True Meaning of Luxury with Australian Designer Katarina Barakovska | 479 | The Universality of Luxury in Interior Spaces

I’m Josh Cooperman, this is Convo By Design and today, we are taking a little trip. Actually, it’s a really long trip. About as far away as you can get really. We’re going to Australia. Yep. Down Under.

Katarina is a really interesting creative. One who says, on her website that during 2023, when this was recorded, she will take on no more than 6 projects. She has a simple and singular focus on luxury and what that entails in her design work. She defines luxury as a “richness” as it applies to the experience of living.  You are going to hear us talk about luxury quite a bit and what it means to her, how its applied in her projects and what her clients in the Americas, Asia and Australia are asking of her.

It’s an interesting idea, what does luxury mean by geographical standards? How does the definition of luxury change. Why is it so important? 

A few announcements before we get into it. Are you enjoying the new content we rolled out so far this year? #WestEdgeWednesdays the Convo By Design #IconRegistry #DrinkingAboutDesign and #TheDesignMessengers. I hope you are. The editorial team wanted to provide a more diverse conversation, to celebrate some of the icons who have appeared on the show, to lean in on the changing nature of the design and architecture industry and collective communities, not the business per se, but the rapidly changing nature of things and how that affects the industry overall. I hope these new brand extensions are providing some inspiration. Make sure that you are subscribing to the show so you receive every new episode automatically when they are published.

Thank you Katarina for taking the time to speak with me. I love doing this and this is why it is so rewarding for me to share these stories with you.Thank you to my partners and sponsors, ThermaSol and Design Hardware for your continued and unwavering support of the show and for the design community.

For more stories like these from the design community, please make sure you are subscribing to the podcast, so you receive new episodes automatically when they are published. That way, you never miss an episode. Convo By Design is available everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. Thanks for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. -CXD

CXD Icon Registry Induction Episode Celebrating Bunny Williams | 475 | The Godmother of Decor

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a very special episode. Part of a new series of the show and something that I have been considering for quite some time but I specifically wanted to complete year 10 of the show before I rolled this out. 

Do you know that in the 11+ years of Convo By Design, I have published over 450 episodes, spoken with over 600 creatives, produced over 5 dozen panel conversations for design events across the country. From all of these amazing conversations with the worlds greatest creative talent, I wanted. to start enshrining some of these individuals into the Convo By Design Icon Registry, a hall of fame if you will.

I don’t do contests and I most certainly don’t do lists. Lists are gimmicks designed to capture clicks. They are, click bait pure and simple. You cannot tell me that a list of 50, 75 or 100 designers and architects are the absolute best at what they do without providing context. Lists are created in the hopes that those who are being listed will promote the accolades and that attention will be driven back to the author of the list. And contests where creatives have to reach out to their base to get them to vote for them is just wrong in my opinion. Because, if someone is amazing at what they do… Celebrate that, no strings attached. And that is what we are going to do here. 

Now, the criteria… Each inductee has been a guest on Convo By Design. They have a body of work that is exceptional in their various disciplines and there is no justification required for their world class status. They give back to the industry, they are innovators, givers and make our industry better than they found it. This project is called the Convo By Design Icon Registry, because that is what this is, tantamount to a hall of fame, but more. What is an ICON? Described as an icon; A person or thing regarded as a representative symbol or as worthy of veneration. A registry is a well curated list. You can consider this a venerable who’s who in our industry with gifts to offer and a willingness to share. Pablo Picasso is credited with saying, “the meaning of life is to find your gift and the purpose of life is to give it away”. Now, I am not suggesting that those enshrined in the Icon Registry have all just been giving away their gifts. These are professionals of the highest order and part of being a professional is knowing your worth and understanding your value. Each of these individuals have appeared on Convo By Design, shared what they know for the betterment of others, and I am deeply appreciative for that. This is the most authentic way that I can express my gratitude for that. As deeply appreciative as I am for their sharing, I am equally grateful for your taking the time to share a few moments, an hour out of your busy schedule each week to listen to the show. Again, the most authentic way that I can express that gratitude is to give you an opportunity to hear them again. Every month, the last Thursday of the month, unless it’s a holiday week, in which case I will publish a week sooner, I will share a new inductee with you.

Bunny Williams: 

This, the inaugural Convo By Design Icon Registry episode inductee is the incomparable, godmother of decor, Bunny Williams. The best way for me to share her journey with you is to allow her to tell her stories, in her own words. So, here is the conversation I had with Bunny during the heart of the pandemic, via Zoom in front of a live remote audience. This is the first inductee to the Convo By Design Icon Registry, Bunny Williams.

Thank you Bunny, for your skill, wit, willingness to share, your incredible talent and love of dogs. It was my honor speaking with you and congratulations. Thank you to my partners and sponsors ThermaSol and Design Hardware for making the show possible. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the show and the feedback I receive. Thanks you for your guest and topic suggestions. If not already, please subscribe to the podcast so you receive every episode automatically to your feed. 

If you are so inclined, please consider following us on Instagram. Convo X Design with an “X” and we can further the conversation. Thank you for listening and until next week, be well, and take today first. -Convo By Design

UpCycled, Repurposed, Local and Fabulous Specifying and Sourcing Local | 466 | WestEdge Wednesday No. One

I’m Josh Cooperman with Convo By Design and this is the first of a 10 part series called Convo By Design presents WestEdge Wednesday’s with conversation held at the WestEdge Design Fair in late November, 2023 from Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California. 

This conversation features Moya O’Neill of Moya Living,Nancy Russert of Les Beaux Interiors and Twist Custom, Lenora Aguilar and Judy Davis of Vintage Junktion and moderated by Luxe Magazine’s Kelly Phillips Badal. This is a conversation called, Up-Cycled, Recycled, Repurposed, Local and Fabulous; Specifying and Sourcing Locally. The idea here is that design has entered a new era. One that is not defined by beauty or expense alone. We have entered an experiential phase of interior design, landscape design, exteriors and architecture. One that places a greater value on the experience and enjoyment of materiality, objects and usefulness of things as opposed to simply how expensive, luxurious or rare things happen to be. 

Thank you for listening to this episode of the podcast. For more, please make sure you are subscribing to the feed and check our IG often for new conversations. This chat was amazing and was held live on the stage designed by Marbe Designs and presented by BR Home.

For those not familiar …   The Banana Republic lifestyle brand portfolio is known for delivering timeless ready-to-wear styles, and BR Home signals the brand’s transformation into a leading destination for the modern explorer.  Expanding across living room, bedroom and dining room furniture as well as lighting, bedding, and home décor, BR Home showcases materials and craftsmanship from around the world, showcasing signature design details, warm, textural layers, natural materials and traditional production techniques.

For links to everything associated with this conversation, please check the podcast episode notes accessible from the “podcast” tab from Convo By Design. 

Thank you Moya, Judy, Lenora, Nancy and Kelly for your incredible insights, knowledge base and willingness to share your gifts. So, let’s get to it. Here’s Kelly Phillips Badal.

The Gratitude You Deserve | 463 | Putting A Bow on 2023

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. I have no interview to share with you today. No spectacular chat about design, no upcoming promotion, no BOOKLOOK, nope. Just two simple words followed by a few more to expand on the thought. Thank you. 

Thank you for taking the time to listen to the show, email me with guest suggestions and show ideas. Thank you for coming out to Convo By Design events, watching and liking the silly videos on IG, subscribing to the show and for supporting the sponsors of the show.

Speaking of which, thank you to my partners and sponsors, ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware. Your support of the show is what allows me and our editorial team to do this. Your support of the design and architecture community is special and I’m thankful for you.

Thank you to the guests who take the time to share a bit of themselves, their skill and that special something that has catapulted them to the levels at which we find them. Thank you to Soho Home in West Hollywood for serving as the location for our 10th anniversary celebration. 10 years. Cannot believe I have been doing this show for that long. Like any success, nobody does it alone. No one. We all have help form friends as well as the generosity of strangers. I have never met most of you who listen to the show. But you listen, and I’m thankful. I have met a number of listeners at events where I attend and speak. This year alone, Las Vegas Market, KBIS, West Hollywood Design District, ASID Orange County, the A&D Building in New York, Dallas Market Center and WestEdge Design Fair. To all my publicist friends, thank you for trusting me with your clients. To the brands I work with, thank you for trusting me with your messaging and content production. To the designers and architects with whom I have spoken this year and the previous years, thank you for making the time to tell your stories on the show. 

To all of you within the sound of my voice, thank you and I hope this holiday season is everything you want it to be. I hope you get the chance to slow down a bit, maybe even stop for a few days, spend time with friends and loved ones because at the end of the day, that’s what is really important. Well, I promised short. Happy holidays. Be well and until we meet back here, next year, take today first. – CXD

Jewelry for the Home. The Beauty of Functional Art | 457 | Heath Wagoner of HW Studio

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Episode 457 of the show with a wonderful creative who crafts one of a kind functional items for the most discerning clientele. This is a really fun story featuring an exquisite creative, simply divine creations and a story to match.

Heath Wagoner of HW Studio tells his story with 7 words. HW Studio is jewelry for the table. As you will hear, it really is. Wagoner is a trained goldsmith who uses traditional methods in metalsmithing to craft, create and ideate functional, artistic objects. Objects meant to be used and thats where this gets fun.

Designer Resources

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

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

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

Imagine you could use a Picasso or an original Banksy in some way other than viewing. I’m not dismissing the one dimensional nature of some art. And some will argue with me vehemently that art is far more than one dimensional. I won’t take the bait. My point, Heath creates precious metal objects to be used at the table. For eating. As a utensil. Further, he uses these objects at happenings like dinner parties for the purpose of…well eating with something other than his hands. And that’s the point. We only get som many trips around the sun and why not make the most of every day by enjoying these objects to the fullest. Thereby crafting an experience, furthering the conversation and engaging with others in unique and authentic ways. 

Thank you Heath. Loved our chat. See, isn’t life more interesting when one can take a fresh look at an old object. Think about it and create a whole new way to view it, use it and enjoy it. Absolutely. Thank you to my partners and sponsors ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware for your partnership and support.And, thank you for taking the time out of your day to listen to the show. I hope this allows you to think about things in new ways. 

Please keep those emails coming. Convo by design @ outlook.com with show suggestions, guest ideas or just to say ‘hello’, I love hearing from you. Thanks again, and until next week, be well and take today first. -CXD

Repping ATL with Beautiful Work in an Emerging World-Class Design Destinations | 447 | Andi Morse of Morse Design

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design Today, I’m speaking with Atlanta based designer, Andi Morse about balance, vibe and having it all. Or getting as close to it as one can.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Andi is married to her college sweetheart and the mother of three daughters. Family comfort is the central influence to her interior design philosophy, and one of the core values of Morse Design. One’s home must reflect the lifestyle of the occupants and resonate with both beauty and functionality. Her passion for creating comfort and style with a southern elegance and grace drive her creative vision. Nothing makes Andi feel better than the happiness on a client’s face at the end of a project. That’s in the bio. What isn’t mentioned in the bio are the finer nuances in her approach to the work. There is a fun-elegance to the work that appears to be evident in every space regardless of size or color palate. Her approach is layered and collected. You will see an active pursuit of joy and that is one of the things I think I love most about her work. I think you will too.

Designer Resources

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

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

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

The Oasis Alliance – Providing design to those in need.

Thank you Andi, loved our chat and truly appreciate the time. Thank you to Convo By Design partners and sponsors, ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware. You make this show possible and I truly appreciate you. Speaking of appreciation, thank you for listening, subscribing and downloading the show. Without you, what’s the point. Please keep sharing this little podcast, entering our 11th year with some truly fun things in store over the coming weeks and months. Did you catch our first episode of Drinking About Design? We’re drinking and telling design stories! More on the way. Thanks for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. -CXD

LIVE From Frank Lloyd Wright’s ONLY Skyscraper | 440 | The Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. A Very Special Place

When I first moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma, I mentioned in the show that something I was most excited about was seeing new things that many if not most have never seen. There was something on my list from day one and I finally had the chance to go and do this. Visit Price Tower. For those not familiar; The Price Tower in Bartlesville, Oklahoma is an absolutely exquisite creation of Frank Lloyd Wright. It is constructed of concrete in a very unique shape. Four quadrants based on the geometry of  a 30-60-90 double parallelogram.  It was based on the idea for a Manhattan cluster of buildings designed and then scraped in 1929 due to the great depression. The Price Tower was designed and built for Harold C. Price to serve as the headquarters for his oil and gas pipeline company. The building was designed to be mixed-use and was opened to the public in February, 1956. 

Designer Resources

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

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

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

The Oasis Alliance – Providing design to those in need.

ICAA Southern California – SoCal is Southern California’s preeminent resource on classical architecture and the allied arts.

Materials Used: The building is primarily made of concrete with heavy use of wood, copper and other materials regularly found in Wright’s work. heavy use of copper, stamped concrete in Cherokee Red can be found alongside the natural wood and use of greens and golds. The wallpaper used as well as fabrics designed for Schumacher as part of his Taliesin line can be found as well as his unique style of lighting and a significant amount of art are all present. There are unique pieces present that were designed and then sent to local companies to create. They include cast aluminum chairs by the Blue Stem Foundry

Mixed Use. What makes this building unlike any other example of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture is that this is a “skyscraper”, to be considered by him and others as the only one he ever built. FLW was interested with how people lived. His definition for a skyscraper was not dissimilar to how streets showcase horizontal society, this was made to be vertical an accomplish similar purpose. As such, this was his example of a live/ work environment and incorporated many floors to serve as separate zones for separate purposes. Because the building is supported by the four elevator towers and not the floors themselves, FLW was able to imagine the space almost like a tree with the elevator columns as trunk, floors as branches and copper installation as leaves.

My Experience: This visit was amazing for me. I received an incredible tour by a gentleman named Price Connors and later sat down  with Price for an interview which you are about to hear. If you check out the show notes, you will find links to some IG reels showcasing video from this visit. Of note, check out how FLW wanted you to live in the spaces he creates. Check out the amazing views and try to imagine as I did that you were in a tree house, because that is how it felt to me.

The day I visited, I learned that the building has been sold to Copper Tree, Inc. for the debt and a $10M promise to refurbish the building. I had never heard of Copper Tree and thought, what a unique name for a company interested in refurbishing this particular building. I did a little digging and learned that Copper Tree is a relatively new company, an investment company created for the purpose of acquiring and preserving iconic buildings.

I sat down with Price Connors who is an absolute wealth of knowledge and who both gave e a guided tour of The Price Tower, and sat down for an extensive interview about this truly unique project. I hope you enjoy hearing from Connors as much as I enjoyed speaking with him. For images and video shorts from my time at The Price Tower, visit us on Instagram, @convoxdesign with an “x”. You are going to hear from Price Connors, right after this.

What an absolutely amazing experience. Thank you everyone at The Price Tower for making the visit possible. Thank you Price for speaking with me and the amazing tour. My hope here was to share this extraordinary piece of American architecture with you. I know that many if not most in the US have no plans to visit Bartlesville, Oklahoma and I imagine it even more challenging for our international listeners.  I do encourage you to check out the videos, images and extra content on Instagram, @convoxdesign with an “x”. Thank you for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. -CXD

London Calling. Mother & Daughter Firm Ward & Co. Balance, Brilliance and a Story Well Told | 432 | Sarah & Rosie Ward

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a different perspective today. We’re hopping across the pond to hear from one of my new favorite design firms. From London, this is the mother and daughter team, Sarah and Rosie Ward from the Chelsea, London design firm, Ward & Co.

You will notice a few things about the following conversation. Strong design is universal. Good design relies talent, skill and a willingness to divorce oneself from their own personal style in favor of understanding what lies at the center of a client’s desires. Sarah and Rosie do that and it’s evident in their work. It’s also fun to have a conversation that spans international boundaries because while as humans we have similarities in needs and desires, the differences geographically are significant. I hope you enjoy this conversation with Sarah and Rosie of Ward & Co.

Thank you, Sarah and Rosie.I appreciate the time and insights. Thank you CXD partners, sponsors and friends ThermaSol, Moya Living, Design Hardware, the ICAA SoCal Chapter and The Oasis Alliance.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to listen to the show. I hope you enjoy the show because that’s why I do this. I would also like to hear from you. I love the guest submissions and show ideas so keep them coming, email me convobydesign@outlook.com or message me on Instagram @convoxdesign, with an x.

Remember why you do what you do and for whom you do it. Let that be the thing that drives you to push the boundaries and let’s keep moving our industry forward. Be well, and until next week… Take today first. CXD

KBIS 2023 Road Trip | 422 | What Happened in Vegas Will Not Be Staying in Vegas featuring World-Class Design Talent & Insights

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with an absolutely jam packed episode featuring some sound from KBIS and IBS 2023. For the record, this show was amazing, and you’re about to hear why…

Designer Resources

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

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

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

The pandemic is over. With that broad statement comes some finer nuanced observations. Yes, people are still getting COVID, yes, you still see some masked holdouts but I would equate those to a lingering cough after being sick. I base this on the traffic I saw at Las Vegas Market, KBIS and IBS. It was jammed, the parties were full of unmasked, imbibing revelers all in Las Vegas to see what happening, and much was happening. 

You have already heard some of what was happening at Las Vegas Market. If you missed it, check the show notes or podcast feed for links to episodes about the panels and the people. This is a montage from KBIS and IBS featuring brands and design talent from around the country who decended upon sin city to celebrate design and find inspiration from products and innovation. It is important to call an end to the pandemic but to remember all that we have learned. I will say this again, once something unprecedented happens, it is no longer unprecedented and the odds are that something like it can and will happen again. If and when it does, will we be prepared? That is a conversation for another day. Today, you are going to hear from some amazing individuals including; Hacker Kitchens, Breegan Jane, John Cialone, Top Knobs, Sara Malek Barney and more. So, let’s get after it.

Wow. Jam packed, right?  Thank you Sara, Matt, Roz, Andeas, Breegan, Christine & John. Thank you Convo By Design sponsors, ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware for your partnership. I appreciate you and I love the way you support the design industry. For those listening who want to learn more, please check the show notes for links. Thank you for listening to the show. I know now more than ever, there are a lot of shows out there and you chose CXD. I appreciate you and I hope you found this episode to be a great use of your time because that is my goal. Let’s do this again shall we? Say, next week? Until then, be well and take today first. -CXD

A Master Class in Structure and Organization of A World Class Design Firm | 407 | Benjamin Johnston + A BOOKLOOK featuring Thomas Kligerman

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo by Design featuring a one on one conversation with a modern design clarion. A design creative with exceptional vision and true perspective on who he is as a creative and what he wants his eponymous firm to be. This is Benjamin Johnston recorded live fat the WestEdge Design Fair’s first Texas edit in September 2022.

Architect and designer, Benjamin Johnston is the face of his namesake firm but he is not a one-man show. He is partner & Creative Director and seems extremely comfortable with the roles he has chosen for himself. That of creative to work the business but not necessarily CEO, president or other lofty titles because he has made the decision not to let the business work him. The true gift I receive from moderating these chats is a unique perspective that sometimes, really surprise me. This was one of those conversations and I am really pleased to present it to you for your enjoyment and edification. 

Designer Resources

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

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

Design Hardware – A stunning and vast collection of jewelry for the home!

Before we get to Benjamin, I received a special delivery recently and that warrants another BOOKLOOK. I don’t review every book I receive, but the specials ones do get special treatment. This is one such occurrence. 

During the early days of the pandemic, I started a new series called Designing for Disaster™. During the series, I met Thomas Kligerman. He shared his story during the lockdown and it was a very cool episode of the show. Check the show notes, if I remember…there will be a link to that episode. So when Thomas wrote a book, I was certainly going to tell you about it.  The book, Shingle and Stone Thomas Kligerman Houses is extraordinary for a number of reasons. This is a reflection on his years of work it’s also a lovingly tender notice to the architecture and design community that the band is breaking up in pursuit of solo careers. Thomas lays out his point of view and the manner in which he, Joel and John have their own interests both personally and professionally to pursue. For Kilgerman, it’s the announcement of his first solo enterprise, Kligerman Architecture + Design. This 275+ page announcement  comes complete with a well-defined narrative. Every Louvre, shingle, elevation is uniquely Thomas Kligerman and as he even points out, it’s not that he did everything by himself, it is a team joined together by a vision. That vision is uniquely Kligerman’s. Thomas is not only an architect but an artist who uses what architects use, elevation, space, material… But, his vision for taking shingle and bending it to angles and joints that create something new is mesmerizing as one turns from page to page. This book is one for the library because it represents timeless work with singular vision and artistry. 

Since we are talking about a design and architecture book, I will tell you that the book is solid in construction and beautiful to look at when closed which means it is also a perfect specimen for accessorizing. When you open this book, the experience of turning pages is as much a journey as it is an exercise in surprise and delight. BOOKLOOK has turned into a a really cool segment for me and it has also received some very positive feedback. I would tell you that I only review design books that I can touch, hold and feel because I believe that is how books are meant to be enjoyed. I don’t review pdf’s because I want you to know what the experience was like for me so you can factor that not the calculus when deciding if or if not to get a copy for yourself. I spend aver an hour paging through, flipping, turning and reading Thomas’ thoughts.

As much as it is a “mirror” as Kligerman describes it, he envisages things to come. With that, I am also anxiously awaiting the next book that will showcase the work he does from here on out. Between now and then, this book is a keeper. Godspeed Thomas.

Thank you Benjamin. Amazing. Thank you WestEdge Design Fair for allowing me once again to take over the stage and present panels and conversations like these. I view it as a gift. A chance to challenge both myself and the design community with ideas and programming that is different, inspiring and thought-provoking. Thank you to CXD partners and sponsors, ThermaSol, York Wallcoverings, Franz Viegener, Moya Living and Article Furniture for your continued support. I would ask that if you enjoy the show, you support these companies by giving them a chance to earn your design business. Thank you for listening, downloading and subscribing to the show. Thank you for your emails and guest submissions. I love them, keep em coming. You are the reason I produce CXD. Designers, architects, set decorators, showroom managers, publicists, artists, makers…You make this world a better place. Remember why you do what you do. Be well. Until next week, take today first. -CXD