Inimitable Style From Inside Out | 246 | Alison Palevsky

Alison Palevsky, interior designer and art consultant spoke with me about the career reboot, the pivot. She started her career as a talent agent trainee, for three years before realizing that was not what she wanted to do with her life. Alison shares her experience working with and for Trip Haenisch, Oliver Furth and Martyn Lawrence Bullard. This is more than a coming into ones own in the industry. This is about a focus on what one truly wants to be and then going out and getting it.

This is about the reboot, refocused energy and attention on what you really want to be and then going and getting it. This is Alison Palevsky.

#Palevsky #ConvoByDesign #Design #Architecture #LosAngeles

Crafting Style and Becoming One of the World’s Greatest | 245 | Jamie Bush

Jamie Bush, born in Long Island, to a family of dairy farmers, photographers, artists and designers. He studied art and architecture in New Orleans and Italy. Received his Masters of Architecture from Tulane University and then, of course he headed to LA to put it all into practice.

Jamie Bush is among the distinguished AD 100 and Elle Decor’s A-List. But, you already know that. What you probably haven’t heard are the stories of discovery, trial, failure, experience and ultimately finding the joy in design and architecture that propels Bush to strive for his look, his style, the feeling he looks for in a space and then crafting that space to match the way he feels it should look. This is about finding ones pace in the world and that magical skill of helping others determine what it is they want in a space and finding congruent between those two things. And we are going to talk about the boat, the house, I can’t do this justice so I am going to let him do it. This is architect, designer and incredible talent, Jamie Bush.

#interiorDesign #ConvoByDesign #Architecture #JamieBush

Five Must Hear Design Stories from the Boddy House | 244 | Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts

Designers Laura Muller, Maria Videla Juniel, Denise Bosley, Serena Brosio and Frank Slesinski….

This is a look back at the 2019 Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. A phenomenal accomplishment this year. The project reimagined the Boddy House located inside Descanso Gardens. It is a big property. One of the things that always surprises me is how the designers can come in, apply their creative vision and somehow, it all seems to work cohesively with the work of all the other designers. This year was no exception to that phenomenon. Okay, I am keeping my commentary brief here because we have over 16 amazing designers to speak with. I am not going to try and put every designer on one episode because that would be completely exhausting for you. I am going to put this out in four parts with four designers each.

This episode features:

Laura Muller of Four Point Design – Family Salon
Maria Videla Juniel – Ladies Hideaway
Denise Bosley – Master Bath
Serena Brosio and Frank Slesinski – Guest Lounge

This was another journey to the now closed Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts, 2019 edition. I hope you enjoyed the tour .Convo By Design is on well over 20 podcast directories and more all the time. No matter what platform you listen on, iTunes, TuneIn or others, please find the “subscribe” button and give it a click, that’s it. that way, you get every episode when it’s published. Give it a try. Thank you again for listening. Until next week, keep creating.

Crafted Collections: Kondo Craze or Organization Obsession | 243 | The Design Influencer & Innovator Group

The Summer months always seem to drag on for me. I think that is because I am laser focused on the Fall. I love the Fall. It is my favorite season for so many reasons, not the least of which are the design focused events that happen around Southern California. This is why I started the Design Influencer Series in May and we have already held three amazing events. This was the third in this on-going series and the topic, as we approach Fall was “Collecting and Organization.” 

The Marie Kondo craze has taken full effect, and to be quite honest with you, I’m not really sure how I feel about it so I wanted to ask the professionals. This gathering was held at the Ornate showroom on Beverly Blvd in West Hollywood. The ideas was a bit overwhelming for me and imagine it is for many of you as well. Folding, purging, clearing out your ‘stuff’ and not collecting more. Seems like a foreign concept, but I wanted some fresh insights. Here is who joined the discussion:

Jason Lai

L2 Interiors


Lori Dennis

Lori Dennis, Inc.


Eva Sobesky

EIS Interiors



Brian Wickersham

AUX Architecture


Christopher Mercier

(FER) Studio


Joseph Speirer

Joseph Speirer Architects


Jeff Valenson

Jeff Valenson Design


Lynnea Schweiters

Lynnea Jean Design


Stephanie Leese

L2 Interiors


It was amazing to hear what this distinguished group of creatives think about the concept of self-edit, clutter, organization and accumulation of ‘stuff’.

The ‘Stuff’ Culture and the Art of the Edit. Ours is a society built on things. If one has many things, one requires many places to house ones them. For many reasons, this is changing. It has to change. Climate change is affected by over production, over development, over delivery and over consumption. How does a designer who favors Maximalism operate in a world favoring less. It seems they edit more than they have in the past. The edit has always been part of the design process. It has always been an asset to those creatives who could honestly create using all their skills and still walk a few ideas back afterwards. That no longer appears to be a luxury.

Collecting Vs. Clutter.  There is a difference between the non-purposeful accumulation of things and a curated collection of objects. The former is what happens to most of us through the course of our lives. A ‘thing’ here, article of clothing there and before you are even aware, it has led to the destruction of your space’s harmony and peace. The key to Marie Kondo’s philosophical approach to de-cluttering lies in the ability to be honest and self-edit with purpose. How many of us can really do that. Yet another value proposition for the design and architecture community.

Designer and architect Role’s Are Greater Than Ever Before. Traditional roles for designers and architects to create spaces and places are changing rapidly due to a litany of factors that all emanate from the changing definition of “home” and what functionality we require of our space. We live in a consumer based society and a trend has emerged that challenges the very notion of what we buy and why we buy it. The idea of buying, not simply to consume or ‘keep up with the Jones’s. 

Editor’s Note: those ‘Jonses’, can’t stand them but they are real. We all know them and whether real or imagined, there is a strong urge to keep up with the latest in style and design, fashion, etc. As long as wealth continues to serve as an outward barometer of success, buying the latest, whatever-it-is will be in vogue. Designers, you have more of a say now than ever before what money shows, or doesn’t.

Experiences Over Things. There is an ever strengthening desire for experience over things to define who we are. Experiences define the individual and designers/ architects define the space for showcasing those experiences. It is an era of “who we are’ over ‘what we have’ and designers, decorators and architects are experimenting new was to replicate some experiences in an individual construct. Exciting times. At the same time, important to note the thoughts of one designer who said, “Create a space and curate it for the client, not instagram.” True.

Editor’s Note: It feels to me as though the advent of social media isn’t all bad. Social media serves as a ‘show-and-tell’ where we can display proof of our excursions and experience in a quantifiable setting. A setting suitable for feedback from our social networks. We get the validation we seek not from buying something but from an experience that, instead of adding to the popularity of what was bought and shown, is another chapter in the story of us. Experience seems to have overtaken the t-shirt, bauble or item as the method of showcase for adding to our story.

Getting To Know Your Clients.  Clients have so much more access to new sources of design talent. There is a new and exciting digital world with new opportunities and sometimes, the excitement of new beats out the comfort of familiar. The time has come to get to know and understand clients on a deeper level. This means understanding not just what they like, why they like it but also how liking this might be affected by outside factors. This isn’t endorsing the idea that you must be besties with your clients. It means that understanding their true desires on a deeper level will help creatives retain their clients and become, truly indispensable. This came up in conversation many times while exploring the idea of organization, storage and design. If designers and architects can understand the true thoughts and desires of their clients, they can edit on behalf of clients and get rid of excesses in the design process. That service of editing out potential excesses is a remarkable added value to clients.

Editor’s Note: When I first published Convo By Design six years ago, many in the industry would tell me about great friendships with clients. Those friendships led to return business and word of mouth business. We are at a crossroad. There is still a desire to maintain strong relationships with clients, yet clients have more opportunities than ever before to seek out new designers who might have a different perspective on client preferences. I published an episode featuring Bunny Williams recently. It was recorded at LCDQ’s Legends event. Bunny suggested that designers not feel as though they MUST be friends with all their clients. Be the professional advisor first. Being the advisor means helping your clients make tough decisions. Those tough choices ultimately make your client’s lives better, more enjoyable.

The Marie Kondo effect has brought out strong emotions, both for and against her ideas. Only you can decide how much is too much. As a designer, your clients look to you for guidance. This presents a phenomenal opportunity to have the conversation.

The Top 5 Most Important Issues Affecting Shelter Design Creatives in a  Konmari World

Summer 2019

5. The ability to strategically edit is a skill to be treasured.

4. There is a difference between curated collecting and consumerist clutter.

3. Designers and architects have a greater role now. They must create a more seamless approach based on personality and less on objects.

2. Clients value experience over things more now than ever before.

1. Get to know your clients for not just who they are but by what made them who they are and what they want to be.

Mastery of the High Low Mix | 242 | Nicole Gordon

This past year, Convo By Design was an official media partner of LCDQ’s LEGENDS event. As part of this partnership, I interviewed 38 of the window designers. It was a glorious challenge. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of time with most of the designers. Our conversations were brief and focused on the windows and the legends they embodied. But, there were a few opportunities to spend a bit more time with some and this is one of those. Nicole Gordon and I first met a few years ago, I think it was the Wattles Mansion showcase. What stood out to me then and I remember to this day was how she crafted a super luxe space, dripping with high concept design and she suspended an IKEA lighting fixture in the middle of the room. It not only fit, but looked, as great design always does, as though it was made for that space. It belonged there. That is what I think about Nicole Gordon’s design style. It all belongs. High, low, vibrant color or stark white, it was all planned and looks like it was made to work together. Nicole respects the craft and you will hear her share some thoughts on showing that respect as she honors legendary designers who came before her.

# InteriorDesign #NicoleGordon #LosAngeles #LaCienegaDesignQuarter #NicoleGordon #ConvoByDesign #Podcast


An Icon Returns to LA | 241 | Dakota Jackson

Let me set the stage for you. I’m sitting in the HOFA Gallery on LaCienega, surrounded by white walls and beautiful works by local and international artists. This is the perfect setting for an interview, and what makes it that much more special is the fact that I had been looking forward to this conversation for a while. It was with Dakota Jackson.  Yes, Jackson is a legendary furniture designer, yes, Jackson also mastered the art of brad partnerships as the one he has nurtured for quite some time with Steinway & Sons. But, he is also a masterful conversationalist.  Because of this, I knew that I was going to be tested.

This is a conversation about so much more than furniture and design. This podcast affords me the latitude to explore new avenues with creatives. To really see what lies beneath the work and where it comes from.

Dakota Jackson is a masterful creative with a background in the art of magic, theater, illusion and craft. He is also a true artist with a legendary story to match his body of work. We talk about the desk he crafted for John Lennon at Yoko Ono’s request. You’ll hear about the days on Warhol, Diane von Furstenberg and his participation in the American Art Furniture Movement.

This is designer, artist, magician and maker, Dakota Jackson.

Masterful Application of Architectural Skill | 240 | Adam Sokol

This week, you are going to hear from architect Adam Sokol. Sokol’s educational resume is extremely impressive. Columbia, Harvard, Yale and the University of Paris.  If you are new to the show, welcome, you might not know this. Longtime listeners are surely aware, I think education is wonderful. Education of all types, not just those in the classroom. That being said, a university education at institutions such as these does give one access to individuals that one might not ordinarily have access. Sokol talks about instruction and access to those types of people during his time in school.

This impacted him both personally and professionally and I am really pleased to share his experience with you. You are also going to hear about his firm, the working some truly interesting projects that are helping shape Los Angeles and elsewhere. This is architect, Adam Sokol.

Follow us on the socials: @ConvoXDesign on Instagram. Check out the videos on YouTube.

Legendary Conversations: Why It’s Worth it

Legendary Conversations from LaCienega Design Quarter’s Legends 2019 | 9 | Why It’s Worth It

I’m Josh Cooperman, host and publisher of Convo By Design. This is another episode of Legendary Conversations featuring the stories, events and intimate chats with legends of design. I am bringing you chats, conversations and keynotes from the magnificent showrooms of the LaCienega Design Quarter. This one is really fun, it was hosted by Hammer & Spear, featured moderator, Tony Freund, Editorial Director at 1st Dibs and showcased designers Jamie Bush, Nate Berkus and Verre Grenney.

Jamie, Tony, Nate and Veere talk about collectable treasures, their place in design and how luxury collectables or entire collections can enhance the overall design.

This is “Why It’s Worth It” from the Hammer & Spear Showroom during Legends 2019.

Convo By Design

Insta: @ConvoXDesign

!st Dibs

Insta: @1stdibs

Jamie Bush

Insta: @jamiebushco

Nate Berkus

Insta: @nateberkus

Veere Grenen

Insta: @veere_grenney

This was another Legendary Conversation from LCDQ’s Legends 2019. Thank you for listening to this episode of Convo By Design’s Legendary Conversations. If not already, please subscribe to the show anywhere you find your favorite podcasts. You can also check out videos from some of your favorite conversations on our YouTube channel as well as the Convo By Design Instagram feed. Search Convo X Design with an “x”. Thank you Tamar Mashegian, LCDQ President and longtime friend of the show, Patrick Dragonette, Special thanks to the amazing LCDQ showroom owners and managers and of course you because without you listening, there is no Convo By Design. Until next week, keep creating.

She Brings the South to SoCal | 239 | Genevieve Trousdale

Genevieve Trousdale is the founder and principle designer at Circa Genevieve, her Los Angeles based design firm. I hadn’t met Genevieve before this chat, but I was aware of her work. Genevieve was born and raised in Louisiana and her southern roots are always present in her work and her philosophy behind the work. 

When I host these conversations, While I do  a lot of research, I don’t come in with a list of questions. I like to go into these conversations with a strong understanding about the work but I also like to focus on the replies to questions and shift the conversations based on that. My conversation with Genevieve took a really interesting turn. Genevieve received mentorship working under two world-class designers, Timothy Corrigan and Michael Berman. I think you will find this part of the interview captivating. She details how this changed the course of her career trajectory. This led to a follow up conversation with both Michael and Timothy. All there will be joining me for a keynote panel at the WestEdge Design Fair in October to talk about this very topic.

This is Circa Genevieve’s, Genevieve Trousdale recorded LIVE in the Living Kitchen Studio A request before we get going. If not already, please subscribe to the show so every episode is sent as soon as they are published. You can find a subscription button everywhere you find your favorite podcasts.

Treasure Hunting for Unique Antiquities and Glorious Plants | 238 | Stephen Block

Stephen Block is the owner of Inner Gardens, he is an exterior landscape designer, antiques dealer and a practitioner of wabi-sabi. What is wabi-sabi you may ask. It’s the practice of finding the art in imperfection. It’s way more than that actually, but that is a basic explanation and I will let Stephen explain it further. 

I spent a day with Stephen at the Inner Gardens showroom in Culver City. It is an oasis, literally and figuratively. You walk in off busy Fairfax or busier LaCienega and the world seems to stand still as you enter a calm serene environment surrounded by pottery, foliage, trees and amazing objects at every turn.

It takes a master of landscapes to do this, especially as the concrete jungle grows around you, literally, from one week to the next. Stephen and I talked about a lot. I broke the conversation down into segments so you can hear Block’s story, directly from him. This is Stephen Block.

So this is how Stephen got started. More now on his philosophy on design. Important to note that Stephen has a firm understanding of what he is looking for in his own design, I think this makes him a tremendous asset to others who might not be so sure. Clients and designers alike. This is Stephen Block explaining that philosophy.

From finding perfection in an imperfect career comes an a love for finding art in the imperfections around us. Stephen discusses his love for wabi-sari and how he applies it to life and work. I love this and I hope you do too.

So there you go. Now you know Stephen Block of Inner Gardens. Go meet him and talk to him about wabi-sabi and let him show you around the Inner Gardens showroom. That is a wrap on this episode of Convo By Design, thank you Stephen for the time, thank you Snyder Diamond and SubZero Wolf for your continued support and of course, thank you for listening because if not for you, there would be know Convo By Design. Until next week, keep creating.