Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Tips in Newport Beach Magazine

I was contacted a couple of months ago by Newport Beach Magazine to offer up some holiday decorating tips. I sort of forgot about the article, but with Christmas just around the corner, it popped into my head this morning and sure enough, it had been published in the November issue.

It was quite a few years ago now that I stumbled upon my love and knack for holiday decorating. It's actually kind of a funny story. Back when I was young, naive, and fearless I had quit my design assisting job in Laguna Beach with a little money in savings in the spring to start my own design company. As anyone with entrepreneurial experience knows, Rome wasn't built in a day, so by the time fall rolled around I was in need of some extra cash to get me by and I took a temp job answering phones for a commercial real estate firm. The firm owned the Laguna Design Center properties in South Orange County and due to some shifting around, the general info calls going to the design center were temporarily being forwarded straight to me.

One day a women called the design center looking for a recommendation for a designer who could help decorate her home for Christmas. I enthusiastically told her that I had a "friend" who was a very capable designer and that I was sure she would be happy to help, so I passed along her/my personal contact info. My cell phone buzzed on vibrate immediately after we hung up the phone and she left a voice message. I promptly called her back on my break and the rest is history. I had never made custom wreaths and garland before, nor did I have any clue on how to estimate a budget or quantity of items needed for such a project, but somehow I made it work and she loved it.

I've had a love of holiday decorating ever since and much like window displays and wedding design, I love the whimsical aspect of creating more temporary settings. Residential interiors with all of their furnishings, textiles, lighting, and architectural details will always have my heart completely, but it's nice to take a break every now and again to create something much less permanent and use a greater sense of whimsy.

The Manhattan Apartment of John Robshaw

The cover of Elle Decor really caught my eye this month. So much so that I almost bought it off the shelf instead of waiting for my copy to come in the mail. This is the Manhattan home of John Robshaw. I didn't know that by looking at the cover photo, but judging by the wonderful mix of fabric and furnishings I wasn't surprised when I found it out. He's a master of textile design; traveling the globe 3 months out of the year to get inspired and work with artisans from Central and South East Asian and India, among other regions and cultures rich with pattern and color. His approach is to find ways to improve upon their original and historically rooted designs to make them deeper and more relevant in a contemporary setting. His ability to layer, mix, and match is captured so effortlessly in his living space shown above (and throughout the rest of his home). It's something that I am constantly trying to achieve and improve upon in my own aesthetic.
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