Tag Archives: southern california

2020 Pasadena Showcase House | 295 | Part Three 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 3 featuring:

Pamela Sandall, Shari Tipich, Jake Galang and Fiona Lau

There you go, check them out. 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.


2020 Pasadena Showcase House | 293 | Part One 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:

Janinie Gregory, Stephanie Hatten, Chad Morrell from California Waterscapes and Greg Parker

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.


Caitlin Murray of Black Lacquer Design | 292 | A Fresh Perspective



Caitlin Murray is the founder and creative director of Black Lacquer Design. Murray cut her teeth in the industry working for high profile firms, House of Honey and MASHstudios. So, when the time came for her to hang her shingle, she did it with confidence knowing that she did the work and knows her craft. Every week we meet and you hear the story of another creative doing amazing work. In these conversations, we talk about the work, but most importantly, we talk about the journey. Every creative has their own story because we all walk our own path. If we’re lucky, we don’t walk it alone. We have people who influence us along the way, who guide us, who provide inspiration. Yes, we talk about the work on this podcast because it is important, but even more important is the journey. I love bringing you these stories. Here is another that I think you will appreciate with Black Lacquer founder, Caitlin Murray.

If you enjoy the podcast, and I hope you do, please subscribe to the show everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. You can also follow along online, Convo By Design dot com and on Instagram @ ConvoXDesign, with an “x”.

Thank you, Caitlin, loved this. Thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support and thank you for listening.

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.


Saying Goodbye to a SoCal Design Luminary | 290 | Jeff Sampson



Jeff Sampson was the Vice President of Marketing at the Pacific Design Center, a role he held since the later part of 2013. One of Jeff’s most notable contributions to our design community was to refocus PDC efforts of the annual West Week and Fall Market events. He did this through creative programming and a non-partisan approach to media partners. If you were a strong partner, it didn’t matter how long you were around. Jeff and I met in 2014, shortly after I started Convo By Design. I approached Jeff with an idea. I wanted to be a media partner that would record and feature Pacific Design Center programming to the trade. The podcast was brand new. The Pacific Design Center would recognize Convo By Design as a media partner which provided me a wonderful opportunity to introduce the idea of podcasting and on-demand audio to the SoCal design community. Jeff said ‘yes’, he didn’t have to do that. But he did, because that is the kind of person Jeff was. The type of person who would listen to you if you had an idea, because he was curious and because he cared. He was an excellent marketer, too. 7 years ago, not many in the trade knew what a podcast was, but Jeff recognized that he could get his remarkable programs out to more of the people, for whom he was working hard to serve, the trade partners and showrooms of the Pacific Design Center in particular and the design community as a whole would benefit.

Jeff Sampson had a 20 year career in marketing with the past 6 at the PDC. He had hundreds of friends and admirers in the design community. Jeff also had a life outside of design, where many more will miss him. They will miss him around the holidays, when Jeff would slow down and spend time with family and friends, at happy hour, which was kind of like an any-time holiday.

Jeff loved Doris Day and also had an affinity for Rhoda and Phyllis in TV and in real life, recognizing and appreciating all their imperfections. He loved traveling and sharing his experiences. He loved Paris “when it drizzles”, and “when it sizzles.” Jeff had style, he had grace and he took his exit too soon.

I wanted to honor Jeff the best way I know how, and that would be through sharing him in his own words. This is a conversation I had with Jeff in 2015. He was episode 15 of Convo By Design which means this episode was recorded and aired within months of starting the podcast. We met at his office in the PDC. This is Jeff Sampson.

That was my conversation with Jeff Sampson from 2015. Jeff was gracious with his time and his partnership. He was a good friend and amazing supporter of the Southern California design community. To those of you who knew Jeff well and called him a friend, I’m so sorry for your loss. I want to thank Jeff for his time and his incredible contribution to Convo By Design, I also want to thank you for listening. You make this podcast possible and it is comforting to know that we all share in the work and we can also share the grief at times like these. Please make sure you are subscribed so you don’t miss an episode and if you want to continue this conversation, you can find us on Instagram @ConvoXDesign, with and “X”. Be well, and until next week…Keep creating.


Ross Vincent | 287 | Attaining Balance of Sophisticated and Approachable Design



Interior design is so much more than an accumulation of things arranged in a pleasing way. Interior design, done right, means understanding the needs of the client and then taking those desires, both seen and unseen, and crafting an environment that meets those needs. Ross Vincent is a rising design star that is already highly accomplished. His work is clean and elegant, modern, and comfortable.

You are going to hear Ross talk about the state of design here in Southern California as well as the influences that he brought with him from his home city of Seattle, Wa. This conversation also turns to design in the fly-over states and locations that are not normally included in the conversation about significant design and architecture. I love that, I think you will, too. This is interior designer, Ross Vincent.

Ross. I really enjoyed our chat. Thank you for taking the time. I also must note that this conversation was recorded live and in person. It seems like a lifetime ago since I was able to do this and I can’t wait to do it again. Thank you, Walker Zanger and Thermasol for your continued support. And, thank you for listening to the show. 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.


The Future of Minimal Modern | 285 | Minarc



This is Erla Ingjaldsdottir and Tryggvi Thorsteinsson of Minarc. The duo founded Minarc, a Santa Monica based architecture firm that is producing ground-breaking minimalist, modern design that is both stunning to look at and stripped down to the very essence of the structure itself. Materials and lack of materials play a huge role in the finished product. The absence of paint, carpet, tile, and a focus on letting the included materials speak a different dialect in the language of architecture. And because architecture is a language all its own, Minarc’s work allows the design to speak for itself using a “don’t tell me, show me” approach.

This is a new segment of the show called A moment of Zen presented by Thermasol, it’s a focus on wellness tips for a healthy mind, body, and soul. This topic has been coming up more and more lately and while this is certainly not a new topic, more clients have been asking for health and wellness worked into their designs. I started asking around and there are some really interesting ideas taking shape.

As you hear about modern minimalist design, peaceful living needs to be a part of that conversation and if 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the idea of home is very different now than it was at the start of the year. Not only are we spending more time at home but that time is being spent doing more things. Of those, the idea of relaxation in a spa-like environment has been lost to many. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Have you considered incorporating steam showers into your designs? If not, some things to consider… Steam showers are not just for resorts, spas and gyms. You know this, but what you might not be aware of is that steam showers offer additional opportunities like aromatherapy.

Aromatherapy is the introduction of essential oils into the steam itself which is said to have both healing properties as well as adding to a relaxing experience. Options include jasmine, eucalyptus, rose, lavender, chamomile all offering their own “essence” to the experience. While they have not been studied for medical efficacy, and it is important to get any treatments cleared by a medical professional in advance… this is the legal disclaimer portion of this segment. This is something that can add to the experience of a shower making it so much more than just a cleaning tool. A steam shower conversion is a relatively simple construction upgrade and once that is done, incorporating essential oils into the steam is even easier.

I read an article in New York Magazine online from February 16th, 2017. It was called, The Strategist, What’s the Deal with Essential oils? By Mike Albo. Albo spoke with Dr. Pamela Dalton from the Monell Center in Philadelphia. Dalton, an olfactory-research scientist spoke about the value of essential oils. Dr. Dalton recommends “encourages their use” and notes that, in. Dalton notes “extremely rare’’ creations in personal research. There are a number of possible reasons for this but at the end of the day, we are all looking for ways to increase the sense of well being achieved through relaxation and aromatherapy is an option worth exploring.  

These ideas are provided for you to consider exploring in your future projects. Zen is a state of mind, designing for wellness is more important now than ever before. Thermasol is a brand created over 60 years ago to incorporate steam showers and sauna into any project you can design. They have also integrated cutting edge technology into their products allowing you to set individual profiles for every user. Set temperature, chromotherapy, aromatherapy, listen to music, or watch your favorite shows while taking a relaxing steam shower. You will be amazed at just how easy it is to specify Thermasol products for every project you can design. Check them out online at Thermasol dot com.


Michelle Boudreau | 284 | Modern Design in the Desert



Michelle Boudreau is a very skilled designer with an engaging personality. She makes her work seem absolutely effortless, and I can tell you first hand that when it comes to design houses, effort is one thing you must bring in abundance, like patience, a sense of calm determination and a thick skin. Having produced design houses, I can tell you that this is true and that Michelle checks off each of these boxes. 

Partnerships are key and this is how these projects become a reality.  They include Russo Studios lighting, JennAir appliances from Ferguson, Heather James Gallery provided the art, Minotti Italian furnishings from MASS Beverly, Design Hardware and Flooring provided a variety of hardware and fixtures for this home and so many other amazing details and you will hear about all of them here. This particular home captures a European modern feel in the middle of the desert.  And this fearless mosaic was created by Michelle and now you get to sear about how everything comes together. A request for those new to the show… Please follow us on Instagram, @ConvoXDesign, with an “X” and subscribe to the show so you never miss an episode. You can find us everywhere you find your favorite podcasts.

Thank you Michelle for your time and talent. Thank you Walker Zanger for your continued support for the show and THANK YOU for listening to the show. Were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design so, thank you. Until next week, keep creating.


Small Space Big Style | 282 | Live Large in Small Spaces



This panel was recorded live from the WestEdge Design Fair in 2019 and features Pietta Donovan, Jason Lai, Lynnea Schweitzer’s and Nicolette Akiko. This conversation was masterfully moderated by Christopher Grubb.

For the past 5 years or so, the tiny house movement has led industry leaders to rethink the idea of luxuriously designed smaller spaces. Since Frank Lloyd Wright crafted homes in his Usonian style, the Bauhaus movement, Neutra’s Hailey Residence, or Le Corbusier’s Villa Le Lac, the idea of living modestly has gained new interest. Now more than ever, finding ways to make structures highly functional in small spaces gives us more options. While I am as sick of COVID-19 as you are, we have learned what we want from our homes and how starting small can help us get there.

Enjoy this conversation from the WestEdge Design Fair called Small Space, Big Style.

Thank you Pietta, Lynnea, Nicolette, Jason, and Christopher. This was so much fun and I’m looking forward to seeing you all again soon. Thank you Walker Zanger for your support for Convo Boy Design and THANK YOU for listening. Were it not for you, there would be no Convo By Design. Speaking of which, make sure you are subscribing to the show everywhere you find your favorite podcasts. You can also find everything show related at ConvoBy Design dot com. Be well and until next week, keep creating.


Form, Function, Family & Modern Architecture | 280 | David Thompson of Assembledge+



If you love modern architecture, you are going to enjoy this conversation. The coronavirus is all we talk about these days because that is all we can think about. I have been trying to be as productive as possible, but it’s challenging and the news always seems to continually get worse. That being said, there have been some positives that have come out of this. The time spent focused on work without that daily commute. That 2 hour daily waste of time has been amazing. I am so much more productive. Then you factor in the time spent with family, that time is invaluable. That is one of the reasons why I think you are going to enjoy this conversation with David Thompson of Assembledge+, a Southern California architectural firm producing some amazing work. David is a unique talent and he has been joined by his father, Richard, a highly accomplished architect in his own right. This son-father duo is producing some truly unique design and you are going to hear how it all fits together.

Thermasol presents A Moment of Zen, Wellness Tips for a Healthy Mind, Body and Soul

This is a new segment of the show called Wellness Tips for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul. This topic has been coming up more and more lately and while this is certainly not a new topic, more clients have been asking for health and wellness worked into their designs. I started asking around and there are some really interesting ideas taking shape.

I make a trip to Las Vegas in January, sometimes February during KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. About four or five years ago I noticed an increase in the number of vendors with products designed to make the bathroom more spa-like. It was an ‘ah-ha’ moment for me and I started asking designers and architects more about this in the interviews that followed. Over the past few years, there have been way more products and companies featuring products focused on health and wellness in design. These products are focused on clean water, air quality, noise reduction, and light purity in addition to the limitation of unwanted light.

Once a month, we are going to explore these ideas and see how design and architecture are once again not only making places to live, work, and play but make those spaces work better. Check out the Moment of Zen where we explore ideas for a more peaceful space.

Wabi-Sabi – An outdoor shower can create a peaceful transition between a long day and the peace that comes from being home. An outdoor shower posted by Bloemendaal, the Netherlands based Woodlands House was placed in space without overthought design elements or ultra-lux materials yet its appearance is incredibly pleasing. It made me feel like I found a long lost treasure.

Make it Natural – There are few things more peaceful than observing nature. @ConcreteGeometric posted a what they called “little octahedrons’ in small Concrete Geometric concrete planters from @stuffhollywood. These little miracles can bring peace a first sight. A little green makes for a lot of zen.

Fortress of Solitude – Jhoiey Ramirez of @StudioJhoiey created a spectacular bath that created the feeling that you are at your favorite spa. Everything in this space provides the feeling of solitude from the steam shower and lighting to the exquisitely crafted tile work. There is a window inside the fully enclosed, frameless steam shower that gives a peaceful inside out feeling. You could be happy spending hours in this masterfully crafted bathroom.

Three ideas for you to consider exploring in your future projects. Zen is a state of mind, designing for wellness is more important now than ever before. Thermasol is a brand created over 60 years ago to incorporate steam showers and sauna into any project you can design. They have also integrated cutting edge technology into their products allowing you to set individual profiles for every user. Set temperature, chromotherapy, aromatherapy, listen to music, or watch your favorite shows while taking a relaxing steam shower. You will be amazed at just how easy it is to specify Thermasol products for every project you can design. Check them out online at Thermasol dot com.

Thank you, David. Thank you for taking the time, thank you Walker Zanger for being an absolute joy to work with. Your partnership is appreciated. Thank you Thermasol for your support of Convo By Design and thank YOU for listening to the show, subscribing to the podcast, and coming out to our events. Thanks for listening and until next week, keep creating.