Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good Shepherd Center Interview: Jenifer Porter

Chic Living LA is a full service interior design firm based moments from the beach in Santa Monica, CA. Headed by designer Jenifer Porter, Chic Living LA is all about bringing a certain "chic-ness" into her clients' lives. Specializing in designer fabrics and furniture and an impeccable taste for art and fashion, her goal is to make her clients happy and comfortable in a house they can call a home. If it's pounding the pavement to find the perfect art piece or designing her own special furniture for a client, she makes sure that her clients are 100% satisfied with their areas!

Jenifer has over 20 years of interior design experience. Between her husbands Design/Build company (Porter Development Corporation) and her own Chic Living LA, together they have everything to design, build, and perfect interiors to make the perfect home.

How did you hear about the GS Design Project? 
I stumbled up on the project while looking for charitable design projects online! My endless Google searching really payed off on this one.
Why did you choose to design a room? 

I have wanted to donate my services for some time now, and this project just spoke to me. It is just as incredible for me as it will be for the women and children getting a fresh start from Good Shepard. I'm so excited that we get so much creative freedom. I wanted something that not only myself but also my family could be involved in, so this really was a great match!

What do you think the biggest challenge of the project will be? (i.e., Time, Donations, Room Size, etc) 
The biggest challenge for me will definitely be the room size. I'm used to decorating really large, open spaces, but I'm looking forward to the challenge of doing something different. It's going to be a great experience for me!

Do you have an inspirational photo for this project?  
I don't necessarily have a photo. I really go off feeling. My inspiration comes from the the soothing colors of the sea and the warm feeling that makes a house a home.

What are you most looking forward to with the project? 

The thing I'm looking forward to the most is the feeling all of the designers will get when we see the entire project complete. I can't wait to see the excitement on everyones faces as we get together and share the experience of giving.

All the rooms at Good Shepherd are dorm size, what advice or tip do you have for someone decorating a space this small?  
As I've been thinking about designing a small space, I think my tip would have to be stay simple. Too much clutter and patterns will give someone a panic attack in a space so small! Storage has also been huge for me. Really take advantage of vertical spaces (without being too busy!), and think of other creative ways that the women and children will be able to store their belongings. 

Monday, June 27, 2011

Save the Date! Party for Good Shepherd July 23th & 24th

Save the date! Our Good Shepherd Charity Design Project Party/Open House - July 23/24 (Sat/Sun) in Downtown LA! All 30 rooms will be available to preview including our large Living Room area. Come meet all the talented designers who have put their love and energy into each of these rooms. We are so proud of all the designers and cannot thank all the vendors enough that have donated to our Charity Design Project.

If you would like to receive an invite please contact Vanessa De Vargas

Monday, June 6, 2011

Good Shepherd Center Interview: Vanessa De Vargas

Good Shepherd Center Interview: Vanessa De Vargas

This is the second shelter project I have worked on with Vanessa and her dedication to giving back to the community can be seen in each one. I was very interested in finding out how she got involved with the Good Shepherd Center and what she is most looking forward to while coordinating her latest charitable endeavor.  

TP: How did you hear about the GS Design Project?  
VDV: Last year I project managed and participated as a designer on my first homeless shelter for Upward Bound House in Culver City. This year I wanted to give back again so I looked to Vanessa Kogevinas my business partner and dear friend to see if she could help me organize another project. Turns out she had a fantastic contact at Good Shepherd and the timing could have not have been more perfect to make this all work.

TP: Why did you choose to design a room?
VDV: Because of my experience of giving back and providing beautiful spaces for the last project, I realized that what I decorated was a vision I created for a family was based solely on my donations. For this project the room is for single woman. So I am exploring (again based on my donations) the type of resident that would live there. It could be someone 25 or 70? I also want to play with colors that I normally don't use and patterns that might seem unexpected together. So lets just say, there is going to be a lot going on.

TP: What do you think the biggest challenge of the project will be?
VDV: Time, nope. Donations, nope. Room size, nope. Its making the person staying in my room happy. That is why I am a designer I am hired to create happy and inviting spaces for clients. It’s my unknown client, who I HOPE will like it. And most importantly be happy.

TP: Do you have an inspirational photo for this project?
VDV: I have a fabric sample. And this it for now. Not sure how it’s going to be used. But I will find a fun way to use it. I am not a fan of orange. NOT AT ALL. But guess what I’m making an “orange” come back. Watch out.

TP: Why did you choose it?
VDV: I honestly chose it to challenge myself. I want to do use colors and patterns that are not familiar to me. I want to experiment. This is a project where I can take advantage of that.

TP: What are you most looking forward to with the project?
VDV: Working with everyone and laughing and having fun all the way through the process. I am so incredibly lucky to have all these talented designers as my friends too. Everyone is so willing to share, help and chip in. We are all there to work together and make this project one that we never forget. We will create memories and be rewarded in our own way of giving back.

TP: All the rooms at Good Shepherd are dorm size, what advice or tip do you have for someone decorating a space this small?
VDV: My advice is: I always tell people go with your gut, don't change your mind about things because you might be setting yourself up for possibly making bad choices. Small spaces can be creative too, so limit areas as you see fit like a dressing area (hang hooks, mirrors, add trays to a dresser), a work area (great lamp, holders for pens and files for organization), the bed area (a water pitcher, good lighting- a DIMMER, books and magazines, large comfy pillows). Make the room cozy and always make it reflect who you are.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Touching Story

Please take a look at this sweet message that Irene Lovett from DesignStiles received from her the new resident that moved into the room she decorated. How incredibly sweet is this? This makes giving back so rewarding. Thank you Irene for creating such a warm and inviting space, we are all so proud! You can read Irene's post here.

From her new resident: My name is Destiny Coleman. I have been a resident at the Good Shepherd Center for Homeless Women & Children since February of this year and recently moved from #305 into my new room, #312. Please allow me to extend my utmost gratitude for giving not only of your time, talent, and money, but of your hearts. It takes a lot for someone to put their passion into filling someone else’s life with joy. And with a grateful heart I say thank you. I love the color scheme, the sophisticated Victorian Theme, and the modern Twitter Twist to my room, all done with a touch of class. It fits me! Only one thing….Can I take the designers with me when I move into my own apartment???? No, really :-)

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Good Shepherd Center Interview: Mollie Ranize

Good Shepherd Center Interview: Mollie Ranize

Prior to opening her own design company, dmar interiors, in the heart of L.A., Mollie had the opportunity to hone her creative skills with some of California’s top design firms on highly publicized projects such as the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood and the Thompson Hotel in Beverly Hills.  Her exposure to high-end residential, commercial and hospitality interiors broadened her knowledge base and ignited her drive to create uniquely tailored spaces for each of her clients.  Mollie graduated with highest honors from the Interior Design program at the University of Florida, College of Design Construction and Planning. She is an NCIDQ certified designer and has earned Professional Accreditation from LEED.

Mollie makes sure to stay connected with the design community through her professional memberships with ASID, NKBA and USBGC.  She is also a regular contributor to many environmental, animal and human welfare organizations.

Her interior design studio ranges from large scale residential renovations, exclusive photography and production studios, restaurants and lounges to highly publicized health and fitness centers. dmar interiors is a well versed design company with impeccable attention to detail, respect for budget and belief that customer service is what makes the most positive outcome on a project.

With Mollie’s vast and amazing background in design we can’t wait to see what she creates for the Good Shepherd Center Project. In the mean time here is what she has to say about being part of GSCDP.

TP: How did you hear about the GS Design Project?
MR: DNG (Designers Networking Group)

TP: Why did you choose to design a room?
MR: After a few grueling years with a slam packed schedule, crunched budgets and a few demanding clients, I was in desperate need of some creative relief.  I've also volunteered (or made donations whenever my schedule hasn't allowed volunteer time) consistently since I was 12 years old.  My experiences volunteering have single handedly changed the course of my life, so the opportunity to give back in my field of expertise was obvious and welcomed.  I hope to gain as much emotionally as the deserving users that will enjoy my completed space.

TP: What do you think the biggest challenge of the project will be?
MR: The biggest challenge on this project will be getting enough donations that fit the aesthetics I'm striving for. Like any project, I only provide high quality, thoughtfully produced end products. The fact that I have to work with free to nearly free items makes no difference to me.  I'm approaching this the same way I would be if the woman moving into the room were my highest paying client.

TP: Do you have an inspirational photo for this project?
MR: I don't have any inspiration images for this project, but I've seen a completed space in my head since I agreed to do the job.  I usually only pull specific inspiration sheets to communicate what is in my head to clients since I (unfortunately) can't let them inside.  I know the feeling I want to produce, so every piece and every decision has to reflect that.

TP: What are you most looking forward to with the project?
MR: Reveal time! But I'm also really looking forward to the process of pulling it all together. I've been very impressed with the amount of people that have pitched in and I'm looking forward to sharing the impact they have each made.  Hopefully it will inspire them to do even more in the future.

TP: All the rooms at Good Shepherd are dorm size, what advice or tip do you have for someone decorating a space this small?
MR: Think big! Even though it's compact, it can still be completely functional and inspiring.  Some items may have to do double duty, but I would apply the same goals for the emotional outcome to a small space as I would a large one.  There is also something comforting about having everything you need in one contained place... So long as it's organized.