm, beauty and purity.

18
Feb

Interview with Borislav Ignatov

categories Architecture, Designer, Interviews    

I think that creative people have to do what they believe in, not what is expected from them.

Borislav Ignatov

Equinox Passive House

I can barely contain my enthusiasm for the work of the Bulgarian architect Borislav Ignatov. Licensed architect in New York and Bulgaria, principal at Ignatov Architects, graduate of Columbia University and University of Architecture in Sofia, Architect of the year 2010 (Stroitelstvo Imoti Magazine), Grand Prize winner of the Biannale of the Union of Bulgarian Architects 2012… I love the Equinox House designed by him. Great architectural design in relationships with landscape, light, human and environmental, deeply integrated with its site. Borislav Ignatov loves traveling, the Northern Black Sea coast and the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Universe. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

Conservatory House

What was the moment when you knew you will be an architect?

This moment is still to come, hopefully. I am working hard on it and I keep my fingers crossed. :-)


Is there something that connects all your projects?

I try to approach every new task open-mindedly without any preset solution or ready answer. This gives me the chance to listen to site and program and analyze what they need and allow. I believe this is the way to make purposeful and lasting architecture. Understanding the site and program always pays back because it results in specific and unique architectural object.


Your last project – The Equinox House near the Thracian Cliffs – looks like a part of the landscape. How do you achieve this?

The prevailing harsh northern winds almost blew us to the sea on our first site visit last winter. This made me think of seeking shelter in the slope by embedding the future house there. Naturally the green roof provided for 100% site recovery and things fell in place.


How do you think the role of the architect will change over the next years?

The architect’s role has always been to analyze the conditions and lead the design process by providing a holistic harmonizing approach to all building aspects. I don’t think this will change; we just need to do it better and faster each time which is very demanding and sometimes exhausting.


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

I love traveling and practicing sports. Visiting new places makes me happy and gives me a lot of inspiration.

Taiwan Tower Competition Entry

Your favorite books?

The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Universe, and many others…


Your favorite places in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria is an incredible country with great nature and it is really hard to narrow my favorites down. First things that come to mind are the Northern Black Sea coast and Melnik.


You live and work between the Black Sea and New York. You have received the highest award for Bulgarian architecture. What does success mean to you?

The award means to me professional recognition and support for my efforts. This is very motivating for me and I am really grateful for it. I don’t qualify it as a ‘success’.


Spirit of the site, simplicity, sustainable design, green architecture, sea, light, authenticity. It was a delight to watch your interview on the Bulgarian TV SAT. What’s your advice for architecture students?

I think that creative people have to do what they believe in, not what is expected from them.

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

Design is the art of purpose. So, art and purpose are the most important design elements to me.

photos: Ignatov Architects

11
Feb

Interview with Egue y Seta

categories Designer, Interviews    

“We’ve got sick of minimalism, since it wasn´t “minimal” budgetwise and didn´t cover our minimum expressive needs… Nor could we cope with the later maximalism because we are much less complex.”

Daniel Pérez & Felipe Araujo

It is my pleasure to welcome Egue y Seta – one of Barcelona’s leading interior designer duos. I love the Barcelona house they recently renovated  – the restored wooden beams and the tumbling block patterned tile. Egue & Seta’s signature look? Urban, practical elegance with memoir. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

How would you describe your style?

In a sentence: Portable, urban, practical elegance with memoir. We like retro because it reminds us of times gone by and futurism for it excites us. We are proud to be Galician, Spanish and South American because that diversity allows us to provide something that goes beyond local trends … We’ve got sick of minimalism, since it wasn´t “minimal” budgetwise and didn´t cover our minimum expressive needs … Nor could we cope with the later maximalism because we are much less complex. Nevertheless we like many trends that somehow embrace the vernacular … We like fashion but each follows what suits him best, and at the end of the day, all these things we like are bound to inspire us at some point … to say exactly how much, and up to what degree would be lying.


What is your first source of inspiration?

We actually don´t have a single source of inspiration or a mathematical formula. As much as we like the current “anything goes” trend, we like to think this is only true when it subjects itself to a very concrete and specific functional and aesthetic criteria agreed over with the client.

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

Above it all, scale needs to be human. Comfort and practicality are one of our main concerns, though you might be surprised by how frequently current trends contravene the most basic and obvious rules of ergonomics. Bearing that in mind, but putting it aside, scale can be really fun to play with. If you grant them increased length, width and height, a bench may become a table, a table become a rooftop, and so on… We once halved a blown up football and turned into a soccer themed bathtub… Kids has a blast!


What do you enjoy most in your work?

Felipe: To shape up lifestyles and ways of doing. To influence how people use the space… how they feel, behave and interact with one another within those environments.

Daniel: To witness how abstract ideas drawn on paper become alive and real.


If you had no limits, what would be your dream project?

Felipe: Affordable, sutainable, adaptable, portable, durable and customizable interior desing furniture and schemes… Sounds like an awfull lot of work, so it might turn to be more of a nightmare than a dream…

Daniel: Maybe the headquarters of a large multinational in Tokyo, or an nice little exotic hotel on a lost paradise beach .

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

Felipe: Have a good time with friends, family or books.

Daniel: Partying with Gra (my girl) and friends; gather strength in Coruña (my home town) with family… and football wherever you go.


Your favorite books?

Felipe: Laughable Loves by Milán Kundera.

Daniel: Reading… still a pending subject for me…


Your favorite places in Barcelona?

Felipe: St. Felipe Neri Sq. – it’s right in the heart of “el Gótico”, but secluded from the tourist hordes. Gloomy, history filled and always soundtracked by street performers.

Daniel: During the summer, the beach and our office terrace for barbecues … In general at “el Raval” is the neighborhood where I feel most comfortable.

What does success mean to you?

Felipe: Enyoing work!

Daniel: Seeing pride and satisfaction written over the customers face once the project is done.


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

Hierarchy. Too often designs are about too many things. We should learn to choose if the space is going to be all about color, about print, or scale and avoid letting everything speak as loud at the same time. No matter how many great ideas we come up with, we need to get rid of the less convenient, or the most conflicting, stick to a couple of the brightest ones and pull from that thread…

photos: Egue y Seta, Mi Casa

4
Feb

Interview with Angela Lanciano

categories Designer, Interviews    

“Success is starting a new day knowing I’m going to do what makes me most happy.”

Angela Lanciano

Some days ago I had the pleasure of talking with Angela Lanciano. The Tel Aviv based interior designer founded the studio Lanciano Design 24 years ago. Lanciano Design’s work is now showcased in some of Israel’s most extraordinary properties. Angela’s words are still in my mind: „The great thing about design – you can just fly…”

How would you describe your style?

Modern with touches of art objects or unique pieces of furniture with strong impact to warm up the atmosphere and to give character and a personal say.


When did you first realize that you wanted to be an interior designer?

I believe I came to this world with the passion and the desire for architecture and design, beauty grew within me, turning my dreams to reality with a lot of love and ambition.


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

Unlike most young designers, I had the biggest luck. My first project was a huge house of over 1000 sqm. God was with me, that’s how I felt. I was able to translate what I had imagined in my head into reality, I’m lucky to be blessed with a lot of imagination and capable of seeing in colors how the project will look in the end and the end came out beyond my wildest expectations. The success of the project brought appreciation from my clients and their friends and new jobs just started coming in…

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

My ispiration is a big surprise. It can come from so many unexpected directions, dreams, nature, feelings, movies. That’s the great thing about designing – you can just fly.


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

A good designer, one who was born to be a designer, has the scale issue in his blood stream. I can feel the right proportion in the scale, I love clean lines and I try to take advantage of the possibilities in the space, stretching the lines to the direction that makes the space look bigger, taller and more spacious.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

Wow, I love my work so much. We deal with so many different issues on top of being designers. Our work is so intimate, we are learning so much about people, and we try to get into their guts. To translate their thoughts and desires into the project. I love surprising my clients with the results that they did not anticipate to be so beautiful. I love adding art and accessories in to my projects, choosing the colors and materials, mixing and blending materials but first of all I’m excited at the first phase of dividing the space. It is like a magic work.

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

Most people don’t have the ability to combine design elements together and to foresee the results. One should understand that knowing how to choose nice things is not enough. The capability of matching and understanding how to deal with proportion has to be a professional approach. Interior design requires technical skills and knowledge, also there are rules that must be obeyed (less fun), a house should be both functional and beautiful.


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

Travelling and visiting beautiful places. Even when I don’t work I love visiting interesting architectural sites, and always remembering to admire the strength and beauty of nature that inspires us.


What are your favorite artists?

There is a major artist who I find to be a genius that has never been replaced, we have come so far ahead and yet he is still unbelievable in his capability of touching any subject to depths and understanding beyond human mind. I’m talking about the one and only Leonardo da Vinci.

Your favorite books?

Dostoevsky, Ayn Rand.


Your favorite places in Israel?

I find Jerusalem one of the most fascinating cities in the world, a city of contradiction and variety of people and religions. That’s unique. And of course Tel-Aviv that is like the slogan, a city that never stops. Best restaurants, bars and exciting night life.


What does success mean to you?

Wanting to start a new day knowing I’m going to do what makes me most happy.

photos: Lanciano Design

14
Jan

Interview Escala Arquitetura

categories Designer, Interviews    

Recently I had the pleasure to have a cyber sit down with Carolina Escada and Patricia Landau of Rio de Janeiro based design and architecture studio Escala Arquitetura. Carolina and Patricia’s work is the perfect amount of color and modern eclectic. Their favorite book is… the Vitra catalogue. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

How would you describe your style?

We value flexibility and integration of spaces and we end up having a more relaxed feel in our projects. We try not to have a definite style of decoration. The soul of the project comes from each client, but we really like coloring: a wall, a bookcase or cabinet. And we look especially at woodworking, seeking to design interesting details.


When did you first realize that you wanted to be an interior designer?

Both of us always were interested in it since we were teenagers. We were doing our room projects from the age of 15, and the confirmation came when we started the Architecture Course, which is where we started doing projects together.


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?

Due to the fact that we are architects before being interior designers, the inspiration can come from many places. The view is very important for us. We usually design the room’s angle based on that. The client’s references are the most important. We usually start there. We interview our clients. We even ask what their favorite trip was. With all that information, we start with the furniture, and the rest comes later.

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

You have to think about every aspect of the project. Usually it is a matter of proportion. It comes from experience, from our own view of the world. If you have an apartment that has an enormous ceiling height and very tiny furniture, it will never work. Instead, if you use a few and big furniture in a small room you make the space bigger! But you can play with scale, you can do very interesting things if you don´t take it too seriously! If it works for you, then there’s you scale.


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

You have to visualize the room as a whole. Some people usually start buying thing they like without wondering if it will all work together. And in the end it becomes a carnaval. You may like each piece individually but that doesn´t mean they will make a good combination together.


If you had no limits, what would be your dream project?

To design a hotel for a client that would allow us to let our imagination fly.

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

Family time and discovering the art world. Art loving – is that a word?


Your favorite books?

The Vitra catalog, it is definitely good reading. Interior design and architecture books from Brazil and all over the world.


Your favorite places in Brazil?

Rio de Janeiro – our city that we love love love. Angra dos Reis, Buzios, Fernando de Noronha, Jericoacora…. it is a long list…

What is the perfect gift for you?

A book about contemporary art.


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

Color, balance and scale.

photos: MCA Estúdio

30
Okt

Interview with Sarah Lavoine

categories Designer, Interviews    

It is my pleasure to welcome Sarah Lavoine – Polish princess and French interior designer – extremely talented and natural at what she does. Sarah is designer extraordinaire of perfectly imperfect interiors. I love the way she combines different styles in a way that feels effortless. The first 3 photos below are of Sarah’s art-filled Paris flat where she lives with her 3 children Roman, Yasmine and Milo and her husband, the French pop star Marc Lavoine. Enjoy!

How would you describe your style?

I think my style is contemporary, but warm and timeless at the same time.


What inspired you to get into design?

My father… He was the editor of French Vogue for 15 years, so I was always going to all the fashion shows with him as a child. My mother was also an interior designer herself, so I think she gave me a good feel for this profession.


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?

I look at the volumes and the light straight away, at what I can change, transform, get rid of and readjust. But an interior is a whole, there is not really one single thing for me that I start on.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

The fact it’s a challenge, because you must constantly try out new ideas, invent and imagine new spaces, and include new materials. Once I had decided to become an interior designer, I immediately felt like it was exactly what I was meant to do.

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

They try to get the ‘total look’. I avoid the total look at all costs. People are not very daring – you shouldn’t be afraid to try out new colours and bold combinations.


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

When I’m not designing, I love to relax by going for a nice walk in the wonderful gardens.

Who are your favorite artists?

I love going to see the art work at the gallery Kamel Mennour. I really like the Japanese artists Moriyama and Araki, and the work of Camille Henrot.


Your favorite books?

My favorite book is Belle du Seigneur by Albert Cohen.

Your favorite places in France?

I have so many favourite places in France, but I especially love Cap Ferret.


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

Comfort, space and above all, light.

photos: Sarah Lavoine

29
Aug

Interview with Philippe Bestenheider

categories Designer, Interviews    

I recently had the pleasure of talking with the Swiss designer Philippe Bestenheider. His designs are cool and unique. I’m drawn to the way he explores geometry and the possibilities offered by a given material. Philippe Bestenheider graduated in architecture from Zürich Polytechnic and achieved the Master in Industrial Design at the Domus Academy of Milan. From 2001 until 2006 he became senior designer at the design studio of Patricia Urquiola in Milan working with Molteni, Moroso, Agape, Alessi and Axor. Philippe established a design firm in his own name in 2007. He loves reading cook-books and has a passion for pop-up-books. Enjoy the interview! I sure did.

binta armchair for moroso

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a designer?

As a child I wanted to be an inventor. I think the figure of the designer comes pretty close.


Looking back at your first project what knowledge do you wish you had back then?

Knowledge is never an achievement, it is always a goal. It is a dream to go back in time with the knowledge of today. But the reality is to look at the present and to tackle today’s challenges.

beth armchair for moroso

Is there something that connects all your projects?

I like to think that I do not have a specific style. I am particularly interested in exploring geometry, mechanisms and the possibilities offered by a given material. I like to apply the physical properties explored through research to my designs.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

For me the key moment is when an object takes shape, during the development phase that ideally takes place hand in hand with the manufacturer.


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

Eating.

nanook for moroso

What are your favorite books?

I love reading cook-books. I have a passion for pop-up-books. Books can be incredibly beautiful objects. And I love to read fiction.


Your favorite places in Switzerland?

Near my home-town of Crans-Montana, there is a bench set in a clearing in the middle the woods, with a breathtaking view over the Alps. In summer the spicy smell of mountain-grass in the sun is just beguiling.


You have been awarded several significant prizes. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Prizes are great, but recognition of my work by my clients, some of my colleagues or friends is more important to me.

nanook for moroso and swirl for varaschin

What does success mean to you?

For a designer it means having your products integrated in peoples everyday lives and serving their purpose of functionality with a sprinkle of  wit.


What’s your advice to upcoming designers?

Be persevering!


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

Synthesis.

22
Aug

Interview with Seyhan Özdemir

categories Designer, Interviews    

” The most important design elements? Knowledge of material, simplicity and the urge of constant improvement.”

Seyhan Özdemir

I’m impressed by the work of Istanbul-based architecture, interior design and product design studio Autoban, founded by Seyhan Özdemir and Sefer Çağlar. Autoban was awarded “Best Young Designers” by Wallpaper magazine 2004, “Best Newcomer” by Blueprint magazine 2005, “Best Restaurant Design” by Elle Decoration China in 2010 for Hong Kong’s 208 Duecento Otto and Best Bed for Suite Bed at the Wallpaper Design Awards 2012. Reason enough to ask Seyhan Özdemir some questions… Enjoy!

Ayazpasa House

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a designer?

I decided to be an architect at the age of 13. Then during my education, the passion for design made me want to combine and explore both areas.


Looking back at your first project what knowledge do you wish you had back then?

Till today, all projects develop in their own manner and with our current knowledge. This process is still very challenging and something we appreciate fully.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

Challenge.

Turkish Airlines Cip Lounge

What do you enjoy most in your work?

Creating new, different worlds and suggesting new ideas.


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

Travelling.


What are your favorite books?

Tom Robbins – Jitterbug Perfume.

Tünel House

Your favorite places in Istanbul?

The Princess Islands, the coasts along the Bosphorus and the area of Tünel in Beyoğlu.


You have been awarded many significant prizes. What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Awards have always been motivation for us and rising responsibility.


Tünel House

What does success mean to you?

Definitely the satisfaction in what I do. To realize every time, that the work gets appreciated…


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

Knowledge of material, simplicity and the urge of constant improvement.

photos: Richard Powers, Autoban

13
Aug

Interview with Johnson Hartig

categories Designer, Interviews    

I can barely contain my enthusiasm for the work of fashion designer Johnson Hartig.  Energy, color, passion, celebratory spirit, a love for life… all are words that come to mind when asked about Johnson’s designs. Johnson has always been pretty independent and done things his own way. Not only are his clothes a joy to experience but also his LA home featured in Domino is for me the most inspiring home ever featured in a magazine. Recently I had the pleasure of talking with Johnson Hartig. Enjoy the interview. I sure did!

Your work is a joy to experience. What inspired you to get into design?

Thank you! I always appreciate a sense of humor and witticism and see no reason not to translate that into clothing. I also feel like there are enough serious clothes out there, and its not what our cients come to us for.


Is there something that connects all your projects?

I recon my unique perspective of the world.


Looking back at your first project what design knowledge do you wish you had back then?

Honestly can’t think of anything – I think my instincts have served me very well. I was surprised to find out that I had quite good business instincts too.


Your work revolutionized the way I think of graphics and recycled clothing. Please tell us more about your design process.

Thank you. I think it has too! I guess we just had an interesting perspective on the world. Macabre spooky graphics always appealled – we brought the scull back out of hiding ten years ago, and were the first to print on button down shirts and blazers for instance. I can’t walk a block now without seeing 100 generation copies now – its very interesting to thing we changed the course of graphics on clothing… now unfortunately its trickled down to the lowest level and we’re all forced to look at these terrible copies  and wonder when it will all end.


What is good taste to you?

Confidence enough to take risks and go further than necessary. Push the boundaries when necessary and use restraint when appropriate .


Valentino said shortly before his retirement a designer nowadays has to be more like a manager than a creative artist. Do you agree?

Hmmm… I don’t know, I guess I think everybody has to be a little bit of everything to be successful.

Libertine has always been pretty independent and done things its own way. What’s your advice to upcoming designers?

I don’t feel like I’m in a position to give advice as we did approach things so unconventionally. If any I guess, do your homework, have a great idea, and work relentlessly on honing your craft.


What does success mean to you?

Having a little bit of money and free time to travel.


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

LEARN, shop for interesting antiquities, look and commune with nature, and spend time with my dogs and friends.


Your favorite books?

“In Youth is Pleasure” by Denton Welch has been my favorite favorite for 20 years,  “The Razors Edge” by M. Somerset Maugham.


Your LA home featured in Domino is for me the most inspiring home ever featured in a magazine. How does it look today? I ‘m sure the Damien Hirst pieces are still the dominant focal points throughout the space…

Whoa…..thank you! It looks much as it did but perhaps with more in it… I’m always collecting something or another.


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

As John Baldessari said – quality material, careful inspection and good workmanship. And I might add that a great idea is essential!

photos: Libertine, Domino

7
Jun

Interview with Charles de Lisle

categories Designer, Interviews    

Charles de Lisle is a San Francisco-based interior designer whose work I’ve been drawn to from the first moment I saw it on Desire to Inspire 2 years ago. Charles’ experience spans the last 25 years working within the art of ceramics, metalwork, custom furniture, product design and interiors. His projects – so full of character – has been published in many magazines globally, including Architectural Digest Germany, The Wall Street Journal, Metropolitan Home, Interior Design, The New York Times Magazine, Dwell, Sunset, California Home + Design, Traditional Home. I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did!

How would you describe your style?

Traditional, with a fresh perspective I think.


What inspired you to get into design?

I think it found me, I was building furniture, welding and doing ceramics when I started a job with an event-planner in San Francisco. Years prior I had torn out a House & Garden page, and one day found myself in the very room that was photographed. I was introduced to the owner and she proceeded to tell me all abut her years working with Michael Taylor, one of California’s most important interior designers… and decided that I loved the idea of making amazing experiences and telling stories through architecture, just like that room did.

How did you get your first assignment?

A friend asked me to help design and build & design a small shoe store, the budget was $600.


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

None. I miss having the opportunity to be naïve, just dreaming up crazy ideas and be fearless in hoping clients would consider them.

Is there a designer that has influenced you?

Francis Elkins, she brought moderne interiors and the magic of the artisinal, fully created interior to California in a fresh and interesting way.


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?

Could be a table, or a vase, a photograph… I just designed a house where the color palette came form the bark on the redwood trees outside the front door. That being said, its easier to match the carpet to the trees at the start, then to try and find a rug to work out in the end., but that’s experience and lessons learned through trial & error, and why you hire a decorator in the first place.

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

I need to work out scale in my head seeing the items in person… I’m not to good at realizing a floor plan on paper. The internet has made this difficult. All those items on white backgrounds look to be exactly the same size ~ I don’t trust them. You need to see, then assemble in person to get it on the right track.


What do you enjoy most in your work?

When mistakes turn into something new.

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

Eat.

Who are your favorite artists?

Christo, Tom Sachs, John Chamberlin.


Your favorite books?

The Potters Challenge by Bernard Leach, Franny & Zoey by J.D. Salinger, In Praise of Shadows by Jun’ichirō Tanizaki

What does success mean to you?

Having the opportunity to work with people I admire, hearing form clients that they trust my thoughts on a project.


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

In life or in work? Both require good light, soft light that makes everything a bit more poetic.


photos: Charles de Lisle


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