Alex Papachristidis | 502 | Our April 2024 Design Icon Registry Inductee

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with another installment of the Design Icon Registry. An icon for sure. A 2 time guest on Convo By Design and a very cool individual and an extraordinary decorator. This is Alex Papachristidis.

If you have heard these segments before, you know, 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. 

Designer Resources

Pacific Sales Kitchen and Home. Where excellence meets expertise.

Monogram – It’s the details that define Monogram

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Without steam, it’s just a bathroom.

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

 – Where service meets excellence

TimberTech – Real wood beauty without the upkeep

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.

This weeks inductee is Alex Papachristidis who is one of the most amazing interior decorators for the wok he does, yes, absolutely. Beyond that though is his base of knowledge. Material and practice. This allows Alex to understand, fuse and commingle new, traditional and other styles to fit his vision and client desires. What is truly special about Alex is his willingness to listen to his clients, hear their wishes and process those wishes into a sophisticated version that they themselves couldn’t even envision. And he’s a dog lover. So, add that to the long list of things I admire about Alex. Which is also why it is my privilege to induct Papachristidis into the Convo By Design Icon Registry. This is Alex Papachristidis.

Thank you Alex for making this world a more beautiful place than you found it. Congratulations on your addition to the Convo By Design Icon Registry. And thank you for listening and subscribing to the show. Thank you to my partner sponsors Design Hardware, ThermaSol, TimberTech and Pacific Sales. these are amazing partners all, they support the trade and I love sharing these amazing resources with you. Thanks again for listening, until next week, be well and take today first. – CXD

Lessons Learned After 11 Years and Five Hundred Episodes | 500 | Storytellers, Best Practices and Ideas to Make the Design and Architecture Industry Stronger

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Episode 500. Five Hundred!

In years past, I have stopped down to celebrate mile stones in a few different ways. Last year, we held a party at the Soho House studio in West Hollywood to celebrate 10 years of the show. Every hundredth episode, I would feature past guests. For this milestone, I wanted to do something a little bit different. Instead of talking about the past, I wanted to focus on the future, share a few past moments to galvanize the point and move on. With gratitude and love in my heart. I love this industry because of all the amazing people I have had the good fortune of meeting and hearing their stories. I am so fortunate to have been to some of the most amazing places and seen some incredible things that designers, architects, artists and makers can create. But the past 11 years have not been easy. It hasn’t been all fun and games. Our industry is one of the most diverse and rapidly changing from a business and operations standpoint. And I have some bad news for those hoping the changes will slow or stop. It’s not going to happen. But I don’t see that as bad news. I’m excited for the future. Before you can properly prepare for changes, you must be aware of what’s coming. Mark Twain is credited with the quote, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes.” 

Designer Resources

Pacific Sales Kitchen and Home. Where excellence meets expertise.

Monogram – It’s the details that define Monogram

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Without steam, it’s just a bathroom.

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

 – Where service meets excellence

TimberTech – Real wood beauty without the upkeep

To me, that means and for our conversation here, it means that if you look at how our industry is evolving, you will see marks and identifiers from the past reemerging in new and unique ways. Products being used differently, ideas being reimagined, and previously unthinkable technological advancements solving for past and new challenges. At the same time, there will be past issues that continue to rear their ugly heads. Things like: 

Tariffs and supply chain issues wreaking havoc with the financial structure of the business which affects us all directly. of course it also depends on which public officials are in office at any given time.

The issue of editorial credit, attribution, idea and IP theft and knock-offs – Why does that matter so much?

Tearing down landmarks and historical buildings – Who cares? This is a portion of my conversation form the1001 N Roxbury episode. If not familiar and you care about architectural preservation, you should be.

DEI – Policy and Practice –  In 2019 at the WestEdge Design Fair, I produced a panel about diversity in design featuring four creatives of color. It was not the first time I had conversations with creatives of color, different backgrounds, ideas or even who had differences in thought. I cast that program in June or July of 2019, it was held in October of 2019 and published in June of 2020. Shortly after the murder of George Floyd which ignited a powder keg in this country. It started a conversation about race, about equity and about fairness. Change is not a bad thing, without change, one becomes stagnant, societies cease to innovate and develop. It’s uncomfortable. I got a huge response to that episode. I have had many such conversations. 

But, something I have not shared with you was the DEI policy I have and have had in place since 2019. I believe in providing a space for new voices as well as the established. To be completely frank with you, that has, at times been a real challenge.

Inviting someone to come on the show now is pretty simple because if invited guests are not already familiar with the show, a simple search provides everything they would need to understand what I do. It was not the case back in the early years of the podcast. Most people to whom I reach out know the show and I cannot think of anyone I have invite that has declined. But there is a certain level of suspicion with some creatives of color who have been invited on the show. It took me a while to understand it. I think it is worth sharing. Ron Woodson, who was on that original panel in 2019 later said to me that after that episode was published, he began receiving numerous media requests to talk about that subject of race and inclusion in design. And, while he was a willing participant in the the conversation, he didn’t want that to be all people asked him about. I think it is fair to say there was, and still is the concern of tokenism and a patronizing approach to inclusion in the design industry. But I also think that having these conversations is important and I do long for the day when people don’t say things like here are the best Black designers or best asian designers or best female architects you need to know. There are just great designers and amazing architects you need to know. My reason for pointing this out is simple. I think that when you separate creatives by gender or race or sexual orientation, you minimize their contributions. I would like to see the conversation continue to evolve. 

This is a portion of my conversation in 2019 with Bridgid Coulter, Breegan Jane, Ron Woodson and Brian Pinkett

Showroom & Vendor Partnerships – The podcast was started with partnerships in mind. I wanted to be proud of the partners that I work with and share those partners with you. I stand by the partnerships on this show and when you hear me talking about them, you should know that I am working with them because I have done my due diligence and I know them, I trust them and I believe you can too. 

Design Hardware and Flooring in Los Angeles has been around since 1985. I have been working with Michele Solomons, Avi Balsam and the entire team for about 4 years and I have seen what they do for their customers. ThermaSol has been the title sponsor of Convo By Design for over 3 years. I have been to the factory, spoken with Mitch Altman, 3rd generation president, spoken with Murray Altman, 2nd generation president. I have seen their factory, watched them inspect every steam generator before it leaves the factory. They make the best steam generators in the wold. I believe that. Pacific Sales I have been to a number of their showrooms, I have personally seen their product selection and service to client in the design community. I have spoken with so many of their team members, most of those I spoke with have been there for over a decade! They know their product line, they know what designers do for a living and how to make sure their clients are happy. They serve up products like those from Monogram. If you are a design specifier, you know what Monogram has been doing and how remarkable their product line is. Same for TimberTech, theiy make an absolutely incredible outdoor decking product that is sustainable in nature, beautiful, easy to work with and long lasting. I mention this because we are living and working in a time when not all showroom partners have the same dedication to the design community. They shut their doors and leave designers and their clients in stressful and financially devastating situations. This business is a challenge and not all suppliers, vendors, manufacturers or even designers make it. Businesses close, that is part of life, but good parters and great partnerships are rare and that is why I am so thankful for these partnerships and why I am proud to share them with you. If you are not familiar with any of these, please check the show notes to links where you can learn more.

Lastly, there has been a major issue in media regarding attribution, credit and IP theft of all kinds. It is not unique to our industry, nor is it going to stop anytime soon. Most recently, there was a major kerfuffle surrounding a story in AD featuring Sofia Vergara’s home. The credit for design went to O’Hara Davies Gaetano, who was the last designer on the project, but not the first. That was Timothy Corrigan. There have also been others who it have reportedly worked on other portions of the project who too, went uncredited for their work. AD and all the industry media need to far better. Many years ago, 2017 actually, at the WestEdge Design Fair, I produced and moderated a panel featuring art rep Wendy Posner, designer and showroom owner Gary Gibson and IP attorney Emile Nicolaou with whom I worked at Playboy Radio. We talked about many of these very issues. This is what that sounded like….

So, there you go, Episode 500. Just a sample of the conversations we have had over the past 11 years. Real conversations, real issues and hopefully, real solutions to these complex topics in addition to sharing stories behind some of the greatest creatives working today. No celebrity fluff, no trendy fast-fashion dialogue, no frivolity. Real issues, real stories, real talent working on amazing projects and I could not be doing this without you. Thank you for listening to the show. Thank you to my incredible partner sponsors; ThermaSol, Design Hardware, Pacific Sales, Monogram and TimberTech for your continued support of both Convo By Design and the design community. 

Let’s keep the conversations going, you can email me with guest and show ideas, which I absolutely love. convobydesign@outlook.com and follow us on Instagram @ConvoXDeisgn with an “x”. Until next week, Be well and take today first. -CXD

Vision, Leadership & Creative Functionality, Every Element for A Successful Firm | 499 | Katie McCaffrey

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we are heading to San Francisco. We’re talking with Katie McCaffrey with the McCaffrey Design Group about functional beauty, designing in a rapidly changing city like San Francisco and so much more.

It is really astounding when you stop and think about it. A city like San Francisco that is under constant change. Social change, climate change, political change, safety concerns, property management and development issues. How can the design community stay on track for their clients and manage all of the changes simultaneously? Can’t be easy. But Katie seems to take it all with a certain grace and poise. Incredibly so. And, you are going to hear all about it, right after this.

Thank you Katie, loved our chat. I really do love these conversations. I love sharing these stories with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convobydesign@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

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. – Convo By Design

High Point Market and All of the Questions You Were Afraid to Ask | 496 | Tammy Nagem, CEO of High Point Market Authority

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a conversation that is on the minds of just about every designer this time of year. How can I go to HighPoint, see everything, do everything in the few days while I’m there? The simple answer is, you can’t. High Point Market is the big game, the championship level event for designers in North America. It’s big, it’s spread out and it can be sensory overload. So, you can’t do it all. But, if you plan it right, do your homework and listen to the following conversation with Tammy, you can make it work for you.

That’s really what it comes down to, learning how to custom tailor the experience for you. Making the few days you have work in terms of seeing what you want to see, meeting with whom you want to meet and leaving a bit of time for the unexpected. All while wearing comfortable shoes and making sure you have snacks and a portable battery fro your phone. Tips, trick and hacks to make the HighPoint Market experience everything you want it to be. That’s what we are talking about today with HighPoint Market Authority CEO, Tammy Nagem.

Thank you Tammy for your time, loved this. I love these conversations. I love sharing them with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convobydesign@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

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. -Convo By Design

The Design Messengers: Credit, Attribution and Media Standards | 494 | The Sofia Vergara Project in AD

This episode of The Design Messengers is dedicated to an original in the field of design. Someone who has earned their reputation for the amazing work they do. This individual has been on Convo By Design in the past, I believe three times in different ways; As a solo guest, a multi-guest episode and on a panel I produced at the WestEdge Design Fair. Have you heard the story of Timothy Corrigan and Arch Digest? You probably have by now, if not in his Instagram feed, then perhaps through Business of Home who did an absolutely wonderful job covering this. If you have not heard this story yet, check the show notes for a link to the BoH story. Honestly, I can’t tell it any better than Fred Nicolaus executive editor @BOH did.

To synopsize, Tim worked on Sofia Vergara’s home in the Los Angeles suburb of Beverly Park. He worked on this project for years. His firm was replaced, for whatever reason with that of O’Hara Davies-Gaetano. Davies-Gaetano is another alum of Convo By Design. She has been on the show and I think that she too is a very talented designer. So, far so good, no problem. Clients and creatives part ways all the time. Enter @ArchDigest …The 800 pound gorilla in our industry. They publish the project and in the original piece, there is no mention of Corrigan’s work despite much of the specified material and architectural detail of Corrigan’s firm present in the final project. Corrigan called BS and had lawyers send a letter of complaint to AD which I have not read but which did result in a digital version correction and I would not be surprised to see a carefully worded correction in the next print edition. I am glad that they are doing this but to be frank with you, it is not only unfortunate that this happened but it was entirely avoidable. How?

  1. The trade publications have slashed editorial staff over the past decade.
  2. The contributors who are writing these stories are not, in most cases, trained journalists but instead, content producers who work off subject provided information and push the stories out fast. In many cases working on multiple projects for the same publication or in some cases freelancing for other outlets.
  3. There are no real journalistic standards for our industry. There should be.
  4. With the proliferation of social media, idea theft runs rampant, claims made are not checked and because there is so much content pushed out, it would take an army to do it.

I do not think there are any villains here. I think there are a number of players involved in this story that are overworked, overstimulated by social media content, driven to push out any celebrity driven story as fast as they can because that is what they believe their audience wants to see. I have issues with Architectural Digest and some other other industry pubs but AD in particular. Years ago, Architectural Digest published a piece on AD Pro that misattributed Convo By Design to another company. Check the show notes for a link, if it gets taken down by the time you hear this, email me and let me know so I can publish a screen shot to our IG feed. I reached out to AD’s contributor the week it happened. That was in October of 2019 and they still haven’t fixed it as of this recording.

Corrigan handled this the way it should have been handled. But let’s be honest about this… Were it a lesser designer, they most likely would have been ignored. I also think that what Tim did was incredibly brave. There could be ramifications, you just never know. My hope is that the folks at the shelter publications,  if they do believe strongly in our industry and who do, in fact make our industry better will use this experience to strengthen their journalistic practices. I would like to see all the trade pubs use trained journalists with a focus on design and architecture to write. That is not always the case. But, if it were, they could catch some of these inconsistencies well in advance of publication. And, if errors are made, which happen all the time because we humans a fallible and we journalists do make mistakes, once discovered, should have practices in place to correct the issue to the very best of their ability. We will see if this happens in this case. What does that mean… To the best of one’s ability. If I am being honest with you, I think there is far more that AD can do, I feel like in this case, they have thus-far done the bare minimum. You might ask, “like what, Josh?”. Great question. I did a bit more digging, and checked out AD’s YouTube channel. The Sofia Vergara project video remains on the channel, as of this recording on March 15th, it has just over 6 million views and absolutely no reference to Tim Corrigan. Sofia mentions O’Hara at least three times but there is no mention of Corrigan, his work or his influence on this project. There is no mention of him in the description

nor in any credits. There is no credit to O’Hara in the credits either which I found odd. I think it speaks to the lack of formal guidelines in media production and project credit attribution. 

Something else to consider, as machine learning continues to gain traction in every industry but specially ours, an algorithm would not know to credit Corrigan for his work on this project and in all future inquiries submitted through AI bots, he would never get credit for his work. This should trouble every single designer, architect, maker and brand from the biggest to the smallest. There should be rules, there should be standards. It would also stand to reason that the biggest players in the space from media to brands would act as thought leaders in this regard.

In an effort to help be part of the change, I would like to share a past episode of Convo By Design as it relates directly to this very issue. 

Episode 175, recorded in 2017 and published in 2018 called, Intellectual Right for Creative Types features Emile Nicolau, an IP attorney I worked with at Playboy along with Wendy Posner and Gary Gibson is a fantastic opportunity to hear about the ins and out of IP rights as they affect the design community.

The link to this episode is in the show notes. At the end of the day and through this episode you will learn that regardless of the IP or attribution issue, as a professional in any industry but specifically the design and architecture industry you can choose to defend your rights. You can also choose not to. But make no mistake, that is a choice and nobody is going to do it for you. If you see something that doesn’t make sense, say something. Those on the shelter media side, you have a choice as well. Do you make it right, or not? And that is a choice, one that should not be decided based on the size and experience of the creative, nor on wether or not they have an attorney but instead, is it the right thing to do. If you made a mistake, own it. Thank you, Tim for forcing this issue. Your actions have once again made the industry better than it was when you arrived.

Thank you for listening to Convo By Design. If you have questions or comments on this issue or any others, please email me, convobydesign@outlook.com. Until next time, be well and take today first. – Convo By Design

Source: All above mentioned source material was acquired from the internet on March, 15, 2024. 

Sofia Vergara_YouTube.com_March_15_2024

BusinessOfHome.com_March_15_2024

Instagram_TimothyCorrigan_March_15_2024

Instagram_ArchDigest_March_15_2024

Instagram_ODGInteriors_March_15_2024

#TimothyCorrigan #ArchitecturalDigest #ODGInteriors #SofiaVergara #MediaStandards #Design #Architecture

The Immutable Laws of Design, Why Do Some Former Lawyers Make Such Great Designers | 493 | Katie Davis

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Today, we are heading back to Texas. If you are new to the show, I love Texas. I have family there. I lived in Dallas for 9 years. For many years, I had a spin-ff of the podcast called Lone Star House of Design. Texas is not one of the design fly-overs. It has been for a long time, but the pandemic launched a movement that has since gone parabolic. 

Today, you are going to hear from Katie Davis, founder of her eponymous firm in Houston. But that is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Katie is one of those designers who took the longest route possible to interior design. And I love this so much because I love hearing the story behind and through the journey. Katie started out as an attorney. A working attorney meaning she went to law school, passed the Bar Exam. Launched Katie Davis Design in 2018 and now, you are going to hear the rest of the story as well as a guided tour through some of her projects. Love this and we are going to get to it, right after this.

Designer Resources

Pacific Sales Kitchen and Home. Where excellence meets expertise.

ThermaSol – Redefining the modern shower experience. Without steam, it’s just a bathroom.

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

 – Where service meets excellence

TimberTech – Real wood beauty without the upkeep

Thank you Katie for your time, talent and willingness to share. I love these conversations. I love sharing them with you. Please continue to email me with your guest and show suggestions. Convo by design@outlook.com and reach out via Instagram, @ConvoXDesign with an “X”.

Thank you to Convo By Design partner sponsors, ThermaSol, TimberTech, Pacific Sales and Design Hardware. For more information about and links to these incredible companies and to learn more about their products, please check the show notes.

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. -Convo By Design

WestEdge Wednesday No. Ten | 492 | All Roads Lead to Southern California; Long Live the Creative Experiment

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is another installment of Convo By Design presents WestEdge Wednesday, a look back at all of the incredible programming from the 2023 edition of the WestEdge Design Fair held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. These conversations were held on the stage designed by Marie Designs and presented by BR Home. This is it, part 10 in our series from the WestEdge Design Fair. Southern California has long been a place where adventurous creatives of all disciplines could come to create with other like-minded dreamers—where a designer could draft and see their masterpiece come to life only to realize it wasn’t right, shake it out like a giant Etch-A-Sketch and start again. Now, in a post-pandemic world, it is incumbent upon that very spirit for a new generation of creatives to address and overcome the seemingly endless barrage of challenges. And, they will, because that’s what they do. This conversation features BANDD/DESIGN’S  Sara Malek Barney, Christine Vroom of Christine Vroom Interiors and the legendary Leo Marmol, FAIA of Marmol Radziner. This panel could only be moderated by one person I know and that is the incomparable, Frances Anderton. Thank you to Convo By Design partners and sponsors ThermaSol, Moya Living and Design Hardware for making the podcast possible and thank you for listening and watching these episodes of the show. For links to all our partners, guests on this episode, WestEdge Design Fair, Marbe and 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. 

Please check the podcast show notes for links and you can find that at Convo By Design dot com and click the podcast tab. Thanks for watching and listening. CXD

Big DFW Energy, A Look at What Happens to A City When the Population Explodes | 480 | Angeline Guido Hall

Hello. I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with another virtual trip to Dallas Ft. Worth to talk about exceptional design in and amazing, vibrant metroplex…

If you have been listening to the show for any amount of time, you probably know just how fond I am of Fort Worth/ Dallas. A thriving market that has absolutely exploded in the past 20 years. With that population explosion, came an influx of new art, food, design, architecture, music. When this happens, it usually means gentrification, higher housing costs, infill projects, destruction of older dwellings to make room for new ones. 

Dallas and Fort Worth have seen all of the above. Which is why it is so important for good stewards, talented creatives, really smart designers to be present as well. That is where Angeline Guido Hall comes in. She’s a Dallas native. Studied interior design at TCU. Angeline knows what makes the Metroplex so special. Designs to the strengths… and because of this, she’s leaving her mark on the design landscape. And you’re going to hear her story. Right after this.

What a great chat. You can hear why 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

Sweet Homes of Alabama. Major Cities Could Learn A Thing or Two | 482 | Jeffrey Dungan

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design with a trip to Alabama. Yes, that Alabama.

I do love sharing the stories of amazing creative types from locales where you would least expect to find them. Jeff Dungan is an extraordinary creative from and remaining in Alabama. Jeff has a gift for clean and modern designs within the framework of traditional architectural ideas. His story and path to architecture is special. His love for rural Alabama is strong and I have come to learn after many years traversing this country of ours that you can learn so much from journeys along the roads less traveled. Many in not most, pretty much all the design and architecture media does not recognize or even pay attention to the design fly-overs and that is to their detriment. Which is also why you should settle in and enjoy this conversation with Jeff Dungan of Jeffery Dungan Architects.

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, Jeff. What a great chat. You can hear why 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

The Design Messengers | 481 | Something New about Something Old Times TWO!

I’m Josh Cooperman, host and publisher of Convo By Design and this is a new series of the show called The Design Messengers. A Monday episode of the show sharing design trade info you need to know. I have three items of interest for you. The loss of another design industry brand, a new Booklook. Call this something old and something new, about something old.

First up, the loss of another iconic brand. Kelly Moore Paints. The global design business doesn’t have enough brands. Think about it, let’s just look at paint… Sherwin Williams, Farrow and Ball, Benjamin Moore, Behr, Valspar, Backdrop, Rust-Oleum. It sounds like a lot but it’s really not when you think about how many residential, commercial and industrial projects need to be served. When one is lost, you have to wonder why and what the ramifications will be.

As of this writing, Kelly-Moore has not announced its closure on the website or socials, which I find disappointing. If you are going to bail, tell your customers first, as loudly as you can. Yes, you will lose sales, but it’s the right thing to do. Thank goodness for good journalism. On Friday, January 12th, Kelly-Moore Paints in Irving, Texas let hundreds of workers go and in a press release, announced what they call a “… Plan of r Orderly, Ou-of-Court Wind Down of Company Operations.” The company pointed to a decades long legal struggle stemming from asbestos litigation. Kelly-Moore estimated legal liabilities in excess of $170 million. A number, they apparently could not overcome.

The company was founded by William Kelly and William Moore in California, 1946 and acquired by Flacks Group in 2022. Tis is a company that was founded on fair value, fair pricing and offering a designer quality paint to the masses. They were one of the largest independents in the country with over $400 million in annual sales.  

From the press release in September 2022, their goals and aspirations were big. “The purchase of Kelly-Moore Paints is part of Flacks Group’s multi-stage investment thesis around industrial companies with strong manufacturing footprints and global distribution. The acquisition, when combined with its existing portfolio company Germany-based Pleuger Industries, puts Flacks Group’s industrial vertical on track to exceed $1 billion in revenues in the next two to three years.” That presser did not age well. 

I have a BookLook for you. A new book by Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein. They are the founders of @CheapOldHouses and hosts of HGTV’s show by the same name. I am not a huge fan of the made for TV shows about design these days for one main reason, the are not authentic. They aren’t real when it comes to taste, style and design-build. But i’m not a hater, I just want better. And this show is a favorite of mine. I believe Elizabeth and Ethan, I believe in them. I love old houses, renovations and road trips. All of this is incorporated in the show and when I received the book, I found something more to love. The book is a series of short tories about… cheap old houses. The places, people, kids, dogs and how much these homes cost to buy and restore.

This is a big deal and I will tell you as someone who left LA for a smaller town, lives in an old home and one that is in the process of being reimagined, as you can see through the Tulsa Remote Design House segments on the show and videos on our IG feed. I can tell you, leaving the big metropolitan city for a smaller town, in a bigger and older home has been an incredible experience that pre-pandemic would not have seemed like a real possibility. This book is inspirational, aspirational and it is, above all else, authentic. 

We live in a time of high housing costs, high mortgage rates, congested, hyper-competitive cities and it doesn’t have to be that way. I think the next 5-10 years is going to provide a fundamental shift in not just how we live, but where we live. The pandemic created the opportunity for us to work and live where we choose. There will be those who say, “I love nYC and I’m never leaving.” There are people like me who love LA… I mean, I LOVE LA. But I’ve moved before, I might go back. Might not… But the idea that now, technology has caught up with the wanderlust of those, like me who love roadtrips and discovery. This will shine a light on quality of life and crafting your environment to suit life instead of the other way around and this book provides story after story, real world examples of this happening. The joy of finding amazing, old, well-built homes in uncomplicated, simple cities and towns that you have never heard of. And, if you’ve never heard of it, how do you know if you will like it, or perhaps even love it.

There is residential gold in small cities and towns dappled across the country and this book is not just a showcase but a how-to through the eyes and experiences of those who have done it. I do love this book, I am a fan of the Finkelstein’s mission and I am going to try and book them for the show so you can hear from them. Until I do, get the book, because it’s a keeper. It’s published by Clarkson Potter. Check the show notes for a link.  

This is The Design Messengers, an audio essay crafted to get your week of to a great start by sharing ideas to launch you into being the best you can be in all your endeavors but specifically, as a creative in the design and architecture space. Thank you for listening. If you are not already a subscriber, please consider subscribing to the show so you receive every episode of The Design Messengers and Convo By Design automatically when they are published. If you are listening to us for the first time, you can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. If you are so inclined, please also consider following on IG @ConvoXDesign with an “X”. Thanks again for listening. Be well and take today first. -CXD