JOE LUCAS and PARRISH CHILCOAT
How does living in Hollywood influence your designs?
Joe: It's funny because both Parrish and I are born and raised in the New York/New Jersey area and our designs definitely reflect that as we always like to inject that traditional East Coast feel into the more casual California lifestyle. One might think that the glamour of Hollywood that you see on the "red carpet" would go into all aspects of the home too, but really in the end our clients just want a beautiful and comfortable home where they can enjoy all that California has to offer.
Parrish: Living close to Hollywood doesn't particularly influence our design, I think living in California is a bigger influence. Hollywood "glamour" is not our aesthetic, per se, but a more laid back "California take" on traditional interiors is usually how our interiors wind up. This has a lot to do with proximity to the beach, the way our clients ask to have their spaces designed and the overall casual attitude that could be pinpointed to "younger" Hollywood. Nothing out here is formal.
How does being part of a team synergize your design work?
Joe: Honestly I wouldn't want it any other way. We are a little bit like twins separated at birth. We finish each other's sentences, learn from one another's mistakes and make the same bad jokes. But most importantly I think we act as the all-important editor to the other person. We don't always agree on every decision so things get edited out that one of us might not like, but we hope that in the end the result is a cohesive product that we are both proud of. And the best part is that we laugh . . . a lot . . . which is the key to success in business. Why would you want to work anywhere where you can't laugh on a daily basis-especially these days?
Parrish: I think being part of a team has been critical to the success of our firm, so far. We share at minimum half of a design brain and then we are able to bring to the table additional fresh and exciting ideas that the other person may not have seen or may have overlooked. This always ups the ante on all of our projects and makes it fun for each of us to see what the other person is going to think of. It's an awesome gift to be able to work with someone you trust and like . . . especially when the partnership works!
Did you decorate your childhood room? If so, describe it.
Joe: You know I almost said no, but the more I think about it I did have a lot of "opinions" about my rooms growing up. Being the youngest of six kids usually meant you had a lot of hand-me-downs. One of the more creative things I ever did, at about age 7, was take scraps of all the carpets that had just been laid in all the other bedrooms of our new house and make a patchwork wall-to-wall carpet in my room. There must have been 7 different colors. It was everyone's favorite room in the house. I also attempted to reupholster a nasty sofa from Salvation Army in my college dorm. It took me almost a year but it was a great way to procrastinate from a paper!
Parrish: Yes! 7th grade . . . mid-'80s . . . dragged my mom to the Laura Ashley shops and made her wallpaper my room in yellow and blue flowers and I made her find someone to pickle the floors. Then I asked to go to a thrift store and we bought an old Victorian dresser that I sanded down and painted white myself. It had an attached mirror and I thought that I had the most original and beautiful room in my entire 7th grade. DEFINITELY not.
What can't you live without?
How are you incorporating green design into your work?
Joe: Where do I start!? In design? Great accessories, they make a room and they are the hardest "layer" to get clients to buy. 1stDibs.com . . . how else can you be shopping for clients at 3am in bed!? And Cowtan & Tout . . . by far the most reliable fabric source in the country and most represented in our design library.
In life? In n Out burgers, California produce, snow at Christmas, my supportive family, the sound of seagulls overhead and my two partners in crime . . . Parrish at the work and David at home.
PC: JOE! (Or my kids)...and husband! As far as design, great outdoor fabrics for indoor use because my kids can boot on them and they still look good. And World Linen. It comes in a million colors and is a great staple for curtains and upholstery on a budget!
Joe: We try not to build new furniture for a job unless we really have to. We will always try to incorporate antiques or vintage pieces first. We also always go through what the client has in the home when we start the project. Sometimes their least favorite piece is our greatest find. A new finish or fabric or even just a new place in the home can turn a piece around . . . and does a lot to help the earth and the budget!
Parrish: We have always loved natural fibers like linen and hemp for fabrics and sea grass and jute for carpets. And as for sustainability, we use a lot outdoor fabrics indoors for families with young kids. The longer you can make something last the better. We are even using a new bamboo crib from Kalon Studios in a nursery for a show house we are working on. There's no better way to introduce green design into people's lives than starting at birth! And not only is the design beautiful but it converts to a bed that will last through the toddler years.
Lucas Studio Inc.