Season 5 EP 5 – Leslie Shapiro Joyal and Annette Gutierrez



In 2012 I was consulting for a home and design magazine in Los Angeles and during that time, I produced my first design house. I truly loved the experience. I had the opportunity to work with amazing and talented designers like Azadeh Shladofsky, Molly Luetkemeyer, Christian May, Erinn Valencich and Potted amongst others. The house was in the heart of Hollywood, called Small Space, Big Style as it was a fourteen hundred square foot penthouse. We were open for about four months and there is very little remaining of this in the public space. There are a few videos on YouTube, some old blog posts and of course, back issues of the magazine. But no real documentation of what went into the project, the work of the immensely talented designers or the collaboration with the brand partners on the project like Snyder Diamond and the Warner Bros Prop Department. But there are the memories and the friendships that remain to this day.

This episode features two conversations with two wonderful designers and truly exceptional people. First up is Leslie Shapiro Joyal of Shapiro Joyal Studio. Leslie and I spoke just before the opening of the Wattles Mansion Design House in 2017. Leslie was the first designer I spoke with on this project, her space was my first impression and what an impression it was. Sweeping views of Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills location. How do you frame that as a designer? Well Leslie is going to tell you how she did it. And, she is also going to tell you about designing a showcase and working with unforeseen circumstances, like a pack of wild raccoons stealing your accessories every night. Seriously.

Next up is Annette Gutierrez, a friend, amazing person and half of the design team behind Potted. She and Mary Gray provided the outdoor space in that Small Space Big Style design house in Hollywood and we have been friends ever since. Annette and I caught up at the WestEdge Design Fair in 2017. Potted provided plants and accessories for our Kelley Jackson designed California Beach Follies Cabana. I’m telling you the story about Small Space, Big Style because the idea behind a design ouse is that of any pop-up. Here for a short time and then gone. I stared Convo By Design to provide a lasting point of reference for these fleeting but shining moments in Southern California design. So, I hope you enjoy it and hopefully, it can provide some inspiration for your next project.


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