Tag Archives: Hollywood

Special Series on Designing for Disaster | 8 | Margie Grace on Creating Your Outdoor Oasis



This is the final episode in the series, not because there isn’t more to learn but because we are coming out of this first lock-down and you have been provided with actionable strategies for making your space more functional, more livable and now is your chance to go make it real. Speaking of real, I mention that we are through the first lock-down, there will be more. Perhaps not in the near future but don’t kid yourself into thinking that this can’t happen again. Instead, hope for the best and prepare for the worst. This series was presented in parts to help you structure your design into categories and this is the final piece… landscape design. This episode features Margie Grace talking about: 

Editing your spaces

Embracing the opportunity to clean out and purge

Being hopeful and bringing new life into your life

Plan the environment; 1. Dream it,  2. research it, shop, repurpose, rebuild what you have, 3. build it and 4.  live in it. X amount of functions and Y amount of space.

Functional design. Fruits, flowers, herbs and decorative plants, trees and shrubs for shade and privacy… What is it you want? Functionally design your space.

Beds & Borders, seating areas, ground vs. potted gardens.

Margie, as you will hear if you are not familiar with her, is a tour de force. She is energetic for days and has a very clear vision as it relates to her approach. So, strap in and try to keep up.

Thank you, Margie, for your time and talent. For more about Margie Grace, please go to gracedesignassociates.com. Thank you Walker Zanger for your partnership and support of Convo By Design. And thank you for listening, were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design. We are getting through this, and while we do, I will keep bringing you the ideas from incredibly talented creatives to make it a little bit better. If you have a question, ideas for a segment or you are a designer that wants to help, please email me at ConvoByDesign@Outlook.com. Take care of yourself and your loved ones.


Thinking Local and Global Design | 248 | Scott Utterstrom



Scott Utterstrom, Principal at XTEN Architecture in Los Angeles. Scott was born in Portland, Oregon, graduated with a BA in Architecture from Cal Poly and spent a year in Copenhagen studying architecture. He got his Masters in Architecture from UCLA and, as mentioned, since 2007, he has been with XTEN Architecture working with previous Convo By Design guest, XTEN President, Monica Haefelfinger.

If you are new to the podcast, welcome. Those who have been subscribing for a while know, I only speak with guests whose work I admire. I started the podcast because I am a huge fan of design and architecture so it would be odd for me to speak with a guest whose work doesn’t move me. This being said, I spoke with Monika and Scott at different times because while the firm appears clear and comfortable in its direction, both Monika and Scott have different views on the work. I really enjoy that part of these conversations and my hope is that you do too.

When I try to imagine what design and architecture firms will be “of note” and studied, I consider XTEN to be one of those. Swiss roots, clean lines, minimal and modern but not stark. I like their work so much because I love LA and have always admired work that allows itself to be noticed yet compliments the beauty of Southern California. They do that.

Before we hear from Scott and get into this episode of the podcast, I want to thank you for downloading and subscribing to Convo By Design. Did you know that there are other ways to get the show. Let’s say you’re in the car, driving and don’t want to look at your phone. Ask your smart device to get it for you, say, “Hey Google, play Convo By Design.” You can also ask Siri. We are available through every smart device and on just about every podcast platform. Okay, this is XTEN Architecture’s, Scott Utterstrom.