Episode 120: LA vs. Detroit Part 1 LA Design Festival

The seventh annual LA Design Festival is over but certainly not forgotten. Throughout the four days of events, open houses and executions, there were some truly creative discussions. One of which was the LAX DET conversation comparing and contrasting two cities not often used in the same conversation let alone the same sentence. Detroit is a city on the rise. The city is finding new popularity and those driving that are the creatives. Open spaces for exploration and development. A serious need for new capital and with that need comes an openness for new ideas. At the same time, you have LA, a city that has always been home to the creative class and built on the creative economy since the studios found fertile territory to grow production facilities from acres of empty orange groves. But, growth doesn’t continue forever and it doesn't come without a price. LA is in the process of a major reinvention and the growing pains are evident. Housing prices are at levels that price out the very people who make it work. Services and resources are stretched to the point where they are ready to snap. In times like these, to whom does one turn? The creatives. Following is part one of LA, Detroit, truly a tale of two cities moderated by KCRW’s Saul Gonzalez and featuring architects, Edwin Chan and Lorcan O’Herlihy, brand manager, Eileen Chen cultural alchemist Jason Mayden and innovation expert Chris Denson.


Designer Timothy Corrigan has built his brand on timeless, comfortable elegance and it shows in his work.  It also shows in his two new bath lines for THG Paris.  These pieces truly are jewelry for the bathroom.

Episode 119: Timothy Corrigan

Timothy Corrigan is one of the most decorated interior designers I know. He has been named to many World’s Greatest Designers list including the AD100, Robb Report’s Top 40 and the Luxe Gold List. Corrigan operates offices in Los Angeles and Paris. We spoke about international business and Corrigan is no stranger to long flights and international business management. In his prior career, he oversaw international operations for a large global advertising firm. He left to start working in interiors, a passion that he figured out how to turn into a global design brand. This conversation covers his design work and a fantastic new project with THG Paris. Regular listeners of Convo By Design know that I am not a designer. I am passionate about interior design personally, I am a brand manager by trade and I have been consulting major brands in the interior design, architecture and product design for quite some time. It’s rare to meet someone like Timothy because he is extremely creative and he knows the business side better than any other designer I have ever met. That is not to take away from anyone else. It is recognition for what Corrigan has done with his design studio and how he allocates his time and resources to those endeavors that further his brand. A large part of this includes sourcing product and staying on top of trends and developments. This further allows him to deliver consistent results to his clients and maintain a superior level of quality and service. At the end of the day, isn’t that what all of us are trying to accomplish?


Chris Denson is an innovation expert and we caught up at the LA Design Festival just prior to a panel he was on regarding Los Angeles and Detroit as design destinations. The full panel will be available on the Convo By Design podcast soon. Chris has a podcast of his own called Innovation Crush and he his a frequent writer/ contributor on the subject of innovation.  Here, Chris talks about innovation in design and how LA and Detroit are similar regardless of outward appearances.

Episode 118: Interior Designers Fernando Diaz and Kelley Jackson

This week, you will hear from two amazing interior designers, Fernando Diaz and Kelley Jackson. Fernando and Kelley are interior designers with a bold, fearless sense of style and both apply a tactical approach to strategic use of color. These conversations took place at Wattles Mansion just prior to the closure of the design house. You have been hearing from Wattles Mansion Designer Showcase designers in pairs in previous episodes. It has been so much fun to try and pair designers using at least one common theme and that is no exception here. This episode is about color. Use of color to make a statement, being bold, taking chances and tying it all together. Both designers do this masterfully. Fernando is Cuban-born, well traveled and adds touches from his travels in his work. You will hear about his use of vibrant, colorful, visually interesting beer steins and contemporary art pieces from LA artist Clara Berta to open up a heavily wood paneled library. Fernando uses furniture from Mitchell Gold - Bob Williams and rugs from AgaJohn to put this library together. Kelley Jackson attacked the ladies lounge with early California style in keeping with the time of Wattle Mansion but shrouded it in a pink haze . With Monterrey furniture and Anders Aldrin art and pillows she crafted herself. This space is filled with natural light from a southern exposure which caused the room to literally change color shades as we spoke. Please enjoy this episode with interior designers, Fernando Diaz and Kelley Jackson.


Creating the programming for a four day event like the LA Design Festival can be a daunting task. It requires an eye for uniqueness, an ear for new sounds and a thought process geared towards surprising and delighting a tough crowd. Haily and her talented team created a fun, original and creative programming portfolio for this years festival. This is how they designed it. Spoiler... They listened to you.

Episode 117: LA Design Festival Co-Founder Haily Zaki

I took a ride to China Town near downtown LA to visit the offices of the LA Design Festival. I sat with Haily Zaki, Co-Founder of the LA Design Festival of which Convo By Design is incredibly proud to be a media partner. The LA Design Festival celebrates the rich design culture of Los Angeles. They see this as their opportunity to honor LA’s status as a global design capitol. This event, now in it’s seventh year shines a white hot spotlight on architecture, product design, graphic design, film, art, anything designed in LA. There are a number of very cool and unique opportunities during the four days of the event that include a a tour of the Modernica factory and a deep dive to see the inner workings of the Tryforium. Not sure what that is, keep listening and Haily will explain.


Haily Zaki is the Co-Founder of the LA Design Festival of which Convo By Design is incredibly proud to be a media partner.  The LA Design Festival celebrates the rich design culture of Los Angeles.  They see this as their opportunity to honor LA’s status as a global design capital.  This event is now in it’s seventh year.  You are going to hear how Zaki started this event and why.  The LA Design Festival shines a white hot spotlight on architecture, product design, graphic design, film, art, anything designed in LA.  Zaki explains the event with artistic detail.

Episode 116: Designers Victoria Reitz and Ron Woodson

This week, you will be hearing from two designers with very different approaches to Hollywood glamor but similar in their love the old-Hollywood feel.  First up is Victoria Reitz, interior designer and producer of the Wattles Mansion Showcase.  As the producer of the project, Victoria takes the last remaining room, the one nobody else selected.  This year, she took the Butler’s Room and turned it into a jewel encrusted, lavish dressing room.   Small, but mighty.  We also speak with Victoria about producing this project, the time involved and establishing a cohesive theme for all the designers to work both independently and part of an overall team.  And oh the surprises that come from working on a very old house.

Ron Woodson of Woodson and Rummerfield’s House of Design is next up with a fascinating conversation about the living room in which he and Jamie transformed into old-Hollywood magic.  Ron and Jamie have been on the show before, I really appreciate the fact that they are remarkable storytellers.  Ron explains how the room is inspired by a portrait that was found in a basement.  The portrait is of Norma Talmadge.  Talmadge was a mega star of the silent film era.  She began her career in 1910 with Vistagraph Studios in Flatbush.  She moved to Hollywood to star in silent pictures, and she starred in many.  She didn’t make the transition to talkies and after making only two, she retired.  Some say that she couldn’t make it in talking pictures because her voice lacked power to match her acting abilities.  In any case, her two spoken roles don’t translate at the box office and Talmadge was done.  But, a few interesting facts about Norma Talmadge, Norma Place in West Hollywood is named after her and the reason there are footprints dating back to the early days of Graumann’s Chinese Theater is because Norma stepped in some wet cement on her way into the theater.  The rest is Hollywood history.


Lisa Steinbach-Schecter shares her approach to developing healthy habits in the kitchen from a designers perspective.  Lisa uses the space available in collaboration with her clients lifestyle to create not only the kitchen of their dreams, but to make it one that promotes a healthy lifestyle so they can enjoy it longer.
 

Episode 115: Designers Nicole Gordon and David Dalton

We are back at Wattles Mansion for a conversation with two very talented designers. Nicole Gordon and David Dalton. You will hear about art, luxe materials and skillful application. You will also hear about taking chance. David works material into wall coverings and Nicole found a perfect piece at Ikea that style matched perfectly. Skill, fearlessly and artfully applied.
 


Lisa Shecter of Kitchens On Montana knows about designing kitchens and has a number of thoughts on healthy living that starts in the kitchen. Lisa takes us for a tour of her healthy living kitchen inside her showroom.

Episode 114: Los Angeles Architectural Preservation

The City of Los Angeles was founded in 1781 and incorporated in 1850. In the years since the city’s founding, Los Angeles has continually reinvented itself, some would say, to a fault. When it comes to architecture and design in Los Angeles, we have always been considered a huge blank canvas, a design lab of sorts. Los Angeles architecture was built on names like; Welton Becket whose iconic works include Capitol Records (56), Parker Center (55), LAX (59) The Music Center (64-67), Claude Beelman, who brought Art Deco and Moderne movements to LA with works like The Standard (55) The Los Angeles Jewelry Center and The Union Bank Center, (later called the Getty Oil HQ and now The Mercury Building). From iconic buildings of industry, came mid-century modern design from architects like Richard Dorman. Dorman was part of Beckets firm until he left in 56 to create some amazing residential design in the city. How is this for a list of notables also adding to the Los Angeles landscape: Neutra, Fickett, Schindler, Gehry, Koenig, Lautner and Frank Lloyd Wright. Groundbreaking women like Greta Grossman and Helen Fong brought their unique perspectives and accomplished much in a male dominated profession. So, why the history lesson? Because much of LA’s notable architecture is being torn down to make way for newer ideas in architecture. Not that that is ALL bad, but when you lose iconic architecture strictly for the sake of a bigger structure, there is something wrong. the idea that architecture has to be temporary is a flawed concept. The Hollywood Hotel, Wallace Neff’s PickFair, Myron Hunt and later Paul Williams creation, The Ambassador Hotel, Marion Davies Beach House, The Brown Derby, The Pan Pacific Auditorium, all gone. What is also going away are Eicklers, Neffs and Schindlers. Iconic architecture in the form of residential homes lost, more every year. So you get it… meet Ken Bernstein. Ken is the manager and principle city planner for the the Historical Preservation Office of the City of Los Angeles. I sat down with Ken at his office in LA’s City Hall, another fantastic structure to discuss the state of historical architecture in LA. Things are happening to help preserve the architecturally relevant structures in the city. Some of these stories are great and you can also hear how to locate some of these gems in the city.


Episode 113: Michelle Workman

I sat down for this interview with Michelle Workman at a coffee shop in West Hollywood, down the street from the Pacific Design Center. In two years and one hundred and thirteen episodes of this podcast, I am constantly reminded just how talented and amazing the design community is. I would consider this to be a golden age of design. I say this because I am consistently meeting designers who are putting together some truly amazing work. They are doing it through innovation, new ideas and a health dose of trial and error. Fearlessly. If you don’t know Michelle yet, you will very soon. She is building a portfolio of work on the West Coast and in the South. Her roster of celebrity clients is a who’s who and yet, her philosophy is person centric which means her standard approach begins and ends with a level of service geared towards that person at that moment. Michelle just released her first full line of furniture through French Heritage, a line that she says was Art Deco inspired and likes to call it Sexy-Deco. What you are going to hear from Michelle is how she approaches the business as well as the art. Please enjoy this conversation with Michelle Workman and if you do enjoy it, please give us a positive rating on iTunes, that will make us more visible to others. You can also find short videos from many of these interviews at Convo By Design on YouTube. Thanks for listening and thanks for watching.


Ryan gives some amazing insight regarding his process for approaching a new space, incorporating her favorite elements and working around challenges.

Episode 112: Ryan Saghian and Kym Roger: Fabulous and Fearless

CXD covered the Wattles Design House this year and it has been an absolute blast catching up with old friends and meeting new ones. This episode features two elegant and insanely unique bedrooms. The rooms are as amazing as their designers. Ryan Saghian and Kym Roger. We start with Ryan who is an outspoken LA native with a very clear understanding of his own style in addition to understanding what his clients want. Kym Roger is a designer, an artist and a fascinating personality. Kym and Ryan are passionate and absolutely fearless in their use of color, materials and space. Things like gun metal and fur, one of a kind art and walls draped in sheets, you find joyful surprises at every turn.


Ryan Saghian on working with brands that fit his fantastically fearless and elegantly curated design style. Ryan talks about why he loves working with brands like Robert Allen, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams and J. Alexander Furniture. And why fur? Find out.

Episode 111: Well Crafted Furniture Design From Drawing Board to Showroom to Living Room

A three part interview with architect and Vondom product designer, Ramon Esteve who talks about the creation of innovative new products. Daniel Stromborg of Gensler takes it from there and talks about marketing these products for retail. Finally Modern Luxury Interiors and Angeleno Magazine's Chris Gialanella explains how the magazines stay on top of changing taste and styles to provide readers what they want. Photo: Carolina Korman Photography


 

A three part interview with architect and Vondom product designer, Ramon Esteve who talks about the creation of innovative new products. Daniel Stromborg of Gensler takes it from there and talks about marketing these products for retail. Finally Modern Luxury Interiors and Angeleno Magazine's Chris Gialanella explains how the magazines stay on top of changing taste and styles to provide readers what they want. Photo: Carolina Korman Photography

Episode 110: The Innovation of Modern Plastic from WestWeek 2017

Convo By Design dropped in on WestWeek at the Pacific Design Center to hear about the icons and innovators panel at the Vondom showroom.  The conversation, entitled The Innovation of Modern Plastic Told By Modern Icons featured Architect and product designer Ramon Esteve, Gensler’s Regional Director of Product Design, Daniel Stromborg and was moderated by Modern Luxury Interiors Group Publisher, Chris Gialanella.


Episode 109: Patrick Dragonette and the Wattles Mansion Dining Room

This year, Convo By Design was at the Wattles Mansion Designer Showcase to speak with the designers who are giving this space a face lift, a glamorous, luxurious, elegant facelift. As you will hear, because the City owns the property, there are more rules than you might imagine and no structural changes take place so the designers really need to be thoughtful in their approach. Patrick Dragonette is not only an immensely talented designer, he is a showroom owner which puts him in a really interesting place. Do other designers come to shop at your space, do they bring their clients with them. When it’s Patrick, the answer is 'yes'. He designed the dining room for the Wattles Mansion showcase home this year and in a moment, he is going to tell you all about it.


Episode 108: Wattles Mansion - Shirley Starks, Phil Hoffman, Winslow & Cohen

The Wattles Mansion is one of the more interesting design projects you will find.  The Wattles Estate was built in 1907 for Nebraskan banker, Gurdon Wattles.  It was built as his winter home by architects Myron Hunt and Elmer Grey.  The mission revival residence was built with an absolutely stunning view from it’s perch in the Hollywood hills.  On a clear day, you can see the ocean.  The estate has a Japanese garden, Rose garden, Spanish garden, palm court and orchards.  It is surrounded by green and terraced landscapes.  After Wattles died, his son and wife remained in the home until it was sold to the city of Los Angeles in 1965.  The estate fell into disrepair due to many factors.  But the Wattles Mansion is now open to the public, as an event space. And as an annual showcase home.  This year, Convo By Design was there to speak with the designers who are giving this space a face lift, a glamorous, luxurious, elegant facelift.  As you will hear, because the City owns the property, there are more rules than you might imagine and no structural changes take place so the designers really need to be thoughtful in their approach.

This episode features two pairs of very talented creatives.  Shirley Starks and Phil Hoffman from the Set Decorators Society of America to tell you about the space decorated by Melinda Ritz and Mae Brunken of the SDSA.  You know Shirley and Phil, they were featured on past episodes of the podcast. Next up are Fariba Cohen and Jonathan Winslow of Winslow & Cohen. Turning a master bedroom into a playful game room.  I encourage you to get your tickets to this showcase before it closes and check out our YouTube channel where you can find short videos from these episodes.


Cesar Giraldo of Tag Front is a remarkable designer. He designed the space for @WeHoDesignDistr @WestEdgeDesign Fair. Cesar loves working with brands and he has some very interesting was of making a statement.  This video showcases the passion that goes into the project, he excitement of opening and relief on it's closing.

Episode 107: Developer Rob Glass

Frequent Convo By Design contributor Christine Anderson sat down with developer Rob Glass to talk about creating for celebrities, working with people who have true vision and the challenges presented when designing for master planned communities.  Rob talks about working with celebrity clients like Kenny G, Sugar Ray Leonard and Rod Stewart.  He also talks about working with his son, Josh and the joy working with family can bring. 


Episode 106: Architect Jon Frishman and Designer Cesar Giraldo

Here is a two part episode for you with two very talented, remarkably funny and insightful A+D pros. Architect Jon Frishman of Frishman Architecture believes that a good building has a soul, that is just one of the 11 'good building' principles Jon promotes. Cesar Giraldo of Tag Front is a designer with an equally philosophical approach to design. This episode starts with Jon's solid foundation and is finished with significant color and design added by Cesar.


Episode 105: Behind The Scenes with Set Decorators Julie Bolder, Beth Wooke, KC Fox and Phil Hoffman

We take the show backstage to speak with some incredibly accomplished set decorators. The four SDSA members you are about to hear from have worked on television, film and commercial projects you have seen, know and love. Their work is responsible for the aesthetic and style of the sets. Get to know a little more about Phil, KC, Julie and Beth.


Episode 104: WestEdge Design Fair Founders Troy Hanson and Megan Reilly

Many of the conversations you have been hearing on the show were recorded live from the WestEdge Design Fair.  As all of you in the design trade know, projects don’t just happen overnight.  WestEdge Design Fair takes place in November but I thought this conversation was important to air now.  Why?  Well, as every project,  media campaign, design house or other unique experiential endeavor goes there is always a recap of the project.  And we recently had ours.  All the stakeholders got together in Brentwood for breakfast and we talked about the good, the could-be-better and the what-if’s.  If I am going to be perfectly honest, the what-if’s are my favorite part of the process.  It not only represents the completely unbridled range of creativity, but nothing has gone wrong yet.  Now, it’s just us designers, architects, set decorators, showroom managers brand developers and we all know that nothing ever goes wrong, all of our projects go off without a hitch, right?    Well, as you listen to this episode with Troy Hansen and Megan Reilly, founders of WestEdge, we are in the process of figuring out what we are going to be doing at the show this year.  The plans are pretty cool and I can’t wait to share them with you.  For now, here are Troy and Megan to explain what goes into creating and producing an amazing design fair that is so much more that a trade show, it’s an experience. 


Episode 103: Public Relations GOLD For The Design Trade

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A Strategic public relations approach is most effective when the stories are organized around themes that emerge from an organizations brand.  The following conversation is from WestEdge Design Fair and features Catherine Minervini, Emily Hooper and Reva Revis.  Public Relations strategies specifically for the design trade. 


Designer, television host and design diva, Jennifer Convy sat with Christine Anderson in the Convo By Design Social Lounge presented by Snyder Diamond to talk about networking, collaborating and sharing ideas. 

Episode 102: Bringing the Travel Experience Home Pt. 2

C Magazine Design interiors Editor, Andrea Stanford moderated this conversation from the Westedge Design Fair entitled, Bringing the Travel Experience Home. It features Tim Campbell whose notable projects include Richard Neutra’s Singleton House, Lloyd Wright’s Alfred Newman Residence and Colony Palms Hotel… Nathan Turner whose passions include and are spoken expertly about, design, travel and food and Sue Firestone of SFA Design.  This conversation is about travel, design and bringing it all home.  Giving back and making an impact.  The stories behind the craft, the people, the artisans and the culture.  The reason for being.  This is part 2 of Bringing The Travel Experience Home.


Designer, television host and design diva, Jennifer Convy sat with Christine Anderson in the Convo By Design Social Lounge presented by Snyder Diamond to talk about Women in Luxury and Leisure Design. 

Episode 101: Bringing the Travel Experience Home Pt. 1

I love to travel, what I love more than traveling is being at home.  This is a conversation about having both.  C Magazine Design interiors Editor, Andrea Stanford moderated this conversation from the Westedge Design Fair entitled, Bringing the Travel Experience Home.  It features Tim Campbell whose notable projects include Richard Neutra’s Singleton House, Lloyd Wright’s Alfred Newman Residence and Colony Palms Hotel… Nathan Turner whose passions include and are spoken expertly about, design, travel and food and Sue Firestone of SFA Design.  This conversation is about travel, design and bringing it all home.  Giving back and making an impact.  The stories behind the craft, the people, the artisans and the culture.  The reason for being.  This is part 1 of Bringing The Travel Experience Home.


Designer Amy Benton knows her way around a kitchen.  he can visualize the kitchen design from concept to completion and she knows how to get what her clients want and need.