A Return to Wonderfully Whimsical Wallpaper | 344 | Area Environments President, Diane Perry

This is Convo By Design and on the show today you are going to hear about a company that is changing the way you look, design and style the verticals, the upstanding barriers…. Yeah, we’re talking about wallpaper.

So much has changed when it comes to design in general over the past 10 years, but dramatic changes in wall coverings have been a major focus for many creatives who were actively seeking new design frontiers to conquer. I would say the last major developments in wallpaper came in the 1970’s with new and experimental colors, metallic and flocks. 

Interesting to note that wallpaper dates back to the 16th century, much of which was used to design the interiors of cabinetry. By the 20th century, it was ubiquitous. Designs were simple at first, floral motifs to make the repeat an easier process. Block printed with different colors stamped over the last to create the desired effect. 

Over time, the process in Europe got to be incredibly intricate and quality control got better. Flocks became popular using a powdered wool that was the byproduct of the wool industry. Think about that idea for a moment, what a remarkable use for a waste product. Until, the aforementioned 1970’s pretty much abused the concept in unimaginable ways combined with metallics and a color palette spilled over from the psychedelic 1960’s.

Backtracking for a moment, around the 17th century, chinoiserie style papers were coming out of Asia and could be found in the stylish boutiques of Paris and London. These were painted, not printed with non-repeating compositions with vivid color that lent the feel of true luxury.

Many designers have shared with me a trepidation for wall paper on the part of their clients. The rationales all make sense. A still fresh repulsion from the 1980’s and 90’s. A fear that it becomes instantly dated or clashes with the furnishings, fixtures and art. That final point is the one I want to focus on. The art. And that is really a good point because the proliferation of art at all price point levels has exploded over the past 8-10 years in the US. And this leads me into my conversation with Diane Perry, president of Area Environments.  First about the company. Founded in 2012, Area Environments is a studio that curates originals from contemporary artists and with that, produces large format wallpapers and murals. This feels like the natural progression for the medium. Thinking about this differently, in a perfect world, one could build the space, style and scale around the art… But that isn’t realistic. So what about finding the art that you love and stretching, molding and conforming it to the space you have. See, that makes sense.

Diane Perry has been with Area Environments since 2018 and has an extensive art background. She is a photographer, graphic designer who originally studied fashion design.  And that as the primer for my chat with Diane.

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, Diane. I really enjoyed our time together. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. Adding the word “pleasure” to our architectural aspirations will make life better for all who choose to embrace this idea. See if you can add this word to what you do every day and see what happens. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and try to take today first.

Remembering 9/11, Healing Through Architecture and Design | 343 | Paul Murdoch and the Flight 93 Memorial

This is Convo By Design, commemorating the tragic events of September 11th the best way I know how with a conversation about remembering, honoring and healing through architecture.

It is hard for me to believe that September 11th happened 20 years ago this week. Time has a funny way of blending and bending that flexes an individual timeline. 9/11 seems like yesterday but January 2020 seems like forever ago. You know what I mean? I spoke to Paul Murdoch, of Paul Murdoch Architects. I’ll keep the preamble brief, Paul and I are talking about the Flight 93 Memorial he designed to memorialize the field in Pennsylvania where Flight 93 crashed after passengers disrupted the planned path to crash in San Francisco. This is a deep dive into the meaning and purpose of memorial design. Why and how with respect. If you don’t know the story, you are about too. If you think you already know the story, you might still learn a few things. Most importantly for me, was that this is not about designing luxury, beauty and style, but all are there. This is about a single purpose, honoring. Remembering the souls lost on a tragic day for friends, families and a country. We had no say in what happened to us, but we had total control of the narrative to follow. Much of that narrative can be told through this now iconic architectural statement.

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, Paul. It was an honor to speak with you about this. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and remember those lost on September 11th. Remember what it felt like to join together, as Americans in a common goal. Remember that regardless of your personal beliefs on every small issue, there is something greater at stake. Remember those lost on Flight 93 20 years ago this week.

The Essential History of European Rugs Featuring Kyle Bunting and Timothy Corrigan | 342 | A Beautiful Partnership By Design Part 2

I’m Josh Cooperman and this is Convo By Design. Technically its Convo By Design, in reality, this is another episode of Kyle Bunting & Friends…. If you heard this last week and you think it’s a repeat, it’s not. Keep listening.

A few months ago, you heard an episode of Convo By Design featuring Fern Santini, Lauren Rottet and Jan Showers. That episode included and was orchestrated by Kyle Bunting. Kyle and I have gotten to know each other a little bit since he was on the show and we were talking one day and this idea just came up, got legs, sprouted wings and before I knew what happened, Kyle offered to put this all-star panel together for an episode to be featured on the CXD spinoff, Lone Star House of Design.

It sounds kind of complicated, it’s really not. You can check all of the previous podcast episodes on your podcast source of choice and find everything previously referenced. Back to the story. While Kyle and I were talking after the episode with Lauren, Jan and Fern aired, I mentioned his collar with another CXD alum, Timothy Corrigan and Kyle was like… “I have an idea.” What is about to follow, in 2 episodes because it could not be packaged into one, is an incredible 2-part conversation about European rugs, collaborations, artistry in hide and a history of rug making.

This is part two of our conversation. This expands on what you’ve heard previously and showcases the history and significance of each piece referenced in the Chateau Collection. Everything from Aubusson to Savonnerie. You are going to hear about the origins of the Polonaise, delicate detail of the Boule as well as custom creations like the Empire and Moderne. This is a deep dive into color ways, replacing metallic silks with Hyde to produce a finished product that has the glimmer of polished steel. Coloring that breathes depth into the pattern.

So, this Kyle Bunting & Friends concept is pretty cool and I think you’re going to dig it. Speaking of that…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, Tim and Kyle, for being a part of this. I am so fortunate to have friends like you. I really enjoyed our time together and love the collection. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. Adding the word “pleasure” to our architectural aspirations will make life better for all who choose to embrace this idea. See if you can add this word to what you do every day and see what happens. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and take today first.

Ariel Fox Design | 340 | Form and Function, Beauty and Performance. A Conversation About having it All

Hey, how is your week? I hope it’s great, and it is about to get even better. Today, you are going to hear from Ariel Johnson, founder and principal designer with Ariel Fox Designs. We’re talking hospitality, multi-family and environmental design. Your week feels better already, am I right?

Does it matter if you’re having a good week or not? Yeah, it does. Convo By Design was created specifically for designers, architects, hard-core design enthusiasts and anyone who is connected to the industry. There is enough noise out there to bring just about everyone down. But you are a creative and these things affect us in different ways. It stifles our creativity, and makes it more challenging to do great work. That is why I really do love the podcast format. You can’t really do other media when you are listening to the show. So, as you hear from Ariel, I challenge you not to be inspired. Ariel brings the infectious optimism and creative spirit that all phenomenal creatives posses and my hope is that it inspires you to do great things.

If you want to play the home game… Follow along as Ariel and I discuss some of her projects and break them down to discover the design within.

In the next hour, Ariel and I are going to talk about the firm she founded, the work her team does and the way she executes the vision for her clients and in the hospitality arena, the clients of her clients.The work is streamlined, elegant and functional. We talk about this idea that form follows function follows form, especially in the work outdoors. Brilliant, I think you will love it as much as I do. This is Ariel Johnson from Ariel Fox Design.

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, Ariel. Thank you for your time, talent and willingness to indulge me in the deep dive. I loved it. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and try to take today first.

New, Now & Next: Evolution in the Kitchen and Bath | 339 | The Wellness & Design Thought Leadership Series Presented By ThermaSol

Today, we are breaking down new, now and next specifically in the kitchen and bath, part of the Wellness and Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the bathroom would be the frontal cortex…the relaxation center. Both could also be considered the central nervous system setting the tone for our peace of mind and ability to cope with life. Something this important requires planning, product sourcing and both site and space planning. This conversation is a strategic exploration. This is a deep dive into the properties, form and function behind the design itself with a focus on how to maximize every available foot of space.

And this is what we are exploring on the show today. This panel was convened to talk about this very subject and this cohort is strong. Designers Jhoiey Ramirez and Christopher Grubb are joined by Boston Firm, Bees Knees Interior Design founders Mary Maloney and Kylie Bodiya talk about developing trends that are shaping new ways we use the kitchen and bath.

So listen, we are all really sick of talking about the pandemic, I get it, me too. I have mentioned this before but it bears repeating… Major architectural and design innovations follow moments of great disruption. From earthquakes come foundation reinforcement, fires bring flame retardant and non-flammable materials into modern design, well, a pandemic is no different. In 1918, the Spanish Flu pandemic brought use of subway tile into residential design. Some think it’s been a bit overused, fine, that was 100 years ago tiled walls remain a major design choice. Other innovations included use of outdoor sleeping porches which could be directly connected to our love of indoor-outdoor design, use of linoleum, the powder bath as a place for “not family” to use. Uses of outdoor spaces in general because it kept strangers out of the house… More on that, architects like Richard Neutra were experimenting with massive amounts of glass in design which served as both barrier and ability to open the space. “Hygiene and moral health depend on the lay-out of cities,” Le Corbusier said, “without hygiene and health, the social cell becomes atrophied.”That idea from 100 years ago is more powerful now to a new generation experiencing ‘social atrophy’ in real time.

This is why conversations like these are so important, and you are going to hear some next-gen ideas here. It’s exciting. This is New, Now & Next – K and B, part of our continuing Wellness and Design Thought Leadership Series presented by ThermaSol.

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, Jhoiey, Mary, Kylie and Christopher. Thank you for your time, talent, vision and skill. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your partnership. And, thank you for listening and subscribing to the podcast. Keep those emails coming convo by design at Outlook dot com. I am looking forward to seeing you again in person at a design event near you very soon. Until then, be well and try to take today first.

The Showroom featuring Bunny Williams | 338 | The Grace, Style and Powerful Ideas Within this Design Icon

After 8 years doing this podcast and many years prior doing interviews for Playboy, I don’t get star-struck. To the contrary actually. While hosting The Playboy Radio Interview for Playboy, I spoke with actors like Henry Winkler, bands like Dirty Heads and Drive By Truckers, strong personalities like Tom Sizemore and Governor Jesse Ventura. Artists and artisans alike and I always challenge myself to go beyond what you already know and bring you new ideas. That’s not always easy. Sometimes interview guests are focused on “talking points”, they want to stick to the hits. The Showroom is an interview series in partnership with Walker Zanger. We are in our second year of this series and it has been an absolute joy working with Walker Zanger and the guests who appear on the podcast.

The opportunity to sit down with Bunny Williams was one that meant a lot to me when booking her for the show and now listening back and editing our conversation. I wanted to bring you another side of Bunny Williams that you don’t find in the trade publications. The work speaks for itself, so I wanted you to get to know Bunny. Her firm, the history, importance on mentorship, lessons learned from Sister Parish and Albert Hadley. I wanted you to hear about the dogs that are of such high importance, regularly featured in and always present in Bunny’s world. The make a guest appearance.

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, Bunny. This was an honor and a joy. Thank you Walker Zanger for being such a wonderful partner and being an important part of The Showroom. Thank you, ThermaSol for your support and your partnership. And, thank you for listening, subscribing to the podcast and the constant support, texts and emails. Make sure to stay close now because we are very close to getting back to live events and I am looking forward to seeing your smiling faces in person again very soon. And until then, be well and remember to take today first.

Four Studio Heads with Over 100 Years of Combined Mastery at One Storied Architecture Firm | 336 | Robert A.M. Stern Architects

Today, you are going to hear from the fab four… of architecture. A bold statement, right? I stand by it. I am calling these four the fab four of architecture for the amount of respect I have for them and the body of work they have completed individually and as partners and studio heads at Robert A.M. Stern Architects.

Gary Brewer has been with RAMSA since 1989. Randy Correll since 1983. Grant Marani, since 1984 and Roger Seifter started with RAMSA in 1978, and became a partner in 1989. You don’t find tenure like this anymore for a number of reasons including, and probably most importantly there don’t seem to be many legacy firms. The business has changed, all businesses have changed in that regard. Movement from one to another firm is largely based on the principles of upward professional mobility and because there is an acceptance to the movement. But back to the conversation at hand. I spoke with Roger, Gary, Grant and Randy via Zoom. I would have preferred in person but we were right in the middle of the pandemic which made that impossible. I do look forward to a time when we can all sit down and go over some of their work in greater detail.

They were all joining in to discuss their new book, HOUSES which covers as its name suggests covers some of the firm’s residential projects. What struck me was, not the opulence and grandeur of each project, but the elegant comfort. Being the tactile person I am, I love the feel of pages in a book. I anticipate every turn of the page because I am really excited to see the next project and learn about the ideas, thoughts and inspiration that got these creators to finished project. There is elegance, there is opulence.. But more than that, you find a place for everything, everything in its place and not a single opportunity missed to make a statement. Sometimes subtle, sometimes grand, but always present.

You are going to hear about the work, their processes, inspiration and challenges. Four architects, 1 book and over 110 years of experience at 1 spectacular architecture firm.

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 Gary, Grant, Robert and Roger. I loved our chat and look forward to doing this again. Thank you Walker Zanger and ThermaSol for your support and your partnership. And, thank you for listening, subscribing to the podcast and the constant support, texts and emails. Make sure to stay close now because we are very close to getting back to live events and I am looking forward to seeing your smiling faces in person again very soon. And until then, be well and remember to take today first.

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.

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.