Where was your favorite place to live?
Denver, where I live now. I’ve lived in some interesting places, but Denver has the best mix of climate, culture, progressive politics and great neighborhoods.
What’s your favorite room in your home?
We live in a 1950s mid-century modern house, and the living room is my favorite room. It has floor to ceiling windows which face west, so we get great afternoon sun puddles. There is always a cat or two basking. We can see the mountains in the winter, too, and snow storms seem magical.
What are your sources of inspiration?
I’m constantly inspired by serendipitous combinations of patterns, shapes and colors that I see in nature and the built environment. My kids’ Lego creations and art; the cat; the tile pattern on the floor of an old theater — I’ve based patterns or palettes on all those things. One recent piece for CB2 was inspired by the shape of the plastic water squirter thing in the bottom of our dishwasher. If I get stuck for an idea, I will usually turn to one of my books of 40s or 50s design, or take a walk at the Denver Botanic Gardens.
What are your interests outside of design?
I have a collecting problem… metal cabinets, vintage maps, random ephemera from the 50s and 60s. So I love going to estate sales and thrift stores, finding unusual things, and then making them into collages and jewelry. I also have three kids, so I tend to get interested in things they are interested in, or that impact them: animation, music, movies, theater, education.
Your personal decorating style is _____?
50s modern/vintage industrial plus meaningful objects and an unusual color palette. I hate white walls.
Who are your design icons?
Lucienne Day, Ray Eames, Stig Lindberg, Charlie Harper, Dr. Seuss.
What do you drive?
A Volkswagen Eurovan. It’s a newer version of the classic VW camper van. It has a fold-out table and a little refrigerator.
What’s your favorite element/possession?
My iPhone. I know it’s clichéd, but that device has changed my life.
What was/is your biggest indulgence?
It used to be the Sunday New York Times, but now it’s my iPhone.
Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Think creatively, and don’t be afraid to use things for a different purpose than they were intended.
What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
I have a long history of advising people to quit jobs that they hate. There is nothing sadder than a talented person in a soul-crushing job. I’m a firm believer in the “Figure out what you’re good at and what you love, and then figure out a way to make money doing that” line of thinking.