Designer Crush Q&A: Regan BakerAuthor:Mary Polizzotti
1. Where do you currently live in CA and what’s special about how you’ve designed your personal space?
I live in Noe Valley. I love Noe. It’s such a family friendly neighborhood and the weather is great. Special? Hmm, I’m not sure how special our home is, but it’s inviting, comfortable, music-filled, and of course, stylish. Designed around it’s occupants (a designer, tech guy, and four-year old twins), it’s not rare to find these items in the same room: a decorative photo of a sock monkey, record player, or toys displayed as décor. I also have a cow hide in my living room which reminds me of my Texas roots.
2. What’s your dream design project? Who would it be for (dead or alive)?
That’s a hard one, an even toss up between a modern ranch style home with acreage and lots of trees, or a “glamping” (luxurious camping) hotel near the ocean. Wow, again a toss up. The project would be designed for Wes Anderson because I resonate with his quirky style and appreciation for detail, Julia Roberts because she seems like she would be a fun, super stylish client who would love laughing together, or Mia Hamm because she’s an athlete.
3. In real life, what’s your favorite design project you’ve completed to date?
That’s such a hard question. I love what I do; therefore love each project equally. Is there a stand out? Maybe my recent Berkley Hills project? I love how the space makes me feel. It’s warm, inviting and has breathtaking views.
4. You’ve been gifted a fabulously furnished dream home but can only bring one item from your current space. What would it be?
My Danish mid-century pair of dressers. I love the simple lines, and little knob brass hardware. They would work in any space.
5. What’s your creative process when designing a space?
I first determine the layout of the space, its relationship to adjacent spaces, and determine a focal point, or unique identifying element for the space. Then I start sketching, perspectives, over photos or wire frame elevations. Once I have a general idea and understanding of the space I hit Instagram, Pinterest, or my favorite designer’s websites to start sourcing conceptual images that feel similar to the layout, or represent the style or vibe I’m trying to achieve. Products such as art, turntables, lamps and fabrics are also sourced to help kick-off and convey the overall feel of the room. Color ideas are formed usually through special tile or fabric or rug patterns, and then color is implemented on sketches or in Photoshop over wire frames images to help finalize my decision on color and palette.
6. Where do you score prized interior design items? Any shopping tips?
Bring a measuring tape and be prepared before shopping. Take measurements, or use blue tape to measure off an ideal size piece of furniture, jot down the measurements and then make sure to stick within these parameters when shopping, and always think about heights! Shop with a list, just like groceries, it keeps you focused, BUT always keep your eyes open. If you find something you love, buy it. You’ll spend more time wishing you had or looking for the right one, which usually equates to spending more money.
7. Ever had an epic DIY disaster?
I once started a stencil project on a kitchen backsplash and never finished. We moved out with a half painted backsplash. Oops! I’m not much of a DIYer these days, I’m too busy. I’ve realized it’s worth every penny to pay someone else to do it for me.
8. What new design trend are you excited to integrate into your next project?
Wallpapering a ceiling. I love this idea.
9. Lightning round! (pick one)
Beach or mountains?
Twitter or Facebook?
Instagram or Pinterest?
Architectural Digest or Wallpaper?
Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen?
Would you rather shop new or vintage?
Great view or perfect pool?
SF or LA?
10. What’s one tip you wish someone had told you when first starting out in the design world?
Hire a branding company and a great bookkeeper.
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