Designer Crushes and Another Showcase Sneak Peak


I’m a journalist, so I’m supposed to be impartial, right? Well, since I’ve had to trade writing primarily 2,000-word features to tweeting and blogging and Facebooking my day away, I think I can allow myself a little honest editorializing in these changing times.

I play favorites. Designers, that is.  It’s usually one project that wins me over, and then I am theirs: I love everything they do, I get giddy and clam up if I meet them at a party, I take it personally if they pass a project on to another magazine, and I feel lost and betrayed if their new work doesn’t stand up to the old.

My first love was Jay Jeffers. I was an editorial intern and I was sitting in on the judging of the 2007 CH+D Awards. Room after room of sameness seemed to pass before my eyes, until I saw his design for the beachy L.A. pad of professional skateboarder Reese Forbes.

I have been loyal ever since. Well, almost. There have been a few others; some that have lasted, some that ended sadly after a jarring change in direction or simply projects that came less and less, and then not at all. But that rush of love at first sight gets me every time.

Our 2009 awards brought the same huge stack of binders, and as had happened two years prior, one won me over immediately: Charles de Lisle’s renovation of a Woodside home originally designed by William Wurster spoke directly to my own style sensibilities. Every room, every piece, was perfection.

De Lisle recently branched out on his own with the Charles de Lisle Workshop (He was formerly a partner in De Lisle, Philpotts and Staub) and his work has maintained that intoxicating mix of quality craftsmanship, classic silhouettes and serious quirkiness. It seems that he has taken a shining to me as well, because he slipped me some photos of his SF Decorator Showcase room in progress. Gingham in black and white covering the walls! Pops of bright retro color in the furnishings! He still knows how to fan the flames to my heart. I can’t wait to see the finished product tomorrow at the media preview. Now, I just have to figure out what to wear….


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