It takes more than an eye for aesthetics to be a great designer. And as the owner and head of her namesake firm, Erica Bryen Design, Southern California native Erica Bryen has the skills and experience clients clamor for, plus a warm approachability that immediately puts them at ease. Bryen is an expert at mixing up materials, techniques, and elements from different eras while drawing creative inspiration from her extensive travels, historical influences, and a love of fashion. Her unique blend of technical prowess and personable style embolden clients to dream big and see their fantasy design concepts transform into tangible results. Learn more about the designer in our Q&A below.
1) Who is your biggest role model?
My dad, Marc Gerber, for many reasons.
2) Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?
Definitely Casino. I love the style during that era and think it would have been so fun to take part in that set design.
3) What is the best way to gauge your client’s personality before starting a project?
I like to have clients give me examples of things they like and dislike, and show me pictures. It really helps you tell a lot about their design taste.
4) What new design elements are you excited to integrate into your work?
Gold, rose gold, and bronze are all making a strong come back and I love mixing them in a space. I also like to incorporate mixed metals with woods for an interesting combination.
5) How do you completely unwind?
Getting a pedicure - its my only time to myself.
6) If you hadn’t become a designer, which career would you have pursued?
I would have pursued a career in the fashion industry. I still hope to have a purse line at some point in the future.
7) What’s the worst pre-designer job you have ever had and why?
When I was in high school I worked a lot of weekends for my dad’s company. I was always really bummed because my friends were all at the beach and I felt like I was missing out. But it paid off because I learned to have a strong work ethic, which has carried over into my company today.
8) What’s your favorite recipe?
I wish I could give you one, but I honestly am the worst cook ever.
9) Create your perfect playlist.
10) Who is your designer crush?
I have a few, but my number one would have to be Kelly Wearstler. I really appreciate all the originality that goes into all of her designs. Its great that she’s not afraid to take a chance and be bold.
11) Would you rather shop new or vinage?
12) First Celeb Crush?
Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
13) What’s your hidden talent?
14) Best restaurant in your area?
That’s a hard question. I am a steak girl and I seem to hang out at A Restaurant a lot. So, A Restaurant in Newport Beach.
15) SF or LA?
SF, but with LA weather.