Remembering and Celebrating A Friend | Christine Anderson

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design remembering a friend, someone with whom I have collaborated since this show began 10 years ago either as a publicist that was booking her clients or as a contributor. We are remembering public relations pro, loyal friend, industry advocate and a truly wonderful person, Christine Anderson.

When I started Convo By Design, one of my first collaborators was Christine Anderson. She was working with Snyder Diamond, the shows first sponsor. Like everyone else in the design industry in 2013, Christine wasn’t really sure what a podcast was but that didn’t stop her from asking me how she could help or recognizing that this could be a tremendous platform for her clients. Since then, I had the privilege of getting to know Christine and while I really cannot imagine what the Southern California design and architecture community will be without her, I’m thankful that I got the opportunity to know and work with her.

Christine was, as I mentioned, a staunch advocate for her clients and more than that, she was a partner that brought new ideas, fresh perspective and always had a kind word when sometimes, that was what was really necessary. 

In 2015, I was working with the WestEdge Design Fair in Santa Monica and had a huge install. A stage, sponsorship, designers, parties and I remember how Christine calmly worked with the whole team to make sure things went off with out a hitch. And they did. That was one of the things I will always remember about her was her willingness to jump in, roll up her sleeves and get to work.

I also mentioned that Christine was a show contributor. I think what I want to do is share those conversations with you so you can hear from Christine one last time. Her story. Her words. Her voice. I met Christine around 2009 and after starting the podcast, I thought she would make a perfect guest for the show. I was right. This episode 4 of the show, featuring Christine. You’ll hear from Christine , right after this.

After hearing Christine and getting a feel for her style, I wondered how her interview style might differ from mine? It differed greatly…which is why she made three subsequent appearances on the show.

This is Christine’s conversation with another great friend of the show and frequent guest, Laurie Haefele.

Finally, this is another one of Christine’s conversations with her good friend, Franchesca Garcia Marquez.

Christine just disappeared like a flash but her legacy lives on in the friends she’s made over the years and the work she’s done on behalf of her clients, her business partners and the relationships with friends. My hope is that those who didn’t get a chance to know Christine, well, now you do, a little bit. And for those who knew her, I hope hearing her voice, her laugh somehow brings you some solace and eases your pain if even for a few minutes. To her friends, co-workers, and I call them that even though she was the boss, I always thought of her as one of the team.. and family, I am so sorry for your loss.

Thank you for listening to the show. Thank you for allowing me a forum to share my grief and providing a place to celebrate Christine. Thank you to CXD partners and sponsors, ThermaSol, Moya Living, Franz Viegener, Article Furniture and York Wallcoverings for making this show possible. Now, more than ever, remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Be well, and until next week, take today first.

Perspectives on Design and the Thought Process that Informs World Class Interior Design | 402 | Sherry Hayslip

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we are going back to the WestEdge Design Fair in Dallas, Texas with designer, Sherry Hayslip.

I have been working with the WestEdge Design Fair since I think 2015. I have been producing the panels and conversations since 2016 and as is the case every year it gets more challenging because I push myself to bring you designers you know, creators you don’t and topics that force you to think about the business and how it affects you and your impact on the business of design. I speak with creators who come from all walks of life and creative thought. Today, you are going to hear from my conversation with Sherry Hayslip, one of the most cerebral designers I know. By this, I mean that she puts more thought into the context of the design as it affects those who will be living with it. I would also say that she is also one of the most under-appreciated designers I know. She is an international talent, she is award-winning, she has Fortune 500 and celebrity clients, she works on a wide array of projects and styles and there is no shortage of press-coverage but in my opinion, she is in the conversation for one of America’s greatest talents. Hear her approach and you recognize that she is a special creative.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Episode 271 featuring Mitch Altman

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

Thank you Sherry, WestEdge Design Fair and to all of you who came to the show. Thank you to CXD sponsors and partners, ThermaSol, Article Furniture, York Wallcoverings, Moya Living and Franz Viegener for your continued support. Of course, thank you for downloading, subscribing and listening to the show. Thank you for the emails of support and the guest submissions. I love them and it has allowed me to find some amazing talent to showcase. Please remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Designers, architects, artists, product designers, showroom managers, publicists, magazine editors, publishers, set decorators and everyone else that makes our industry stronger by the day, this show is for you. That’s why I do it. Thanks for listening. Be well, and take today first.

Perspectives On Design with Chad Dorsey | 401 | Live from the WestEdge Design Fair in Dallas, Texas

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we are going back to the WestEdge Design Fair in Dallas, Texas with designer, Chad Dorsey.

I started Convo By Design in response to a complete lack of design focused content prior to 2012. When I started this show, it was to purposefully and thoughtfully transport you everywhere design was happening. That was even true until March 13, 2020. But since then, everyone with the latest smartphone provides some sort of coverage from every event known to man. My priority since day one was to bring this to you, packaged so you felt in some small way that you were actually there, experiencing it first hand. That is my commitment to you, I will keep doing that. And because of this, I have had to continually up my game because every day, there is a new podcast, digital video outlet or e-design platform producing more and more design focused content. I appreciate the challenge, it keeps me motivated. Is that weird?

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Episode 271 featuring Mitch Altman

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

Anyhow, I started a new extension of the show called Perspectives, featuring creatives who are doing things differently. This is one such conversation from the WestEdge Design Fair’s first edition in Dallas Texas in September 2022. This conversation is with interiors and product designer, Chad Dorsey.  Chad has been on the show previously, back in 2019 when we caught up with him and his Lacienega Design Quarter, Legends installation. We reminisce a bit about that. This was so much fun.

For those interested in seeing some of Chad’s work or the video from this conversation, check the show notes for links. Enjoy, that is coming up right after this.

Thank you Chad, WestEdge Design Fair and to all of you who came to the show. Thank you to CXD sponsors and partners, ThermaSOl, Article Furniture, York Wallcoverings, Moya Living and Franz Viegener for your continued support. Of course, thank you for downloading, subscribing and listening to the show. Thank you for the emails of support and the guest submissions. I love them and it has allowed me to find some amazing talent to showcase. Please remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Designers, architects, artists, product designers, showroom managers, publicists, magazine editors, publishers, set decorators and everyone else that makes our industry stronger by the day, this show is for you. That’s why I do it. Be well, and take today first.

Going Big Featuring An All-Star Guest List | 400 | Big Personalities and Big Design Celebrating 400 Episodes

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. I’m starting to get a bit more reflective than I have been in the past. At the end of 2022, I will have been hosting and producing Convo By Design for 10 years. No, really. And this is a very special episode. #400

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Episode 271 featuring Mitch Altman

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

These 10 years have really flown by. In part because this is my second career. My first was in broadcasting, for those who have been listening to the show for a while, I will spare you from having to hear the story again. Suffice it to say, a lot has happened in design and architecture since 2013. I think the industry looks and feels very different now than it did then. 

Obviously, the last 3 years have been transformative, but even before the pandemic, the business was changing. In this episode, I want to share some of the incredibly talented people who have been on the show. I want to reshape some of their thoughts and ideas, share some of the places we’ve been over the past 10 years and take a look at the next 10. What will that look like for our business? So this is going to be a longer than usual episode because a lot has happened over the past 10 years and while I can’t cover it all here, I would like to share these ideas and excerpts from a few select interviews along the way. In no particular order and I don’t wish to leave anyone out, following are some of the things that really stuck with me along the way.

Before we get to some of the design talent, some thoughts on the future of the design business.

  1. Remote Design – The pandemic sealed it. Remote design is a permanent part of the industry. That is not going to change. Designers are not realtors. Realtors work a “farm” or a specific territory. Designers and architects need not do that and because of that, should be looking beyond the traditional borders and boundaries to develop a new clientele. As we have been discussing and exploring through the Remote Design House – Tulsa, the future of remote and virtual design is rife with opportunity and peril alike.
  2. Stellar Customer Service or Suffer the Consequences
  3. New Product Discovery – Specification and re-specification has fundamentally changed. 

Its so much fun to find new products. For me, that is the feel I get when I speak to new creatives. That is, those I have not yet spoken with. This first clip was from my conversation with  Julian Lennon, who has entered a new chapter in his life with a new album and a new collection of photographs that are offered at RH through General Public, Portia de Rossi’s company that represents emerging artists. I really loved my chat with Lennon, here is what that sounded like.

I wanted to share another Lennon connection with you. This time, with art furniture designer, Dakota Jackson. Jackson has an incredible backstory starting with his family, who were magicians and this is Dakota telling the story of a desk he was commissioned to build for John Lennon by Yoko Ono.

Back to some lessons learned along the way…

  1. You Must Market Your Brand – Take this to mean whatever you want, I have learned over time that since people hear what they want to hear, sometimes it is difficult to come to a universal conclusion. But I will be clear, if you want new or better clients, you must advertise or market your brand in better ways. Otherwise, and you are right in that ‘word of mouth’ can work, but if you are being shared client to potential client, you are still dealing with many of the same clients you wish to upgrade. Gone are the days when designers should be utilized for their knowledge base and trade discount. Designers are both creatives and futurists who solve the issues that most directly and deeply affect their clients. This is important. This is essential. This is valuable and requires proper compensation. There are virtual design services online that can provide designed spaces for $40 and there are “decorators” on Fiverr starting at $5. If this doesn’t concern you, it should. I’ll tell you a story, back in my broadcast days, I watched the radio and record industries lose control over the power to move music. First it was Napster, then social media, then Apple. Now, you can buy music online. When was the last time you bought an entire album? Unless you are into Vinyl, it has probably been well over a decade. The design business is no different. If a virtual design company can change the thought process as it relates to design from crafting curated and purposeful spaces to a simple space plan with furnishings that fit and in the right color palate, where does it end? It ends in devaluing the designer and I do this because I love what you do. Marketing you and your brand is crucial to the long term health of your design business and that of the industry.

Some designers who have paved their own way. Created a world around the design they create. One of those designers is the incomparable, Bunny Williams. Williams was always very clear in her focus and what her work and that of her firm means. She has always been crystal clear in her views on learning from others, I’ll let Bunny explain it.

From Bunny to another icon, Martyn Lawrence Bullard. I caught up with Bullard at the Lacienega Design Quarter Legends event in 2019. Martyn and his team were designing their showroom window to honor Tony Duquette. This provided him with an opportunity to get back to his theatrical roots and craft, in spectacular fashion. Fearless and fabulous. Listen.

  1. Trade Groups, Media, Trade Shows, Manufacturers and Showrooms… Step Up – The past three years have been draining on all of us, but that is no excuse to stop trying to elevate. I conduct many post-conversation interviews after I stop recording for the show. I ask designers, artists, architects what they see in the business, what the experience has been like, day to day and what they need from industry resources. The number one response is better customer service. Sending out samples does not constitute customer service. Nor does calling on designers to see what projects they are working on. Customer service is answering the phone, returning an email within 24 hours, dropping a less important activity to find out where that chair is and when it will be delivered. Customer service is following up, proactively on damaged merchandise and if it can’t be fixed, replace it quickly, if it was discontinued, offer a suitable replacement or provide credit, again….proactively not reactively because designers don’t have the time to chase you down. Trade groups and trade shows, I get that it is about the per foot display, ticket and advertising revenue. And it should be, but I would challenge you to offer a deeper engagement, a better experience for those attending. There are some that do it right. Salone, Maison, WestEdge… But there are others who don’t put a great deal of pride into the experience of those who attend your events and I think there is a tremendous opportunity here. And media, ours is a billion dollar industry and as such, deserves a far more robust media platform. I have had a very good working relationship with the shelter publications over the years. It pains me to say this but it is time for you to step up your game. This is not directed at everyone… Bring back the contributors and editors. You can’t cover a diverse industry like ours with a handful of writers covering everything with fewer word and images on fewer pages of edit. Paper costs have caused some publishers to make difficult choices, cutting editorial staff and circulation. I encourage you to learn from radio and don’t allow digital to take all of your readers and advertisers. I am a tactile person, I love design magazines, I want you to be around for a very long time. 
  1. Diversity in Design, Cultural Recognition and Creative Attribution Is Inextricably Tied to the Business of Design… And that’s a good thing. It’s more work, it is. Knowing the back story of all the materials used in the work is a significant amount of work to document but it also provides an incredible opportunity to elevate the narrative of the work and the byproducts that make the sum of its parts.

In 2019, I produced a conversation at the WestEdge Design Fair. This was a fantastic conversation. Here’s a bit from that encounter. First you will hear from Brian Pinkett of Landry Design Group, then Brigid Coulter, Ron Woodson and Breegan Jane closing it out.

  1. Rise of The Work Room. They are here to stay.
  2. Wellness is the Most Important Function- It has become and inextricable part of design since March 13, 2020. It’s both incredible and stunning to attribute a major movement to a specific day, but the entirety of the US and the world can look back at the day the US closed. What happened next was a terrifying, confusing and disruptive time during which the pandemic taught all of us that our homes were not designed to function in times of universal turmoil. Following that, the creative community does what it always does and looks for ways to fix problems. These fixes came in the way of functional redesigns, rethinking what “home” is and how it can better serve those living there. Wellness in design… Air, water, sound, experience. These four concepts represent a wholesale change in design thinking, and location thinking as well. 

In Southern California, it was March 13, a Friday and I thought if this is going to happen, might as well get it all down to see what we can learn from it. I started a series called, Designing for Disaster. The next two clips feature guests form that series. First up is 

Thomas Kliggerman who shares a personal story of being locked down while in the midst of designing his own personal new home.

Joe Berkowitz joined me for an episode of Designing for Disaster and shares some truly valuable design advice about space planning and ways to keep everything in scale.

It would be a mistake not to mention that while all this is going on, we were all worried about catching this new virus. Worried about our friends and family dying from it and this podcast kept me connected to the design industry. My friends, old and new. Being confined to a small beach bungalow in Southern California wasn’t completely horrible. As a matter of fact, the connection with my family during this time is something I will forever cherish. The uncertainty was awful. But, I was home with my family and through this show I was able to keep the conversation going. I hope it was useful for you too.

Throughout the pandemic, actually before and most certainly after, wellness has been at the top of every priority list. Because of that and because I so appreciate my partnership with ThermaSol, I want you to hear from Mitch Altman, 

DIEM – 2014 with Roman Alonso partner with Commune Design and Mayer Rus, West Coast Editor of AD talking about the creative freedom that California, and more specifically Los Angeles offer creatives. Moderated by Mallery Roberts Morgan. This conversation was a simple creative comparison between New York and Los Angeles. What is so interesting about this, to me, is that as you listen, it is a binary conversation about cultural and artistic relevance in the United States. I enjoyed listening back to this conversation from 2014 and I hope you do as well. A look back at the halcyon days between the turmoil of the great recession and civil war. Before a global pandemic and record setting financial and business disruption. A time when we could afford to have a simple conversation about who does it better.

Loved listening back to that but at the same time, while it seems so long ago, it really wasn’t. But some things have changed. The design fly-overs have emerged as a place where some factors have converged at an important time. Designers who are doing incredible things in Oklahoma, Colorado, Kentucky and Texas. Speaking of Texas, I was so fortunate to have a conversation with friend Kyle Bunting who invited some of his friends, Lauren Rottet, Jan Showers and Fern Santini for a really fun conversation about design in the lone star state. Here is what that sounded like.

Susan Ferrier… On achieving the shared desires of her clients. She first wants to understand desire and then listens to gain nuance.

The Architects… I have had the opportunity to speak with some of the greatest architecture minds working today. Here are just a few, Roger Seifter from Robert AM Sterns Architects talking about a  Southern California John L. Woolf home and the thoughtful, loving restorative process that goes into all their projects. This is a distinguished list and in no particular order, except that their ideas are exquisite and their work is the physical manifestation of this ideas for all to see and a lucky few to enjoy. They include, Paul McClean, Dan Brunn, Woods & Dangaran and Jamie Bush

Thank you, All as well as those not included in this episode for taking some of your time to share your story. Your stories are what make American design and architecture true art form.  Special thanks to CXD sponsors and partners ThermaSol, Moya Living, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegenr and Article Furniture. Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to listen to Convo By Design. I produce this show for you. Those in the design industry to hear what others are doing and hopefully provide you with some inspiration to do that thing you do. Remember why and for whom you craft and create. Please subscribe to the show so you don’t miss an episode, you can find us everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. Thank you, have a great week and take today first. -CXD

A Highly-Targeted Market-Driven Approach to Design | 397 | Trio Design CEO, Angela Harris. Design Wellness & Thought Leadership Series

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, you are going to hear form Angela Harris, Principal & CEO of TRIO. Angela and her Denver Based design company are doing some things…. A lot of things actually., from the multi-disciplinary design work, the Bode & Well products, a design media platform. It’s a lot.This is part of the Design Wellness & Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol. An ongoing series where we explore new ideas in design with those making strides to grow, nurture and develop the business.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience.

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

Angela Harris has some very strong ideas from which she structures plans and executes. That is what we are talking about today. A fearlessness to scale and the ideas that turn into opportunities. This is part of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol. By the end of this episode, you will have some actionable ideas to strengthening your own design brand. I am excited to see what you do with it. We’ll hear from Angela, right after this.

Thank you Angela for taking the time to speak with me today and sharing you thoughts, ideas and skill. Special thanks to CXD sponsors and partners ThermaSol, Moya Living, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegener and Article Furniture. Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to listen to Convo By Design. I produce this show for you. Those in the design industry to hear what others are doing and hopefully provide you with some inspiration to do that thing you do. Remember why and for whom you craft and create. Please subscribe to the show so you don’t miss an episode, you can find us everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. Thank you, have a great week and take today first. -CXD

Designer & Artist Ann Jackson | 394 | Transitioning Artistic Vision into A Truly Representative Product Line

I’m Josh Cooperman, this is Convo By Design. How’s your day going so far? Well, I hope. And I think it’s about to get a little bit better.  you are about to hear my conversation with artist and wallcoverings creator, Ann Jackson.

If I have learned anything on this journey that you and I take every week for the past 10 years, it’s that designers, architects, artists, product manufacturers and the rest of you that make up the D&A community, you make the world a better place to be. You do so by crafting things and ideas that make life better because you make living better.. I hope you never forget that. It’s easy to do, especially when a new election cycle comes around and focus changes, it can get dark. So I am hoping to bring you back to the light for an hour or so at a time. This week, we are hearing from Ann Jackson. Ann is an artist and creator/ purveyor of fine wallcoverings. She is from Dallas, Texas, my second home and what I love most about Ann and her work is that she takes an artists approach to wallcoverings. She built her company around it and if you haven’t been introduced to Ann and her work yet, you’re welcome. Enjoy this conversation with Ann Jackson.

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

So great, thank you Ann for taking the time to speak with me. Special thanks to CXD sponsors and partners ThermaSol, Moya Living, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegenr and Article Furniture. Thank you for taking some time out of your busy schedule to listen to Convo By Design. I produce this show for you. Those in the design industry to hear what others are doing and hopefully provide you with some inspiration to do that thing you do. Remember why and for whom you craft and create. Please subscribe to the show so you don’t miss an episode, you can find us everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. Thank you, have a great week and take today first. -CXD

2022 Remote Design House – Tulsa featuring Gail Davis and A Superbly Chill Club Room

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a long overdue introduction to a new concept in design houses. Remote and virtual Design. Check out the video here.

Fist things first. I am a native Angeleno, born and raised in Los Angeles, The Valley to be more specific. In the 1980’s when Valley Girls, parachute pants, mini-trucks, and Depeche Mode were part of my everyday life. I wasn’t into design and architecture at that time. It was only after leaving, and returning to LA did I realize an appreciation for the amazing design surrounding me. I grew up in a mid-century traditional, a California Ranch House that was once a stage coach stop and later a train station in Chatsworth and much later, a Dingbat that was toppled in the Northridge earthquake.

So when Tulsa, Oklahoma was selected as the site for the 2022 Remote Design House – Tulsa, most people I spoke with about the concept didn’t really understand the idea behind it. The idea is so simple that it gets lost from the start.

The pandemic created a forced shelter-in-place which affected home and office design more than most other industries. 

The core ideas of both home and office have changed forever. And rightfully so. At the same time, the very nature of what architects and designers do hasn’t changed at all, while their means, methods, processes and procedures certainly have. The remote nature of this design house is in direct response to designers responding to clients that they could not see in person at the time and, for those who have left their current city or state but love their designer and want to remain with them. If I live in Los Angeles and move to Aspen, I might want my designer to to work on my project. But if my designer doesn’t know how to work remotely, or virtually, that can and will be a problem. 

Remote Design is the practice of working in one place on a project in another. 

Virtual Design is the process of working on a project that does not currently exist. Thank of it as an idea without a physical embodiment.

The Remote Design House – Tulsa is a real project, using real designers who will never physically step foot in the project house. All the work is being done virtually, and remotely with local trades and artisans doing the work. 

This project will also not have tours and there are no tickets for events or parties. No matter where you are listening to this, you will have access to the final project through videos, before and after segments, product features and an intimate look at the project house, neighborhood and City of Tulsa.

Side note. I was recently in Los Angeles for a design event (May) and as I was telling many in the trade about the project, the most common response was, “eww, why Tulsa.” This has been a common response since I started planning this project in 2020. There is a visceral, negative response to the idea of Tulsa, Oklahoma and the Midwest from many I have met in LA, New York, San Francisco and the other “tier one” design destinations. My response is always the same, “oh, when was the last time you were in Tulsa?” Not a single person with that response has ever been to Tulsa because had they been, they would know what a special city this is. Which is exactly why it was selected over Austin, Nashville, St. Louis, Kansas City, Seattle and Denver. Nothing against those cities, but Tulsa is special and over the next year, you are going to find out why.

The Family | The Jennings’s, Michael (45), Rachael (42) and their children, Davis (19) and Rose (17) are transplants from New York City. The family learned that they could work remotely from anywhere in the country and sought out a city where they could slow down, focus on family and still grow their business, make friends, finish high school and pursue a higher quality of life. The desire was to slow down, focus and decrease the rat race pace and find their space.

Michael is a TV producer. He is an avid cook, not a chef. He enjoys his work but is looking for ways to separate himself from doing it 24/7/365. Michael is connected (media) and looks for ways to disconnect, spend time volunteering coach youth sports and engaging in creative endeavors. This includes building and refinishing furniture.

Rachel is in sales. She manages a territory across the US and does the majority of her work online but travels about 5 times a year to industry trade shows. Rachel enjoys reading, yoga and quiet meditation. She is an avid baker who loves spending time in the kitchen and enjoys spending time with the family.

Davis is a college student, attending school on the east coast. While his room is not occupied year-round, when he is at home, he spends countless hours on research projects. He spends time gaming with his college friends around the country and enjoys reading, golf and computer training events.

Rose is a senior in high school. She is a highly accomplished athlete. She plays club soccer and lacrosse and debate competitions. Rose misses her friends back home and looks forward to playing host when they come to town and visit her. There are times when she is often exhausted and physically beat up from long tournament weekends. She spends long hours doing research papers and studying so her workspace needs to be both functional and comfortable. She is fashion forward and cherishes her personal space as teenage girls do.

The home is American Colonial Revival built in 1936. This is a unique property with a park setting and Tulsa’s Crow Creek running though the back yard. Project rooms include; Living Room, Kitchen/ Dining Room, Michel and Rachael’s Room, Rose’s Room, Davis’s Room, Club Room, Guest Quarters w/ Sunroom, Office. All bedrooms are en-suites.

The Designers | Rather than introduce you to all the designers selected for this project, I am going to introduce you to them as their projects are coming to reality. Do to a nightmare of a supply chain, product discontinuations and logistical issues, all of which you will hear about, we are working on two project rooms at a time to capture all the details.

Gail Davis of Gail Davis Designs is a friend, someone I have immense respect for and who was so generous with her time. She selected the Club Room. Gail is an amazing designer with a skill that transcends the work. She has a process and flow that was such a pleasure to work with. Nothing phases Gail and if there is a problem, discontinuation or needed reselect, she just handles it and it was such a joy working with her on this space.

Gail has a background in fashion and her passion for both color and textiles are evident in this design work. One story about Gail. There is a small stairway leading down to the Clubroom, a walkout basement. Gail said that for the stairs, we’re going with Black. My first response was….”excuse me? No, I don’t think so.” There was a pause and she said, “I get it. Trust me.” I did, and she was right. Her vision turned a small, tight stairway into a moment of anticipation. A theatrical entry that allows the mind to wonder what is around the corner.

Gail studied at New York School of Interior Design and sharpened her skills interning at Bunny Williams, Inc. and David Kleinberg & Associates. Gail’s work has been published in AD Pro, Elle Decor, Domino, House Beautiful and you have heard her here on Convo By Design.

As you will hear, Gail knows her business, she is clear in her ideas and she is an absolute joy to work with. As promised some behind the scenes stories that you would never know if we weren’t talking about it here.

Supply Chain – If you are a designer, you know that the struggle is real. If you are a client, you are just plain frustrated by the cost increases, delivery problems, lack of customer service and product delays.

For the Club Room, the vendors we worked with include NOIR, Benjamin Moore, The Home Depot and Article amongst others.  Local work was done by local trades and here is what was so surprising. The response time of painters and electricians was really fast. In just a few weeks, they were scheduled, showed up and did the work. The problem was in product re-selects for various reasons but the number one reason was discontinuation or lack of availability.

We specified product in September of 2021. It arrived in Tulsa in late May 2022 and then sat in a warehouse for a few more weeks. After delivery, then it was inspected and defects were discovered and that created a whole new set of issues.

PRODUCT DAMAGE SEGMENT. There was one vendor we worked with that, to date, has not disappointed in product or service. Article. You may have heard Article advertised on the show, and you might think that their partnership is the reason for a stellar review. Actually, it’s the other way around. They are partners BECAUSE of their stellar products and service. For the Club Room, their product arrived first. It actually got here so fast, as ordered that it sat in the space, in the original packaging while we waited for everything else. The sofa and chairs arrived exactly as ordered. The ordering process was simple. It was ordered through their Trade Program and I could not be happier with them. As is the case with all of the rooms in the Remote Design House – Tulsa, there will be videos, before and after shots, product features and more. You can check the show notes for links to everything as it’s published. 

Surprisingly, The Home Depot  Pro services provided an incredible opportunity. The rug originally specified for this space became “unavailable” weeks after it was ordered. And the most frustrating part was the manner it which it happened. It was ordered and then an email comes and “oopsie”, no more rug. So, I looked into The Home Depot’s Pro program and sent Gail some reselect options. We found a rug that was very similar to the original, slightly smaller which actually worked out better due to the beauty of the original Saltillo tile. But it was also $1,500 less expensive and while I was a little dubious at first, when it was delivered, IN 4 WEEKS the quality is exactly what I was hoping for. So the lesson learned here is not to overlook the obvious. Home Depot, Lowes, Target have all provided  an element to the space and a high/ low mix that really works well.

We ordered product in September of 2021 and it was delivered in June of 2022. That was not the plan. But, understanding that supply chain issues were universal, it was okay. What we not okay was the amount of product damage that was delivered. In one case, there was a leather chair that was damaged and discolored because someone put packing tape on the leather itself. Another piece, a steel coffee table was damaged on all sides. The manufacturer has still, as of this recording not remedied the situation. They promised a refund due to the fact that both items were discontinued.  

I am going to say this again, because it bears repeating…Article was an absolute standout. They do receive promotional consideration on the podcast as a promotional partner that extended a trade discount through their trade program. And they are the real deal. Their products are beautiful, high quality and durable. Their customer service, for this project has been amazing! I will be asking our other design partners to specify from them when possible. 

Most clients don’t know what designers really do because they don’t tell you every time something goes wrong. They don’t bother clients with the minutia, they deal with it like professionals and show the client the spaces that make them happy.

This is where the true superpowers of an excellent designer come into play. Gail knew what she was looking for and because she is such a good communicator, allowed me to confidently look for replacements when there was an issue. I sent her some options and she made a reselect based on her original plan and factored in all the variables. For clients, here is another valuable lesson. 

*Sending your designer images and links to Instagram and Pinterest is okay. But, if you are really in tune with your designer and your designer is a good communicator, you can handle some of the selection and re-selections which will save you money in the time your designer is researching replacement materials which is a common occurrence now. 

*This also helps your designer and their junior designers and interns understand your taste and that in turn will make the design process run smoother and faster. It will save money on streamlining the process by focusing on products that are more in line with your style and preferences.

Gail created a perfect environment to check out of work and check in with family and friends. A place to relax, entertain and play. A theater, game room, quiet meditative space and chill room, all in one place.

Color Selections. Gail’s color selections in this space included Benjamin Moore Mercurial in the Club Room and Caviar on the walls in the stairway. Her color selections captured the spirit of what the Jenning’s would have wanted for this space. Caviar, a rich, deep black with flat on the walls and satin on the ceiling created a dramatic entrance that set the tone and mood for what was happening down at the stairs and around the corner. While I was concerned that it would be too dark and scary, it was just the opposite, Gail added a stairway LED floor lights to light the path and set expectation. The sconce and ceiling fixture added all the light needed for utilitarian functionality light bringing the laundry down to the working side of the basement, but keeps all the glamour and fun of the Club Room in tact. Genius. The Mercurial allowed for light to bounce around the room and reflect all the colors without too much bounce allowing it to be both consistent in light and saturation. Multiple lighting was included like the sconces, overhead cans that are both enclosed and dimable LEDs as well as shelf lighting. The walls remain the original pine paneling but the Mercurial covers the original “pickling”. Interesting, the lighting plan is far better than before even though the gloss on the “pickling” bounced the light around the room, the lighting plan and adjustments like moving the sconces out 18 inches on both sides created a greater light flow. The Buster & Punch Edison Bulbs in the stairway also add to the walk in effect and overall lighting plan. Genius too was 3 coats on satin poly on the Saltillo time and satin on the ceiling added a “bounce” effect to the lighting that allowed for a high level of customization using all available lighting sources. The TV was kept in this space allowing for viewing of sports from the gaming table, movies from the sofa or business channels if working form the Club Room. Honestly, not a lot of work happens in this area. It’s too fun down there for work. And, it being a walk out basement Club Room, it creates a natural noise buffer for the Jenning kids to have their friends over while Michael and Rachael entertain upstairs.

This is the Club Room designed by Gail Davis of Gail Davis Design. 

Specified & Sourced:

Bengal Scone, Noir 

Pillows, CFC

Pisa Floor Lamps, Noir

Caroline Arm Chair, Noir

Yacht Dining Table, Noir

Art, Leftbank

Iris Coffee Table, Noir

Davis Mist Grey Chairs, Article

Timber Olio Green Sofa, Article

Artistic Weavers Rug, Abstract in Congressional Grey

Wall Console, Custom, J. Michael Cooper

Surfboard Art, J. Michael Cooper

Poufs from Jaipur

Edison Bulbs, Buster & Punch

Paint from Sherwin Williams in Mercurial and Caviar

Thank you Gail for your time and talent. Your patience and amazing vision. Thank you to Convo By Design partners and sponsors; ThermaSol, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegener, Moya Living and Article. And thank you for listening and subscribing to Convo By Design. I so appreciate that you take me with you on your drives, hikes, workouts all the other places where you listen to your podcasts. For more stories from the Remote Design House – Tulsa and interviews, panels and design events, please make sure you are subscribing to the show. Remember why you do what you do and take today first.

WestEdge Design Fair is BACK! Celebrating the Return with a Throwback to 2015 | 392 | Featuring Fu-Teng Cheng Called Translating Creativity Into Form

I’m Josh Cooperman, this is Convo By Design and I’m getting really excited about something. You know that excitement you felt when you were a kid and found out you were going to Disneyland, or on a big trip? Yeah, it’s kind of like that…

Why am I excited you ask? WestEdge Design Fair is coming up. I have not been able to say that for 3 years. I have been involved with WestEdge since year 2 or 3, I’m not completely sure, but its has been a while. The show is coming up September 16 through the 18 and it is the first edition in Dallas, Texas. In future episodes of the podcast, you will have the chance to hear from some of the country’s greatest design talent discussing issues of design that you might not have heard in the past, that’s the objective. It always has been. So, I want to share a past conversation from WestEdge in 2015. This features Fu-Teng Cheng of Cheng Design. I’m keeping the preamble brief here because I am going to include my thoughts from the original post. And you can tell it’s original by how my voice has changed. You know how weird it is when you hear yourself on a recording, it’s like that for me too. Enjoy this talk from the WestEdge Design Fair, 2015, right after this.

So there you go, fun right? And so interesting that these ideas were being shared in 2015, before the world changed. This is exactly why design trade events like WestEdge are so important. And you are either hearing this before WestEdge in Dallas so you can still attend, OR you are hearing this after the show has wrapped in which case, you will be hearing all the panels soon if they are not up already.Either way, make sure to check them out and make sure you make WestEdge next year in Dallas or the LA edition coming back to Southern California. 

Thank you to Convo By Design partners and sponsors; ThermaSol, Moya Living, Article Furniture, Franz Viegener, and York Wallcoverings. And thank you for joining me every week for these conversations. I do hope you enjoy them as much as I do. And give yourself a mental hug right now because we are all living through some very interesting times. Personally and professionally. It has gotten much harder to do business, create wonderful and sublime spaces but remember why you do what you do and why you do it. Your clients depend on you to make their lives a little better. Check back here every week for more stories of design professionals and creatives who are doing this at a very high level. Get some new ideas and inspiration to take your firm to the next level. Until next week, be well and take today first. -CXD

Capturing the Design Edge, A Different Way of Looking at Events and Engagement | 391 | Lee Hershberg

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a conversation about design trade experiences, trade shows and networking opportunities as well as the chance to discover new products. It’s the Design Edge.

Lee Hershberg is the CEO of Design Edge and reinvented concept for the trade show. The ideas revolving around events continues to evolve because the way the design trade show business continues to evolve. Hershberg envisioned an event that is boutique in nature, travels from city to city and provides a first-look at new products, materials and services. Want to hear more, including get some information about upcoming shows, keep listening,

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

Thank you, Lee. Great job, looking forward to seeing you at Design Edge. Thank you to Convo By Design partners and sponsors; ThermaSol, Moya Living, Article Furniture, Franz Viegener, and York Wallcoverings. And thank you for joining me every week for these conversations. I do hope you enjoy them as much as I do. And give yourself a mental hug right now because we are all living through some very interesting times. Personally and professionally. It has gotten much harder to do business, create wonderful and sublime spaces but remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Your clients depend on you to make their lives a little better. Check back here every week for more stories of design professionals and creatives who are doing this at a very high level. Get some new ideas and inspiration to take your firm to the next level. Until next week, be well and take today first. -CXD

Going Big. Releasing Fear & Becoming Your True Design Self | 390 | Anne Rainey Rokahr

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a conversation about going big. Going big with the design, go big with the business, big furnishings, the color selection and why not, after all we only get one chance to play the game of life. So go big, here’s how.

There is a difference between going big and strategically maximizing every potential opportunity. Anne Rainey Rokahr is doing just that from her home base in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Rokahr is unapologetically fancy, maximalist, playful in her design and loves to manipulate color, fabric, accessories to wield a new look that shocks the senses and calms the soul. How can one do both simultaneously? Keep listening. We’ll be back in just a moment.

BOOKLOOK: John McClain Book – The Designer Within 

I received another surprise in the mail a few weeks ago and I have been consuming and absorbing the contents since. The new book called, The Designer Within, A Professional Guide to a Well-Styled Home, by designer John McClain arrived and I am going to tell you why this book should be on your shelves. Let me first start by saying that I consider John a friend. I have known him since 2010. John and I reconnected through the show and he was a guest years ago, episode 217 for those playing the home game and there is a link to that episode in the show notes. Here is what I said about John at the time… 

“Some designers have a signature look while others practice a signature process. Designer John McClain is a blender and bender of styles to achieve unique and unforgettable looks. John is bi-coastal with offices in Florida and California. His signature style really is in his approach which makes him truly unique and worthy of watching. I believe in the art forms that are design and architecture. When speaking with a designer like John, I am in my element because I can ask questions that might get a sideways look from another designer. I ask questions like these to break the information down into small bites, then rebuild a concept so the non-designer can understand it. I really enjoyed my chat with John. He knows the look he is trying to achieve which enables him to experiment a bit more and to me, that is where design gets really exciting.”

So, when John writes a book about design, it’s built on a strong foundation and he’s not just showing you his work, but explaining how it’s done with crafted experience and a look that is both personal and well-styled. 

This is not a picture book that simply shows off expensive design of the ultra-wealthy. It is a thoughtful exploration into the techniques and strategies of what makes design work and how to utilize the fundamentals to make your style look well-styled and effortless.  Who doesn’t want that. There is a link to get the book in the show notes as well. 

Designer Resources

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience

Article, great style is easy. It’s the best way to buy beautiful modern furniture

York Wallcoverings – Designed to inspire for over 125 years

Franz Viegener – Finely crafted sculptural faucets

Moya Living  Beautiful, durable powder coated kitchen, bath & outdoor kitchen cabinetry

Thank you, Anne. Loved our conversation. Thank you to Convo By Design partners and sponsors; ThermaSol, Moya Living, Article Furniture, Franz Viegener, and York Wallcoverings. And thank you for joining me every week for these conversations. I do hope you enjoy them as much as I do. And give yourself a mental hug right now because we are all living through some very interesting times. Personally and professionally. It has gotten much harder to do business, create wonderful and sublime spaces but remember why you do what you do and why you do it. Your clients depend on you to make their lives a little better. Check back here every week for more stories of design professionals and creatives who are doing this at a very high level. Get some new ideas and inspiration to take your firm to the next level. Until next week, be well and take today first. -CXD