All posts by convo-by-design

The Modern Smart Home | 289 | Function vs. Fiction



Our homes are getting smarter. Designers and architects are being given the tools to increase the IQ of the home by making it more functional, using smart devices to perform new functions, and with this comes confusion and challenges in making all of the individual parts work together. This conversation is the latest edition of A Moment of Zen, conversations presented by Thermasol that explore designing for wellness and tranquility.

This chat features designer John McClain, technology integration expert, Dave Raines, and Patrick Weidl from Thermasol. We are talking about tech, integration, and making it all work together within the design.

Thank you, John, Dave, and Patrick, this was great. Thank you Thermasol for presenting A Moment of Zen, thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support. And, thank you for listening to the show.

Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss a single episode. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. You can also ask your smart device to play Convo By Design, and it will. If you want to continue the conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.


Art & Public Spaces | 288 | The Future and Purpose of Public Art



I was invited to moderate a virtual conversation recently. It is really interesting how something like a virtual panel, which felt so foreign four months ago now seems normal. The ‘new’ normal has affected every part of our lives. One really amazing such’ new normal’ is how we engage with art. In public spaces, how our design events will emerge once permitted to resume activities, and then there is the way art has become a source of comfort for many and a source of protest for others.

That second part is something I found of particular interest and I think you will too. A pandemic wrapped up in a social crisis the likes none of us have ever seen before. This conversation covers a lot of ground and explores the role art plays in our lives now and how it will play a major role in the healing process. This panel was organized and produced by Christine Anderson and Communication Arts and Design featuring:

Gaston Isoldi, Maison & Objet https://mom.maison-objet.com/en
Wendy Posner, Posner Fine Art https://posnerfineart.com
Juan Ospina, Hoffman and Opsina Landscape Design https://hoffmanospina.com
Evan Snyderman, R & Company https://www.r-and-company.com
Sandra Vlock, Studio Vlock https://www.studiovlock.com

So much to think about and be hopeful for the future. I cannot wait to go live again and I know I’m not alone. Thank you Christine for organizing such a great conversation, thank you Gaston, Sandra, Wendy, Juan and Evan. Thank you Walker Zanger and Thermasol for your continued support. And, thank you for listening to the show.

Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss a single episode. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. You can also ask your smart device to play Convo By Design, and it will. If you want to continue the conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.


Ross Vincent | 287 | Attaining Balance of Sophisticated and Approachable Design



Interior design is so much more than an accumulation of things arranged in a pleasing way. Interior design, done right, means understanding the needs of the client and then taking those desires, both seen and unseen, and crafting an environment that meets those needs. Ross Vincent is a rising design star that is already highly accomplished. His work is clean and elegant, modern, and comfortable.

You are going to hear Ross talk about the state of design here in Southern California as well as the influences that he brought with him from his home city of Seattle, Wa. This conversation also turns to design in the fly-over states and locations that are not normally included in the conversation about significant design and architecture. I love that, I think you will, too. This is interior designer, Ross Vincent.

Ross. I really enjoyed our chat. Thank you for taking the time. I also must note that this conversation was recorded live and in person. It seems like a lifetime ago since I was able to do this and I can’t wait to do it again. Thank you, Walker Zanger and Thermasol for your continued support. And, thank you for listening to the show. Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss a single episode. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. You can also ask your smart device to play Convo By Design, and it will. If you want to continue the conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.


Lone Star House of Design | 9 | Sara Malek Barney of BANDD Design



This is Lone Star | House of Design, produced and distributed by the team that brings you Convo By Design with another story about design and architecture for the Great State of Texas featuring Sara Malek Barney, founder of Bandd Design.

Sara is a remarkable talent who brings a number of unique elements to her incredible rise in design, that of a first career in sports and entertainment. She worked for Hollywood powerhouse talent firm CAA, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and then came home to Austin to launch her design firm, Bandd Design. Sara and I talk about her journey and her work, work that is influenced by her Hollywood experience and Texas roots, equally and balanced which makes her work truly unique. You are also going to hear about some of her amazing projects like a kitchen she designed for Ferguson.

Enjoy this conversation with Sara and then, catch up on more episodes from both Lone Star House of Design and Convo By Design by subscribing to the podcast so you never miss a single episode. It’s really easy, find the shows everywhere you get your favorite podcasts, or ask your smart device to “play Convo By Design podcast” and it will… This is Sara Malek Barney

Thank you, Sara, loved this. Please subscribe to the show so you catch every episode of Lone Star House of Design and Convo By Design, ask Alexa or Siri, say, “Hey Siri, Play Convo By Design” and she will. You can follow the show on the socials as well, @ConvoXDesign with an “X” on Instagram, and check out the YouTube channel for videos from some of your favorite episodes. Thank you for listening and until next week, Keep creating.


Reinvention and Amazing Design | 286 | Bailey Li Interiors



You don’t need me to tell you how different this year has been. Your entire life has changed and you have looked at what you do, how you do it, and how to pivot and adjust. Alecia Bailey founder and principal designer of Bailey Li Interiors made her wholesale change a while back after a career in real estate and corporate sales. While in real estate, she began staging properties and seeing success and fell in love with interior design. Now, wanting to do something different is one thing but being driven to doing that and giving up something else to do it is entirely another. We have all made difficult choices and as we move into what’s next, we find ourselves facing more hard choices, and that isn’t a bad thing.  Life is too short not to do what you love to do. Bailey knows this and I think you are going to love her design.  She is bold, brave, passionate about the use of color and when you hear her explain her approach, I think you will hear why I am such a fan. Please make sure you are subscribers to Convo By Design everywhere you get your podcasts, ask your device to help you, say, “Siri, play Convo By Design podcast”, and she will.

Thank you Bailey for your time and talent. Find Bailey online at designedbybaileyli.com and on Instagram @Interiorista_baileyli . Thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support for the show and THANK YOU for listening to the show. Were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design so, thank you. Until next week, keep creating.


The Future of Minimal Modern | 285 | Minarc



This is Erla Ingjaldsdottir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson of Minarc. The duo founded Minarc, a Santa Monica based architecture firm that is producing ground-breaking minimalist, modern design that is both stunning to look at and stripped down to the very essence of the structure itself. Materials and lack of materials play a huge role in the finished product. The absence of paint, carpet, tile, and a focus on letting the included materials speak a different dialect in the language of architecture. And because architecture is a language all its own, Minarc’s work allows the design to speak for itself using a “don’t tell me, show me” approach.

This is a new segment of the show called A moment of Zen presented by Thermasol, it’s a focus on wellness tips for a healthy mind, body, and soul. This topic has been coming up more and more lately and while this is certainly not a new topic, more clients have been asking for health and wellness worked into their designs. I started asking around and there are some really interesting ideas taking shape.

As you hear about modern minimalist design, peaceful living needs to be a part of that conversation and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the idea of home is very different now than it was at the start of the year. Not only are we spending more time at home but that time is being spent doing more things. Of those, the idea of relaxation in a spa-like environment has been lost to many. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Have you considered incorporating steam showers into your designs? If not, some things to consider… Steam showers are not just for resorts, spas and gyms. You know this, but what you might not be aware of is that steam showers offer additional opportunities like aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the introduction of essential oils into the steam itself which is said to have both healing properties as well as adding to a relaxing experience. Options include jasmine, eucalyptus, rose, lavender, chamomile all offering their own “essence” to the experience. While they have not been studied for medical efficacy, and it is important to get any treatments cleared by a medical professional in advance… this is the legal disclaimer portion of this segment. This is something that can add to the experience of a shower making it so much more than just a cleaning tool. A steam shower conversion is a relatively simple construction upgrade and once that is done, incorporating essential oils into the steam is even easier.

I read an article in New York Magazine online from February 16th, 2017. It was called, The Strategist, What’s the Deal with Essential oils? By Mike Albo. Albo spoke with Dr. Pamela Dalton from the Monell Center in Philadelphia. Dalton, an olfactory-research scientist spoke about the value of essential oils. Dr. Dalton recommends “encourages their use” and notes that, in. Dalton notes “extremely rare’’ creations in personal research. There are a number of possible reasons for this but at the end of the day, we are all looking for ways to increase the sense of well being achieved through relaxation and aromatherapy is an option worth exploring.  

These ideas are provided for you to consider exploring in your future projects. Zen is a state of mind, designing for wellness is more important now than ever before. Thermasol is a brand created over 60 years ago to incorporate steam showers and sauna into any project you can design. They have also integrated cutting edge technology into their products allowing you to set individual profiles for every user. Set temperature, chromotherapy, aromatherapy, listen to music, or watch your favorite shows while taking a relaxing steam shower. You will be amazed at just how easy it is to specify Thermasol products for every project you can design. Check them out online at Thermasol dot com.


Lone Star House of Design | 8 | Traci Connell Interiors



Luxury living and livable design can both share the same space and designer Traci Connell shares her strategies for making sure both concepts get equal focus in her work. Traci shares her design philosophy and walks us through a few of her projects. You are going to hear how high-end luxury meets easy living. Traci also shares some time and money-saving strategies. Enjoy this conversation with Traci Connell of Traci Connell Interiors and then, catch up on more episodes from both Lone Star House of Design and Convo By Design by subscribing to the podcast so you never miss a single episode. It’s really easy, find the shows everywhere you get your favorite podcasts, or ask your smart device to “play Convo By Design podcast” and it will… This is Traci Connell…


Michelle Boudreau | 284 | Modern Design in the Desert



Michelle Boudreau is a very skilled designer with an engaging personality. She makes her work seem absolutely effortless, and I can tell you first hand that when it comes to design houses, effort is one thing you must bring in abundance, like patience, a sense of calm determination and a thick skin. Having produced design houses, I can tell you that this is true and that Michelle checks off each of these boxes. 

Partnerships are key and this is how these projects become a reality.  They include Russo Studios lighting, JennAir appliances from Ferguson, Heather James Gallery provided the art, Minotti Italian furnishings from MASS Beverly, Design Hardware and Flooring provided a variety of hardware and fixtures for this home and so many other amazing details and you will hear about all of them here. This particular home captures a European modern feel in the middle of the desert.  And this fearless mosaic was created by Michelle and now you get to sear about how everything comes together. A request for those new to the show… Please follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “X” and subscribe to the show so you never miss an episode. You can find us everywhere you find your favorite podcasts.

Thank you Michelle for your time and talent. Thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support for the show and THANK YOU for listening to the show. Were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design so, thank you. Until next week, keep creating.


Buster + Punch | 283 | Massimo Buster Minale



Buster + Punch is the luxury home fashion label born out of a love of home, fashion, metalwork, and motorcycles. Minale is part fashion designer, craft metalworker, and mad scientist. Buster + Punch is one of the most impactful new home design brands for a number of reasons, not the least of which is an artistic approach to the work that blends machine worked industrial lines and fine art. This is a fearless luxury home brand that demands attention yet works flawlessly with so many different styles of design and architecture. Full disclosure, I have Buster + Punch pieces in my home. My absolute favorite is the light bulbs installed in a suspended Jamie young piece hanging in our kitchen. I look at this every day and it makes me happy. So, I’m a fan off the bat and I think you will be as well after hearing about Buster + Punch from Massimo himself. This is Massimo Buster Minale, founder of Buster + Punch.

Thank you, Massimo. Great chat, I’m sorry we won’t see each other at WestEdge this year, but I am counting the days until 2021. Thank you Walker Zanger for your support for Convo Boy Design and THANK YOU for listening. Were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design. Speaking of which, make sure you are subscribing to the show everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. You can also find everything show related at ConvoBy Design dot com. Be well and until next week, keep creating.


Lone Star House of Design | 7 | Yates Desygn on Building a Design Firm Organically



Mike and Bryan created Yates Desygn in 2015 and have been practicing in Dallas ever since. Important to know, and you will hear how they hung a shingle in Texas without knowing anyone in Texas. They are going to share how they networked and built their firm from scratch. This is one of those rare firms that offer both interior and landscape services with equal mastery. You will find both southern charm and big-city sophistication in their work. I think that is important right now. I believe that the renewed interest in those moving from highly congested cities like LA, New York and Chicago is growing. I think in the next 3-5 years you will see an absolute explosion in the Texas population. Dallas being its biggest beneficiary. Folks moving in will be looking to blend their contemporary sensibilities with southern charm and The Yates’ are in a very good spot to benefit. This is Mike and Bryan Yates of Yates Desygn.

Thank you Bryan and Mike, excellent job, that was fun. Please subscribe to the show so you catch every episode of Lone Star House of Design and Convo By Design, ask Alexa or Siri, say, “Hey Siri, Play Convo By Design” and she will. You can follow the show on the socials as well, @ConvoXDesign with an “X” on Instagram and check out the YouTube channel for videos from some of your favorite episodes. Thank you for listening and until next week, Keep creating.