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Wednesday
Sep082010

designer profile: verity freebern

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 It’s a newer version of the classic VW camper van.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.

To see all of Verity’s current designs for CB2, go here.

Tuesday
Jul202010

designer profile: scot herbst

Where was your favorite place to live?
Milan Italy. I was designer there in 2000 and learned so much about form and craftsmanship…and wine.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
We have a little craftsman outside of San Francisco, with so much hardwood inside that people remark that it’s like being inside an old sailboat. The kids room is like a really colorful captain’s quarters.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Our zen wagon —a hand-built children’s wagon styled in the mid-century bent-ply aesthetic. Charles Eames would have designed it 60 years ago if he’d had two little ones that constantly needed to get outside after destroying his house.

What do you drive?
1960 Ferrari Gran Turismo, bright red, baseball glove leather interior…in my head…as I’m riding my bicycle around the city…

What one item do you wish you owned?
Lately I’ve been more interested in Paul McCobb furniture from the ‘50’s…but wow, good luck affording an original. Maybe his grand-daughter will read this and sympathize with me…

Who are your design icons?
I love the great modernists, Saarinen, Bertoia, George Nelson…and it’s unbelievable to think they created in a computer-less age, this was impossibly sophisticated stuff.

Form vs. function?
Oh it’s not a competition. Form + Function both win and hug it out after the game.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I’ve always had this amazingly cool Marimekko framed tapestry, which was on my wall when I met my wife 6 years ago. She’s super talented and works with textiles and fabrics… I’m convinced that sealed the deal when she realized what an uncanny sensitivity I have to graphic textiles.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Color. The biggest bang for your buck—-you can give a room an incredibly sophisticated feeling with the right use of a really special color. Bring a Pantone chip to Home Depot—-they’ll match it!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Just do what you love, the rest will fall into place.

To see all of Scot’s current designs for CB2, go here.

Friday
Jul162010

inspiration: new york, sidewalk catwalk

What: The Fashion Center Sidewalk Catwalk
When: June 24-September 3
Where: on Broadway, from Times Square to Herald Square
Who: Created by The Fashion Center Business Improvement District

Don’t miss this a one-of-a-kind public art exhibit featuring the artistic talents of New York City’s top fashion designers—not only is it free all summer, you’ll find inspiration in every one.

Created by The Fashion Center Business Improvement District, this very public installation showcases the vitality and creative spirit of the industry in a unique outdoor setting.

The exhibit showcases custom-built mannequins, displayed runwaystyle, each modeling a bold one-of-a-kind manifestation of its designer’s artistic vision—in outdoor materials to withstand the elements.

They’re under the watch of guards to deter vandalism, so whether you’ve planned or are planning a trip to the Big Apple this summer be sure to include the Fashion District to catch the exhibit.

Thanks to vance, store designer soho, for this contribution.

Thursday
Jul152010

designer profile: stephen crowhurst

Where was your favorite place to live?
It would have to be in the 3000 square foot loft I used to rent about 10 years ago. A handful of artists living under one giant roof. Loved it. Sad those days are over.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
To be honest it has to be my bedroom. I love sleeping.

What do you drive?
Proud owner of a second hand bicycle. I’ll never go back.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Enough solar panels to get my condo off the grid.

What are your interests outside of design?
I’ve been obsessed over the past couple of years with cooking. I’ve made the final switch over to eating nothing but organic raw food and it’s totally changed my life.

Your personal decorating style is _____?
Recession chic.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Music. Every time I sit down to make something I always owe the result to music. I don’t design to music.. it just becomes apart of me in that moment and it brings things out that I don’t think I could do without it.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
I love my vinyl record collection. They’re utterly useless but I love them all.

Form vs. function?
I think at this moment in our culture these terms are just selling points. The discussion had it’s day in the 60’s. To me the new discussion and admittedly a less sexier one… should be influence vs mediocrity.In other words, does this design or does this product have a profound influence on my life or does it swell in the mediocrity of the prevailing majority. Let’s have that discussion.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Well I picked this up from art school—Trash Day! Find something someone is tossing into the bin and refurbish it.

What’s the best career advice you ever received?
Don’t let one person’s perception of reality overtake your own.

Tuesday
Jul062010

designer profile: a|r studio

Where was your favorite place to live?
We moved to Milan from Tuscany, as this is the place to be if you are involved in design, so we just live where we should. We are indeed in love with Paris and New York and we dream about having a little place there.

What’s your favorite room in your home?
I (Antigone) am a good cook, and we both love to have friends coming around for dinner, so I guess kitchen/dining room is the core room in our house. We sit around an old wooden table I took from home in Tuscany and love to drink good wine and chat.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Creative professionals should always be turn on: inspiration can come from anywhere and the less likely situation is in front of a blank white page. Traveling, cinema, literature, people… inspiration arrives through experience.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
Matches.

Who are your design icons?
Jean Prouvè, Charles and Ray Eames, Dieter Rams…

Form vs. function?
Function is engineering, form is decoration, good design should be both.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
Our house.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Food and sleeping late.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
Some good low cost items can be mixed up in an outstanding way even with the most sophisticated furniture—and taking a trip to granma’s!

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
Never lose passion and interest.

To see all of A/R Studio’s current designs for CB2, go here.