Yesterday I took a field trip to the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood to attend a Fall Market event in celebration of Traditional Home Magazine's 25th year.
For the silver anniversary, the magazine's senior style editor, Krissa Rossbund moderated a panel discussion featuring Los Angeles-based rock stars of interior design Chris Barrett, Jamie Bush and Trip Haenisch -the idea was to reflect on the past 25 years of style and look ahead to the future. What ensued was an interesting conversation with industry experts that was refreshingly real, frank and sometimes funny.
Has the industry changed? Yes. For the better? Not always.
When pressed for trend predictions, the designers were hesitant to spew sweeping mandates. Chris Barrett ventured that "green" appears to be coming on strong, and Jaime Bush pointed to an increased merging of technology with natural, organic forms and influences. Think: petals, waves, inconsistency of form or pattern.
When asked about important style icons of today, Kelly Wearstler was lauded, while the actual concept of iconic design in our modern environment fell flat.
|Jamie Bush & Co.|
They didn't hold back, however when asked what they liked and didn't like in clientele -and perhaps surprisingly, unanimously agreed they much preferred customers with a sense of what they want, instead of the I'll write the check you take care of it variety.
In fact, the opposite seemed true. They talked about creative Skype collaborations with busy, far flung clients, increased customization and the importance of achieving spaces that personally reflect who will be living in the rooms.
"Pretty is not that hard," said Haenisch in reference to designing a space, "...but to make sure all the rooms are functional and able to be used can [provide a] challenge."
Utimately, the more things change, the more they stay the same: "Our job is to distill stuff...make sense of stuff," said Bush. In a Pinterest/HGTV/Houzz kind of world, that means translating information and providing guidance, style, and satisfaction faster than than the speed of Internet.