Designer Crush Q&A: Nathan Lee Colkitt

Although always forward-thinking, we love how Nathan and his team also strive to create livable, beautiful spaces for their clients. We respect Nathan's understanding that no matter how "cool" the design, a residence must feel like a home too and are excited to bring you his answers to our Designer Crush Q&A! 

1. Where do you currently live in CA and what's special about how you've designed your personal space?

I've lived in Little Italy, San Diego, for the last five years. I have a concrete loft where we have created several areas of privacy without adding walls, simply by varying the angles and levels. 

2. What's your dream design project? Who would it be for (dead or alive)?  

In the future, after we exhaust 3-D printing technology, someday we will plant seeds and grow buildings. I would love to design a building that literally grows up out of the ground. Something like a living tree house, for the kid in all of us.

3. In real life, what's your favorite design project you've completed to date?

My favorite design project that I’ve completed to date was the first project I built for a photographer and his family. It is a small building; a rusty clad steel box in appearance. It looks seamless in the desert landscape, and the facade is forever changing color and hue in the contrast of the sun.

4. You've been gifted a fabulously furnished dream home but can only bring one item from your current space. What would it be?

An Eames fiberglass chair. It’s perfect.

5. What's your creative process when designing a space?

I like the George Costanza Theory. Figure out exactly what people would expect you to do, and then do the opposite.

6. Where do you score prized interior design items? Any shopping tips?

You know, it sounds silly, but I can still walk the aisles of Home Depot and find things to repurpose in new ways. I still don't think we've exhausted the possibilities of the 2x4.

7. Ever had an epic DIY disaster? What project would you never take on again yourself?

Every day. It’s not DIY without a good story. Recently we were working on a slat wall shelving system and we cut all the slats to align with the grout joints of an adjacent block wall. We didn't realize what we were getting ourselves into until we had ripped each board a custom width. Luckily, we had a bunch of miscellaneous pieces cut, so we used those in another area to make a random wood screen. In the end, it all paid off. 

8. What new design trend are you excited to integrate into your next project?

I try not to get 'excited' about trends, but I am happy see the California ranch house rise again with a bit of mid-century thrown in for good measure.

9. Lightning round!  

Beach or mountains?


Twitter or Facebook?


Architectural Digest or Wallpaper?

I'm pleading the Fifth.

Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen?

Bathroom, no question

Would you rather shop new or vintage?

New, it just pops

Great view or perfect pool?

Perfect pool, and a drink with an umbrella of course.

SF or LA?  


10. What's one tip you wish someone had told you when first starting out in the design world?

Your ONLY job is to make your client look good, and for goodness' sake, don't embarrass them.  


Want More Nathan?

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