Tag Archives: los angeles

SPECIAL EPISODE: Rocky LaFleur | Celebrating a Design Icon



This is Convo By Design Today, we are saying goodbye to a friend and celebrating an amazing person and giant in Southern California’s design community, Rocky LaFleur.

There are some people you encounter in life who make you feel better, they make you better and they lift up those around them. Rocky LaFleur was the embodiment of that. As long as I knew him, he always had a smile on his face and a word of encouragement. Rocky had a passion for his longtime friends and an openness to make new ones. We lost Rocky this past week and this flood of memories came back to me.

There have been so many fun and wonderful events and I cherish the time this tight knit Southern California design community gets together. The last time I saw Rocky in person, it was to see him speak to up and coming design students at UCLA Extension. Eleanor Schrader handed the mic to Rocky and his partner in comedy, Gary Gibson and the two of them led a journey into the wonderful world of design that made these prospective designers eyes twinkle. Not just the good, but the challenging and the hard work that comes with it.

Rocky was a phenomenal ambassador for the all of us in the industry, he was a dedicated mentor who gave freely of his time to help others and he always had a smile on his face. That sweet smile.

Rocky’s story is special and it doesn’t end here. When you influence and positively impact the lives of so many people, your spirit endures. I was blown away in 2018, seeing Rocky recognized at the Pacific Design Center in front of so many people who were there for no other reason than to shower Rocky with the love and the recognition he deserved. A Lifetime Achievement award, given to him by the ASID, the first of its kind.

Rocky has been a fixture in the Pacific Design Center, at Kneedler Fauchere, Rocky needed a home like the PDC to house his huge personality.

“Rocky joined Kneedler Fauchère almost 16 years ago and I joined one year later. Believe it or not, I sat in front of his desk and every morning when I arrived he serenaded me with show tunes. That pretty much told me everything I needed to know about Rocky. He’s been one of my closest and most meaningful confidants ever since,” said Gina Dewitt, President of Kneedler Fauchère after the gala event.

I sat down with Rocky in 2019. Rocky told me his story, how he, “found his people.” I could continue to gush on about how wonderful this man was, but instead, I would like to replay my conversation with Rocky, recorded in 2019 from the Kneedler Fauchere showroom in the Pacific Design Center.

I want to thank Walker Zanger, presenting partner of Convo By Design, for your partnership. The work that they do and their support of the show makes it possible for me to to this. This podcast has kept me connected to the industry, to you for the past eight years and the last has definitely been the most challenging. As we start moving back to events, showcases, design houses, CEU’s and trade shows, we will have the chance to reconnect and I am so appreciative to Walker Zanger for their support of Convo By Design.

My hope here is that you can take some time to sit back, turn off the phone for a few minutes and let Rocky make you feel good again. I challenge you to hear that laugh and not laugh with him, it’s impossible. I hope hearing his voice, that laugh, those stories takes away your pain for a moment.

Thank you, Rocky…for everything, and thank you for listening. Until next week, be well and remember to to take today first.


Domos Coliving | 312 | Coliving, The Future of Flex-Living and Finding Balance between Private Space and Shared Amenities



This is Convo By Design featuring Daniel Alexander and Richard Loring of Domos Coliving. From Millennials moving back home to traditional multi-generational cohabitation, the idea of coliving has not only gained steam, but taken hold in cities across the U.S. Home ownership once the foundational idea behind the American dream is, in many circle giving way to the idea the coliving provides all someone wants and nothing they don’t. But what role does design play when you are catering to the many without serving only a few. That’s what I wanted to know when I spoke with Daniel and Richard from Domos. Daniel is principal with DOMOS and Richard manages construction and design.

Some thoughts as you listen. If you are a designer, this will shed some light on the approach to application of design and flow. Architects, there is something here for you as well in the structure of a space made for many that feels cozy and personal.

Thanks for downloading, streaming and subscribing to this episode of the podcast. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so you don’t miss a single episode of the show, like this one with Daniel Alexander and Richard Loring of Domos Coliving.

Thank you Daniel and Richard. Thank you Walker Zanger for your extraordinary partnership and thank you for listening. My goal is to bring you the stories behind sublime design wherever that may be. To share those stories, bring you business strategies to help you build a stronger firm and inspire you to do your most creative work.

For more, please follow us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign with an “X”, check us out at Convo By Design dot com. Until next week, be well and keep creating.


Paul McClean | 308 | A Master of Modern Architecture



This is Convo By Design with an architect that is single hardly redefining what is possible in modern residential architecture, this is Paul McClean…

Paul McClean is one of those rare individuals who knew what he wanted to do at a very young age. Rarer still is growing up to change that space into your vision of what it should be. McClean grew up in Ireland and made his way to Southern California by way of Sydney, Australia. His work uses clean lines, site-specific features that make the most of water features, and the given space available, sometimes more, sometimes less. Always distinct, you can see McClean’s fine lines woven through space and structure in the most seamless and unapologetically spectacular ways. McClean’s work is inspirational, aspirational, and if nothing else, makes you wonder, ‘what if’.

Thanks for downloading, streaming, and subscribing to this episode of the podcast. If you haven’t subscribed yet, please do so you don’t miss a single episode of the show, like this one with master architect, Paul McClean.

Thank you, Paul. Thank you Walker Zanger for your extraordinary partnership and thank you for listening. My goal is to bring you the stories behind sublime design wherever that may be. To share those stories, bring you business strategies to help you build a stronger firm and inspire you to do your most creative work.

For more, please follow us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign with an “X”, check us out at Convo By Design dot com. Until next week, be well and keep creating.


The Business of Kitchen Design Mastery | 303 | Exploring Experiential Kitchen Design



The kitchen is the heart of the home, always has been and you already know this. But this conversation features Julia Wong, Laurie Haefele and Shirry Dolgin, Barry Bredvik, and Kristi Nelson explores new directions and ideas about kitchen design. These three amazing designers come from different backgrounds but all have mastered interior design and truly understand the form and function of kitchen design. You are going to hear a high-level conversation that covers technology, layout, and specifically the use of space articulated into actionable methods for kitchen design.

Susan McFadden of California Homes Magazine moderated this panel. What you are going to find is how this conversation zigs and zags through so many topics but the through lines provide some remarkable ideas for crafting the perfect space for every home.

This panel is introduced by Megan Reilly, co-founder of WestEdge Design Fair, the fall home of Convo By Design in Santa Monica California.  

What a great chat. Thank you Susan McFadden for moderating, California Homes Magazine for your support. Thank you, Julia, Shirry, Laurie, Kristi, and Barry for your time and masterful contributions. Thank you Megan and Troy for your partnership. Thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support of the podcast.  And, thank you for listening, subscribing, and downloading every episode of Convo By Design. I miss you. I miss seeing you at WestEdge and all the other design fairs and festivals we missed in 2020. But we will meet again in 2021. And until we do, be well and keep creating.


Aspirational Design From the Garden State | 301 | The 2020 Aspire Design House



The Aspire House: Princeton is offering a fifth edition of this designer showcase and as design houses should, this one focuses on amazing talent and unique design. The New Jersey design house will offer live tours of the house which is a novel approach in 2020 considering almost all the other design houses this year have been forced to go with virtual tours. This was my first opportunity to cover the Aspire House: Princeton and as you will hear, this cohort of design talent is extremely diverse in style, aesthetic, philosophy and background. That is the secret to presenting a unique design experience which is exactly what the Aspire Design: Princeton house is. This episode features the following design house participants:

Dianne Durocher – Diane Durocher Interiors | Diane Durochere started her eponymous firm with the idea that a well-designed home is an investment in the quality of life. It influences the way we live. And that idea guides the way she designs.

www.dianedurocherinteriors.com
@Diane_Durocher_Interiors

Ginny Padoula – Town & Country Kitchen and Bath | Ginny Padola created her firm, Town & County Kitchen and Bath with the idea that clients should have access to luxury, bespoke cabinetry, high-end materials and finishes and work within the client’s budget and vision.

www.tckbdesigns.com
@TownandCountyKitchenandBath

Tamu Rasheba Green – Lux Pad Interiors | Tamu Rasheba Green is the principal designer behind Lux Pad Interiors. Green’s mission is to infuse society with love, one project at a time. And, in each project, she considers client, community and environment with individually tailored beauty.

Alirio Pirela – Pirela Atelier | Alirio Pirela is an east coast designer with a focus on blending artistic and technical aspects in the work. Pirela is multi-cultural and multi-lingual with Latin and European influences in his work.

www.pirelaatelier.com
@PirelaAtelier

Anna Maria Mannarino – Mannarino Designs, Inc. | Anna Maria Mannarino is an award-winning designer and principal designer of her namesake firm. The company promotes itself as transforming spaces from Cape Cod to Cape May. That span includes Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Philadelphia, New Jersey and Maryland.

www.mannarinodesigns.com
@MannarinoAnnaMaria

Gail Davis – Gail Davis Designs | Gail Davis is a powerful creative with a fondness for color, texture and presenting the unexpected in a way that continues to surprise and delight. Gail has a clear vision and presents ‘lively elegance’ with a timeless traditional style and a hint of modernity.

www.gaildavisdesignsllc.com
@GailDavisDesigns

Joe Giamarese & Vivian Hung – Global Home

https://www.globalhomeny.com

Tram-And Poprik – Red Bank Design Center

Joe Berkowitz – JAB Design Group | Visionary designer, Joseph Berkowitz works to create ‘moments’ in time and space through design. Both simple and elaborate designs created through this elevated philosophy whose mission is to elevate personal and meaningful environments.

www.jabinteriors.com

Steve Mandel – Aspire Magazine | Aspire Design and Home Magazine produced and presents this design house and has enabled these amazing creatives to showcase their work in a unique format. Steve Mandel is the publisher of Aspire Magazine.

www.aspiremetro.com
@AspireDesignandHome

Thank you to all of these amazing designers for taking the time to share their spaces. Design houses are like the design and architecture industry’s version of the auto show for the automotive industry. It is a chance to present real, imagined aspirational and conceptual ideas in a real-world format. With work and a little good fortune, 2021 will be a different type of year and we can go see this house in person next year. Until then, I hope you enjoyed hearing about their work, make sure you check it out online. Thank you to Walker Zanger for your continued support of Convo By Design. Thank you to all of you listening and subscribing to the show. If not subscribing yet, please do, it’s easy. You can ask Siri for help and you can find Convo By Design everywhere you find your favorite shows. You can also learn more about the show at convo by design dot com and convo by design with an ‘X’ on Instagram. Thanks again for listening, be well and until next week, keep creating.


Ryan Bloom – Urban Bonfire | 299 | A Story About Designing A Modern Company Dedicated to Your Kitchen Outdoors



Together, we have shared literally hundreds of conversations since the show started 7 years ago. In that time, I have shared some absolutely incredible stories about design partnerships and I am so happy to share a story of my own with you. Last year at the WestEdge Design Fair, I met Ryan Bloom, co-founder of Urban Bonfire. He moderated a really fun conversation at the show and it ran here on Convo By Design. If you want to go back and listen, you can, it was episode 255 called, “Your Canvas for Outdoor Memories.”

Ryan and I kept in touch and an opportunity presented itself for us to work together. I was recently named the Director of Content & Growth for Urban Bonfire. I have taken on the role of content curator & creator as well as creating new ways to help you, the designer, architect, developer and builder craft entertaining and activated outdoor spaces. It means being able to find Urban Bonfire products at your favorite retail showrooms, it means creating a truly unique trade program that will provide you with the tools and opportunities to collaborate that you have been telling me you want. This is a fantastic partnership and I am thrilled to share it with you. This is Urban Bonfire’s, Ryan Bloom.

Thank you, Ryan, for the time and this incredible opportunity. Please subscribe to the show so you catch every episode of Convo By Design, ask Alexa or Siri, say, “Hey Siri, Play Convo By Design” and she will. You can follow the show on the socials as well, @ConvoXDesign with an “X” on Instagram, and check out the YouTube channel for videos from some of your favorite episodes. Thank you for listening and until next week, be well and keep creating.
.
.
.
#InteriorDesign #OutdoorLiving #UrbanBonfire #WalkerZanger #ConvoByDesign #JoshCooperman #RyanBloom


Woods + Dangaran | 298 | The Future of California Modern Architecture



If you have been listening to the podcast for any part of the past 7 years, you understand that you are going to hear different perspectives on design and architecture. I believe that there is truly a language of architecture, and that design is about storytelling. I do this podcast because I love discovering new designers myself and thoroughly enjoy introducing them to you. If you are in the biz, it gives you a chance to meet someone whose work might influence or inspire you. If you are an enthusiast, it makes you dream of what’s possible. Joseph Dangaran and Brett Woods are currently producing future classics in modern design. Full stop.

The work they are doing makes use of materials, space, the landscape, and a sense of theater. You look at their work and you can see a nod to Schindler or Neutra, but not a byproduct. Their work is unique, it’s great, and these are two architects making it, this is Woods and Dangaran.

Thank you, Brett and Joseph, I enjoyed our time together. I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next. Thank you for listening, downloading, and subscribing to the show. Join in the conversation @ConvoXDesign with an “X” and while your there, check out our amazing partner @WalkerZanger. You can also find everything you need at Convo By Design dot com. Thank you for listening, downloading, and subscribing to the show, without you, there is no Convo By Design. Be well and until next week, keep creating.


Michelle Lisac | 297 | Enduring Design Through Disaster, Trends and Turmoil



I enjoy talking about the business of design because only after you understand the business landscape and how the business works can you truly take your talents to their full potential. How many times have you seen a creative type with crazy skills but no business sense? The most frequently asked questions of me by those in the trade revolve around the brand development series of episodes and panels I offer every year in the fall. So when I have an opportunity to speak with someone like Michelle and share it with you, it makes me feel like I’m doing some of my best work.

Michelle has a degree in Business Marketing and grew up the daughter of a contractor with a love of and passion for design. This experience has given her a strong foundation by which she has built her own firm. These days, it’s not enough to be good, to have talent, or to know the business inside and out. You have to possess the skills and demonstrate the will to persevere under extreme circumstances.

As I recorded this conversation with Michelle, we were in the middle of a pandemic, which affects all of us, but Michelle was also coming off recent disruptions caused by the wildfires in California AND, a mass migration out of NorCal. So, how do you deal with trials and tribulations in the ordinary course of doing business, with tariffs and pricing issues affecting product delivery compounded by major shifts in population in an industry that is all about the creation of home? As you will hear, you know your business, you stay focused and you persevere. That is how we all succeed. This is Michelle Lisac.

Thank you, Michelle, for your talent, time, and willingness to share. Follow Michelle on Instagram to see her work @MichelleLisacInteriorDesign and follow us while you’re there @ConvoXDesign with an “X” and our amazing partner @WalkerZanger. You can also find everything you need at Convo By Design dot com. Thank you for listening, downloading and subscribing to the show, without you, what’s the point. Be well and until next week, keep creating.


2020 Pasadena Showcase House | 296 | Part Four of a Four Part Series



This is Convo By Design with a four-part special from one of my favorite showcase projects, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts presented in a whole new way. Of course, because it’s 2020..

I have put together a four-part special about the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts and this year’s presentation is vastly different from what you have become used to. This is a combination of live and phone recorded interviews with the designers from this year’s showcase. Live, yes, I did make the journey to the house, and while I saw it, I did not see every room, I spent the majority of my time by the pool, sadly working because like you, I could use a pool day. I didn’t get to really dig into every room as I usually do, but I did want you to hear from the designers of this year’s home and I am turning this into four episodes.

This is episode 4 featuring; Jhoiey Ramirez & Jeanne Chung

This was so much fun, I love design houses and I know you do too. This year, Pasadena Showcase is going virtual and if you want to see their presentation, please go to Pasadena showcase dot org for virtual tour tickets and information.

Thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support of the show and thank you for listening, were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design. Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss a single episode. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. You can also ask your smart device to play Convo By Design, and it will. If you want to continue the conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.


2020 Pasadena Showcase House | 294 | Part Two of a Four Part Series



This is Convo By Design with a four-part special from one of my favorite showcase projects, the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts presented in a whole new way. Of course, because it’s 2020.

I have put together a four-part special about the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts and this year’s presentation is vastly different from what you have become used to. This is a combination of live and phone recorded interviews with the designers from this year’s showcase. Live, yes, I did make the journey to the house, and while I saw it, I did not see every room, I spent the majority of my time by the pool, sadly working because like you, I could use a pool day. I didn’t get to really dig into every room as I usually do, but I did want you to hear from the designers of this year’s home and I am turning this into four episodes. This episode features:

Christine Jahan, Barbie Palomino, Laura Muller, and Susan Sawasy.

There you go, check them out. Back to coverage from the Pasadena Showcase House for the Arts. This was so much fun, I love design houses and I know you do too. This year, Pasadena Showcase is going virtual and if you want to see their presentation, please go to Pasadena showcase dot org for virtual tour tickets and information.

Thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support of the show and thank you for listening, were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design. Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss a single episode. You can find Convo By Design everywhere you get your favorite podcasts. You can also ask your smart device to play Convo By Design, and it will. If you want to continue the conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.