Andrew Cogar | 334 | Embracing History and Celebrating ‘Visions of Home’

This is Convo By Design. Joining me in the studio, virtually of course, is architect and president of Historical Concepts, Andrew Cogar. Andrew is an architect, author , graduate of the University of Miami and a veteran. He served as a Combat Engineer Officer with the United States Army. Cogar recently wrote a book covering some truly incredible architecture. We are talking about urbanism, design, crafting some truly exquisite architecture that stands the test of time. That concept is really interesting to me because we know that architects don’t create for tomorrow but for decades of tomorrows. The book, Visions of Home: Timeless Design, Modern Sensibility delves into the the design and decoration behind traditional architecture with a focus on keeping up with the modern ideals that continue to challenge designers.

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

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

The Showroom featuring Jonathan Marvel | 333 | The Marvelous Mr. Marvel and His Astounding Architectonics

This is Convo By Design with another installment of The Showroom featuring Jonathan Marvel. We are talking about urban development, functional city planning and sustainable design to put it simply. We are diving deep into some extraordinary work that is influencing a new direction in architecture.

Jon Marvel is a highly decorated architect with offices in New York and his home, Puerto Rico. He is creating some elegant and exquisite modern work in some of the most highly congested spaces using sustainable materials and adding green spaces. When I use the word, ‘elegant’ as a descriptor, it’s not a throw-away line, it is heartfelt. We are going to focus on some of his projects here so you can hear the methods and strategy behind the work itself. Because that is what we do here. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership on this project. The Showroom is a collaborative effort between Walker Zanger and Convo By Design. We look to deconstruct the work through conversations with their creators. We do this to better understand how the work serves those who use these spaces as well as to understand and improve how the industry can better serve those who create. Enjoy this episode fo Convo By Design featuring architect, Jon Marvel.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alecia Bailey – Bailey Li Interiors

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

Christina Garcia – Layered Dimensions

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

Rocky Rochon – Rocky Rochon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Best Year in Design | 326 | Proven Strategies for Growing and Promoting Your Design Firm

This is Convo By Design with a conversation about adapting to the ever-changing design environment. Since only everything has changed. When I say that, I mean it. Everything has changed in the business. I remember last March when everyone I was speaking with, myself included thought the events would come back last fall and that the supply chain would return to normal. As time went on, we all started to realize that things were not going back to normal quickly, if at all. this conversation is part of the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

That being said, not all change is bad. The following conversation includes designers Shirry Dolgin of ASD Interiors, Michelle Salz-Smith of Studio Surface and Jason Lai of L2 Interiors. The panel explores the changes in the design and architecture industry, in real time with a focus on adapting to these changes and maximizing new business and revenue growth. Change is hard. The unknown is uncomfortable.

This exploration unearths some of the most challenging issues we are facing as it relates to the business and how these three firms are addressing these issues.Many of this issues revolve around specifying product right now as the supply chains are stretched and demand has grown as inventories drop. This has led to both shortages and increased costs. There challenges now include managing the disappointment of precuts not being available, reselects, increase costs, lack of manufacturer response times and products showing differently online from reality.

“Our business is so personal, whether we’re face to face, or not. We are people pleasers and that’s not always the greatest thing, especially now. But, I think the greatest challenge now, for me as a perfectionist and a people pleaser, is managing disappointment. Relaying the reality of the situation without making excuses.” – Michelle Salz-Smith

“I spend a lot of my time being upfront with my client saying, ‘listen, it is what it is.’ So, we can either wait, or pick something else.” – Shirry Dolgin

“I know what we want and what we are looking for in our head already, we just haven’t seen it and once we see it, we pull it. But this process has just been so slow. We have to go online and scroll through 75 pages of fabric on one color finish and it’s nothing like what you expect because online it shows differently.” -Jason Lai

In this episode, you will not only hear the challenges restated, you will also hear solutions to many of the issues every designer faces now and what the business might look like in the near future. The best way to overcome challenges is to envision and plan for them in the future. This is another episode in the Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol featuring Michelle Salz-Smith, Jason Lai and Shirry Dolgin.

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

And when it comes to working with a partner who has your back, knows your challenges and is there for you every step of the way…

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

Anthony Laney of Laney LA | 325 | Crafting Custom Work, the New Modern Art

This is Convo By Design and today you are going to hear from Laney LA’s, Anthony Laney. This is a conversation about exquisite modern architecture and a little bit of space planning magic. Like how to make a pool disappear…. I am not kidding, really disappear.

Anthony Laney is the creative force behind Laney LA. His firm is doing some extremely interesting work in and around Los Angeles and the small coastal beach cities of Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach. These are small coastal communities with some very large homes on very small lots. Where the cost per foot is in the 4 digits and the cost of dirt alone is some of the highest in the country. This means an endless supply of cash, or some very strategic space planning and to be frank, there is both. Laney has earned a reputation for crafting really interesting and exquisite modern design with a focus on not just tailoring the work to the client but finding unique ways of adding to the design through subtraction of used material. As previously mentioned, like making a pool disappear to create a yard on demand. I will let Anthony explain how he did it.

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

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

Lone Star House of Design | A Texas Sized Talk with Kyle Bunting, Jan Showers, Lauren Rotet & Fern Santini

This is Lone Star House of Design, a podcast about all things design and architecture form the Great State of Texas with a panel conversation featuring some of the biggest names in American design today, and all from Texas. The following conversation is part of the Wellness and Design Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol and you are not going to want to miss a moment of this one featuring a panel of design icons, all from Texas. This is a conversation with Kyle Bunting & friends.

I met Kyle Bunting through my friend and amazing publicist, Andrew Joseph. He reintroduced me to Kyle with whom my last contact was not direct but through designer Christopher Kennedy who designed my Small Space, Big Style design house which featured a stunning Kyle Bunting rug. Kyle Bunting is producing some of the most stunning rugs in the world, all from his studio in Austin, Texas. The work is groundbreaking and has turned the Hyde rug, the original luxury item into an art form, unrivaled and completely original.

After my conversation with Kyle, he said, “let’s do something really cool” and invited three incredible guests to join for a group chat about the state of design in Texas. This group included;

Fern Santini – Santini’s work is completely original, it’s bold and refined with a wild streak that is unmistakeable and wonderful. Fern’s use of furniture, color and materials blends design into a hand crafted sculpture of space, materials and light.

Lauren Rottet – Rottet is the complete designer. Architect, interior designer, furniture designer and art curator. Founding principal and president of Rottet Studio. I could list her accolades, but there would be no time left for the conversation.

Jan Showers – Showers is another world-class designer from Texas, and I don’t use this term lightly, at all. Her work is elegant, unique and layered, like an Impasto at times, glazing others. Her spaces art artfully placed and painted to create a multi-dimensional environment. That, to me has always been the true essence of design.

Some idea came up during our conversation that bears repeating here. Texas design is very different by geography. Austin is funky and weird, yet still a college town and state capitol. The spirit of Austin is strong and diverse base on the the influence of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Kinky Friedman, Michael Dell, Tito Beveridge combined with some of the most interesting architecture you can find around the state capitol and the University of Texas campus. It’s still a relatively small city but it doesn’t feel that way. The addition of a technology hub to the already vibrant music scene and South By South West, Austin is poised for even greater heights but at what price? The traffic, cost of living, loss of architecturally significant structures to make way for more livable space? Yeah, that’s probably coming.

Having spent 9 years living in Dallas, I can tell you that this city is rich in arts and cultural experiences. If you ask many outside of Texas, they will tell you about Tom Landry, J.R Ewing and Roger Staubach. Sure, Dallas is a world-class sports town, I get it. But the arts and culture scene in Dallas goes far beyond what you hear about Dallas on ESPN. The City Hall building in Dallas, designed by I.M Pei and Theodore J. Musho is a brutalist statement piece. Pei also designed the Meyerson Symphony Center and with that, added a simply exquisite and acoustic masterpiece to the “Metroplex”. Fair Park, home of the State Fair of Texas is an Art Deco oasis crafted by architect, George Dahl. There is far more to explore, and I encourage you to do just that!


So what about Houston? Oil energy money, right? Sure. There is a significant link between oil barons and the arts, it’s true. Try to find an American city that was built on energy money that does not hav significant art, architecture and design. Houston is no different. The city has incredible art installations, a museum district, architectural representations of almost any era you can recollect and it does so without screaming, “look at me.” Because of this, many people don’t. But, you should.

The Texas cities not mention here include; San Antonio, Laredo, Marfa, Alpine, Waco, Lubbock… Wait, Lubbock? This is my point. Even in a seemingly quiet and unassuming city like Lubbock, Texas, there is art and architecture. The unfinished home designed by Robert Bruno, were it in Los Angeles or New York, would be on architecture tours. This is a steel sculpture, uninhabited sine 2008 and sits it the harsh Lubbock summers and winters all the while, its patina deepens and grows more spectacular. The shape is alien, almost like the helmet of an alien from another galaxy peering into the canyon. Unbelievable and inexplicable.

My point is this, Texas and texans don’t live by your rules, they have their own. If they want to try something, they will and if it doesn’t work, they will try something else. What you will also find is a healthy respect for those pioneers who came before them. That spirit of respect and experimentation has made for a uniquely special and artistic place, much like Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York. The difference is many on the coast aren’t willing to risk the social capital that comes with experimentation. This is a differentiator and much of what makes the Texas design communities so fun to follow.

This is Lone Star House of Design with an episode were calling an afternoon with Kyle Bunting and Friends featuring Jan Showers, Lauren Rottet and Fern Santini, part of the Wellness and Design Thought leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

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

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

The Showroom featuring Tammy Connor | 324 | Good Communication and Experience Leads to Detailed Design and Uncomplicated Sophistication

This is Convo By Design with another installment for The Showroom, our interview series with amazing creatives from across the country in partnership with Walker Zanger. This week’s episode features Birmingham, Alabama based designer, Tammy Connor.

One of the reasons I love the following conversation as much as I do is because I have the opportunity to speak with design talent from across the country in areas most don’t even consider when speaking about incredible, world-class interior design. I would argue the Alabama is one of them so the opportunity to explore and shatter preconceived ideas about creative talent and geographical location is wonderful to me. The next thing you should know, Tammy Connor is a highly successful American talent and her firm is producing work that you might have seen previously in the national shelter publications and digital outlets. Connor’s work has been featured in LUXE, Veranda, Aspire, the Wall Street Journal, House Beautiful as well as featured in best selling design books.

Unfortunately, the shelter publications showcase the work and not the creative. I am so proud on this series and my partnership with Walker Zanger, providing an intimate conversation about the work and the creative force behind it. This is The Showroom presented by Walker Zanger with designer, Tammy Connor.

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

And when it comes to working with a partner who has your back, knows your challenges and is there for you every step of the way…

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