Designer Crush: Ohara Davies-GaetanoAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
1. How did growing up in a family of artists influence you?
In part, I would say it was a defining role in my childhood. I was taught that everything was art in some form. When I was only a few months old, I tore a long piece of paper. My father viewed it as my first art. I was encouraged to color outside of the lines, to be bold, and to make my own expression—not to follow along the path of another’s. I feel like this encouragement is what has enabled me to work on projects that are all so varied in style, as the process of design is an artistic process—one in which you are always challenging your self to create something even better than you previous works
2. Who is your biggest role model?
My mom and dad are my biggest role models—they taught me my work ethic, the drive for perfection and the realization that you need to be kind to yourself so that you can be generous with others.
3. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?
Gosh this is a tough one, but if there was a modern day version of Gone with the Wind, I would love to design the set. Gone with the Wind was my favorite book in middle school and my first introduction into Southern style, which was so completely different than my NYC upbringing. I dreamt of flounced drapes and hoops skirts for years after reading Gone with the Wind…
4. What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project?
I love to ask our clients about their personal lives. Where are their favorites places to travels- are they excited by European cities or tropical beaches. What are their favorites hotels and resorts? What are their favorite restaurants? I love to find out about what they collect? And I love to know the answer to this questions… if you could win one quiet an unexpected, unplanned for hour in the middle of the day when no one else is home, what would you do with this hour? The answer tells me a lot about the areas in their home that they will cherish the most.
5. What new design elements are you excited to integrate into your work?
Honestly, I am so happy that outdoor high-performance fabrics have come such a long way. We are using them all throughout interiors now and they afford so much peace of mind to our clients.
6. How do you completely unwind?
Yoga, a great massage, a walk on the beach with my family and cooking with a great glass of wine.
7. If you hadn’t become a designer, which career would you have pursued?
I would design jewelry.
8. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?
Gosh, I place value on all the jobs that I experienced because there was always something to learn but my least favorite I would have to say was waitressing in the summertime during college years at Carrabba’s—it was so corporate and there was no personality to the restaurant. You were asked to upsell always not the most expensive items—I did not believe in their philosophy and always was able to have higher overall tickets by listening to clients and guiding them their tastes—as skill that translates very well into what I do today!
9. What’s your favorite recipe?
I love to cook so I have so many favorite recipes, but a recipe that I am none for is for wild elk nachos on home made chips — they are always a party favorite.
10. Create your perfect playlist for us.
11. Who is your designer crush?
Veere Grenney and Stephen Sills.
12. Would you rather shop new or vintage?
13. What’s your hidden talent?
Cooking (not very hidden) and I love to fly fish, but I that is more of a hobby.
14. Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?
Stonehill Tavern at the St. Regis in Dana Point.
15. SF or LA?
LA – weather is better.
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