Monthly Archives: June 2021

Diversity in Design | 332 | What Does This ‘Really’ Mean?



This is Convo By Design with a conversation about diversity in the design industry. In June of 2020, I published a conversation originally produced in October live at the WestEdge Design Fair. The concept was fairly straight forward, a panel featuring designers of color talking about their experiences in the industry. The purpose was straight forward as well, to provide a forum for the conversation to take place, to shed light on untold experience and extend the mic to those traditionally underserved. Originally, the term “of color” made me uncomfortable. It felt like attaching a label and I wondered if that was exactly what I was trying to avoid? I think the term ‘people of color’ has been debated quite a lot over the past year and it is more about nuance and in this situation, it isn’t a label but a descriptor. The ‘designers of color’ descriptor is intentional here and that is not to say that in some time, might no longer be appropriate. This is also not being used to compare, contrast or value any particular color or historical experience. I’m going to leave it here, but know this, I too continue to learn more about this subject. It’s not one I am at all comfortable with but to avoid it would be a disservice to the journey and the learning process. 

The response to that episode was incredible. It was good, bad, and surprising. If some people are uncomfortable by conversations like these, good, we should do them more often. If for no other reason than to normalize different voices, experiences and perspectives. 

With that, I give you the second installment of the Diversity in Design Series featuring designers Gail Davis, Sharon Lee, KD Reid and Edel Legaspi. Edel will be moderating this conversation, for which I am extremely grateful. 

This is Diversity in Design, a conversation about design, the design industry, and opportunity for all who seek it.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Sharon, Gail, Edel and KD. Your participation and willingness to share your experience is greatly appreciated. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.


All About Color | 331 | The Emotion and Feel Proper Color Selection Can Bring, Everything You need to Know with Bailey Li Interiors, Layered Dimensions and Rocky Rochon



This is Convo By Design with a conversation about color. Not the color for any particular period of time but how and why color selection is so important.

There is nothing wrong with stating color trends or designating colors of the year, but I have always felt that kind of promotion is a bit gimmicky. Color selection is as personal as the design itself. I believe that. And if that is true, then designating a specific color is antithetical to that entire premise. So, I wanted to have a conversation about color, color selections, choices and ideas by empaneling 3 amazing creatives who know this subject intimately. More to the point, this conversation about color is more that shade, depth, value, hue or intensity. More that just position on a color wheel or what “season” the client thinks they are or matching the heirloom china set that grandma gave them. This distinguished group is breaking down color by all of the above plus emotional impact, historical and social values. By texture, depth and other factors that illicit more than beauty, but feel. An emotional response to the space. We’re going deep in this one, another installment of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

Color can have a tremendous impact on mood, style, feel and look in any space. With so many ‘color of the year’ promotions, it’s hard to separate trending from trendy. New ideas emerge from the fashion industry every season that impact color and pattern preferences in the design industry. This is a look not at what the popular colors will be in 6 months, but influences and strategies for finding the right colors for the preferences of the client and historical ideas with respect to color palette and pattern selection.

Alecia Bailey – Bailey Li Interiors

“Color, I do push the limits. I do have clients that say they don’t like a lot of color and that they like neutrals. So what I do for them is introduce them to metallics, that are neutral. The light hits it in a certain way and it looks very beautiful. So it may look neutral during the day, and then at night when the moon hits it. So I do push it. So when you use a silver, gold leaf, satin or a pearl, it just looks amazing.”

Christina Garcia – Layered Dimensions

“I think for a long time, people were nervous about adding color to their houses because for so long people felt like they had to be in this niche. They had to be in golds and reds or they had to be cremes and browns and that is what everybody everybody was doing so they felt like that is what they needed to do as well and then we went away from all color completely and started doing whites and grays with a hint of blue, maybe. I think people are starting to realize that it’s okay to have a personality with my home. It’s okay for the home to reflect me or my style. They are designing more for themselves than for resale.” 

Rocky Rochon – Rocky Rochon

 “Color has a huge range. In our paint collection, we have a lot of colors that are relatively neutral but they go across the whole spectrum. But, when you are doing an interior and you are going to do a whole room in one color, you have to be a lot more subtle. So, we’ve developed a whole series of textures… A soy ink finish or a lacquer finish. The most beautiful room can be the most subtle. The reflection of a pale turquoise light that you don’t know is discernible as a color until you envelope the room in it. The textures make a huge difference. I think when we talk about color, we’re talking about what the whole range of color is, and those ranges are what create the emotional responses.” 

Thank you Christina, Bailey and Rocky. You are all amazing and I greatly appreciate the time. Thank you ThermaSol for being a part of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership. And, thank you for listening. Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out and make sure you are subscribing to the podcast so you don’t miss a single episode of Convo By Design. Be well, and remind yourself to take today first.


Lone Star house of Design | Effortless Outdoor Living with Landscape Designer Melissa Gerstle



This is Lone Star House of Design, a podcast about all things design and architecture from and about the Great State of Texas. This episode features Melissa Gerstle, an artist of outdoor spaces. She crafts, teases and manipulates organic matter and design product into highly unique and crafted spaces. Texas is not always the best canvas for such things. At times, the weather doesn’t really cooperate. You are going to hear how this artisan uses the inhospitable to craft incredible outdoor design.

The old saying about the value of property are true, “location, location, location” and Mark Twain’s, “Buy land, they are making it anymore.” Design and use of outdoor space is the equivalent to being given more land. By making the most out of every square yard, the value of the property is not only increases but the service value of the property is tapped to increase the ‘joy-per-foot’ ratio. A designer that can tap into the value of previously unactivated spaces is rare and we have one here.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Melissa for your time and talent. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your support and Thank you for subscribing and downloading the show and If you are not already, please subscribe so you catch every episode of Lone Star House of design and Convo By Design the moment they are published. You can also ask your smart speaker to play Convo By Design.

And if you REALLY want more, follow along, ConvoByDesign.Com and @ConvoXDesign with an “X” on Instagram. For show inquiries, sponsorship and guest inquiries, email me ConvoByDesign@outlook.com. Be well and until next week, keep creating.


Maryline Damour | 330 | Reinventing Yourself and Career Through Design – Much Needed Guidance and Strategies for Success



This is CXD with a conversation about design houses, collaborative partnerships and second careers. All things you have heard me talk about on the show before…but not like this…

Maryline Damour started her career doing business development with some of the biggest names in accounting and finance. Her desire for something greater led her back to school to study interior design at Parsons The New School for Design. Our conversation covers that journey as well as her experience growing up in Haiti where they are no strangers to living with disasters of all types unfortunately, and that experience has provided Maryline with a unique perspective on life and design. In this episode of the podcast, you will hear about that experience, meeting her business partner, Fred Drake and crafting their boutique design firm. 

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Maryline. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.


The Showroom featuring Matthew Dugally & Mauricio Oberfeld | 329 | The Intrinsic Value of A Strong Design Partnership



this is Convo By Design with another edition of The Showroom, a partnership between Convo By Design and Walker Zanger. This episode features the talent behind iconic groundbreaking architecture firm, Dugally Oberfeld. 

Matthew Dugally and Mauricio Oberfeld are the talent and skill behind Dugally Oberfeld. Matt and Mo have a partnership that, when explored in detail exemplify a 1 + 1 = 3. There is undetectable value in the partnership itself that has resulted in some wonderful work, unexpected design and the type of Projects that inspire the work of others. The idea of intrinsic value, true value of a partnership can’t be measured in dollars, pounds or other quantifiable measures. So how can you place a “real value” on something like partnership and collaborative spirit? You can certainly look at the work. You can explore the external responses to the work. If you really want to understand how the value of a partnership is indwelled within the body of a structure, keep listening.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Matt & Mo for your time. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first.


An Intimate Chat with Industry Icon and Reigning Queen of Home Staging | 328 | Meridith Baer



Do you know the story behind the reigning queen of home staging? If not, you are going to absolutely love this, trust me when I tell you because you listen to the podcast, you know I am going to take you deep in the world of design, behind the pretty pictures and together, we explore the “how” behind design. Baer found her calling at 50. Then built an amazing brand. If that doesn’t give you the drive to do all the things you have been planning for the growth of your own career, I don’t know what will.

Are you subscribing to the podcast, if not, please do so you get every episode automatically when they are published. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts and now, you can find us on DesignNetwork dot Org, a destination dedicated to podcasts, all things design and architecture so make sure to check it out.

Thank you, Meridith, I love your story. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And thank you for listening. Without you, there is no joy in doing this, you are appreciated. My hope is to bring you inspiration and sublime design through these conversations. To give you that extra push to be the most creative designer you can be. I think we did that here. Please make sure you are subscribing to the show so you don’t miss a single episode. You can also follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “x” and convo by design dot com. Be well and remember to take today first. Side note, I was asked why I switched the tag line from Keep Creating to Today First. Yesterday is gone and tomorrow isn’t promised. All we have is today so what are you going to do with that? Huh, control what you can and don’t worry about the rest.