LEGENDARY CONVERSATIONS from the LaCienega Design Quarter | 1 | Legends 2019

itunes pic
For over 50 years, the LaCienega Design Quarter has been a design destination serving LA’s vibrant and extremely talented design community. This design district is special for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the mere fact that it is on not one but three of the most high profile and iconic thoroughfares in West Hollywood, LaCienega Blvd, Melrose Blvd and Melrose Place.

The district has seen Los Angeles change from trendy studio town to a global creative powerhouse. It’s no secret that I think LA is one of the most relevant and important creative cities in not just the country, but the world. I think the amount and level of creative contribution in multiple disciplines makes LA a vanguard and creative icon. That doesn’t happen because of a picture, building or landmark. It happens over time and it develops because of the people. For decades, creative types have been drawn to Southern California to reinvent themselves and there has always been communities of likeminded individuals to both receive and nurture them. The LaCienega Design Quarter is one of the most influential and the annual Legends event is a beautiful example of this. For the past decade, LCDQ has been welcoming the design community and enthusiasts alike to get out of their cars and walk the district to see the amazing and wonderful creations erected in the showroom windows.

This was the first year that Convo By Design was represented as an official media sponsor of Legends. I cannot tell you how cool this is for me and I wanted to do something special to capture this showcase of remarkable talent. This is a special series called Legendary Conversations featuring the very designers and decorators responsible for transforming these showroom windows into extraordinary spaces. I also wanted to bring you some of the panels and keynote conversations that helped make this year’s event so special.

This Legendary Conversations episode features: Tom Stringer, Peti Lau, Dan Mazzarini, Edel Legaspi, Christopher Courts and Alex Papachristidis

Tom Stringer’s philosophy about design is based in the joy of discovery and the pursuit of a well-lived life. Isn’t that what design should be? He creates glamour through meticulous planning blended with enthusiasm for his work. You can find his work from Chicago and Telluride to Santa Barbara and here, on the virtual LaCienega Blvd. His window has been disassembled in the real world, but not here. Listen to Tom explain his Legends experience and the design he created. Make sure to hop over to the Convo By Design YouTube channel and see him and his creation.

Peti Lau is a bi-coastal interior designer with international influence. She has been featured in Arch Digest, Wall Street Journal and others. She has developed a style she calls AristoFreak. I would almost call this an alter-ego. Peti blends old-world charm and new-world luxury the way some apply a high-low mix.

Dan Mazzarini, owner and creative director of design firm, BHDM Design. Dan is a story teller through his work and this window is no different. Dan shares a clear vision for this project and has a keen understanding of the icon he selected and what made his icon so special.

Edel Legaspi and Christopher Courts, co founders of their eponymous firm have developed quite a reputation for a style that is in a constant state of change based on the work and environment. Both Chris and Edel have a laidback style yet still manage to attack the work. What they did in this window was fun and I am excited for you to hear all about it.

Alex Pappachristidis is one of my favorite chats in the past 6 years of Convo By Design. He made a point to tell me that he is not a designer but a decorator, he explained why and how his design philosophy and that of his firm approaches the work with an unapologetic love of maximalism and I have seem him aggressively defend that stance in front of over 100 people. Keep checking back for the panel conversation that took place in the Tufenkian showroom. Loved it and love this, I think you will too.

That’s a wrap on this episode of Legendary Conversations. Special thanks to Alex Pappachristidis, Edel Legaspi, Christopher Courts, Dan Mazzarini, Tamar Mashegian, LCDQ President and longtime friend of the show, Patrick Dragonette, Peti Lau, Tom Stringer, the amazing LCDQ showroom owners and managers and of course the LaCienega Design Quarter. For all Convo By Design episodes including the Legendary Conversations please find us everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. For more from each of these designers and to see their windows, follow Convo By Design on YouTube.

#Convo By Design #LCDQ #Legends2019 #West Hollywood #Interior Design

Design Influencer Series | 225 | 10 Must Hear Design Trends

itunes pic
After 5 years hosting, producing and publishing Convo By Design, I launched the Design Influencer Group. The need for industry trends and information not just about design, but about the business of design is absolutely crucial to the future of the industry. Designers and architects have seen their business model fundamentally change sure to the rise of social media, movement from brick and mortar locations to “out-of-district” locations and in some cases, exclusively online. In addition to these challenges, design creatives are being asked to do more, for less. Revenue models are being challenged and online competition for creative services are popping-up and dropping out at an alarming rate.

The Design Influencer Group is a forum for a select group of design trade professionals to discuss these industry issues and design ideas that are shaping our design community here in Southern California. The ideas was to gather, have lunch and discuss trending ideas and concepts affecting the trade and currently shaping the business side of design.

This inaugural event was held at the Tidelli Outdoor showroom in the Pacific Design Center and included;

John McClain
John McClain Design

Peggy Platner
Platner & Co.

Kristi Nelson
KM Nelson Design

Anthony Poon
Poon Design, Inc.

Edel Legaspi
Legaspi Courts Design

Stephen Francis Jones
SFJones Architects, Inc.
(310)822-3822 x150

Nancy Russert
Les Beaux

Twist Custom

Brooke Gardner
Brooke Gardner Interior Design

Cynthia Lambakis
Lambakis Interiors

John Feldman
Ecocentrix Landscape Architecture
(310)907-5066 x101

Read about all the findings on the Form Magazine website. FormMag.Net and watch each of the designers talk about their trending design ideas on our YouTube channel.

Breegan Jane | 224 | Mastering Design, Motherhood and Enterprise

itunes pic
Breegan Jane is an LA Mom and lifestyle blogger. An experienced and accomplished interior designer, Breegan’s resume boasts enterprises that span the gamut, from custom designing personal creative music studios to managing international real estate projects with full staff. Her design savvy is well sought after by clients in almost every industry, including a double platinum-selling recording artist, for whom she designed an elaborate home complete with a tailored wardrobe room.
Breegan honed her design skills working as creative director and marketing professional for a luxury yacht manufacturer. She staged yachts in-house and traveled internationally for consultations with her Dubai clientele. Those unique experiences set the stage for more exceptional design opportunities. And hopefully, this has set the stage for my chat with Breegan.

#ConvoByDesign #SnyderDiamond #SubZeroWolf #BreeganJane #Article

Three Products Changing Design | 223 | KBIS and IBS from Las Vegas 2019

itunes pic
2019 brought my first visit back to KBIS. It was back in Las Vegas and between KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and IBS, International Builders Show presents an opportunity for designers and architects to see miles of aisles featuring some of the most unique, stunning and important products and services in the business. I have spoken with hundreds of creatives and what you tell me, with consistency, is that you don’t have the time you need to research new products. This is how you do it and I was reminded just how important this part of the business is. Major events like this also provides an opportunity to see old friends, make new ones and attend parties to recharge and reconnect. I attended the Subzero Wolf party which featured the full product line as well as cooking displays from some truly talented chefs putting Subzero and Wolf appliances to the test.
I walked on average, about 4 miles a day and saw hundreds of products. I spoke to a few people that I thought you might find of interest. First up was a boutique architectural hardware company from Southern California called Mockett.


You are always looking to hide cables, make outlets disappear and if you do have to see them, find a way to incorporate it into your design. Next up is Bosch. Furnaces, heat ing and cooling. The last 7 years have brought some really wacky weather across the West and the country as a whole. Traditionally in Southern California these, while not an afterthought, has not been high on the list. I think it is safe to say heating and cooling is a critical part of the build, remodel or reimagined design. Some things to consider.


I thought this was an interesting take on temperature controls. Now, this next product was like a little treasure for me. Accoustiblock is the product and they specialize in noise abatement. It was important to me because noise pollution is probably one of the most ignored element in building and design. I record from a home studio. I can’t record in the morning on trash day and I know when all the gardeners come. I know most of the dogs and their barking habits but that really a crap shoot.


I think sound management is the new air quality concern. As our communities grown more dense and in cities like LA where infill projects absorb every available square foot and with that comes construction noise, more neighbors, more cars, just more noise. This interrupts sleep, work and relaxation. It affects work life and life at home. I once had to work in New York for a week and I thought I was going to lose my mind because the sheer amount of nose. And it rarely stopped. I realized the difference when I got back home. If you are thinking about noise abatement, check them out. By the way, none of these appearances were paid for. I interviewed them because I was genuinely interested and I thought you would be as well. So, three very different products that I thought were incredibly cool and useful.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Convo By Design. Have you subscribed to the podcast? Are you checking out the videos on YouTube? You can see videos from the episodes like all three of the products featured on this episode. I know I am asking for a lot here, please also join in the conversation on twitter, instagram and facebook. As always, if you have a question about the show, a submission or idea for an upcoming episode, you can reach me at convo by design at outlook dot com. If you need links to everything mentioned above, you can find it in the show notes. Thanks for listening.

Erinn V. | 222 | Changing Your Design Universe

itunes pic
I met Erinn Valencich in 2011. I was producing the Small Space, Big Style design house. Her work, her demeanor, everything about the way she worked was professional and made her such a joy to work with. Now, many years later, I had the opportunity to sit down with Erinn again and discuss design, the state of design here in Southern California and some ground breaking plans she has in store for you in the coming months ahead. Erinn is starting a new business venture, a digital business geared towards making the business of design more efficient. And, having produced this podcast for over 5 years and speaking with over 350 creatives, you have told me that this is something you desperately want and need right now. This is Erinn V. in her own words explaining to you how the business is changing and how it directly affects you.

Please make sure to subscribe to the podcast, leave a rating, review and join in the conversation! @ConvoXDesign on Instagram and @ConvoByDesign on twitter.