Interview: Interior Designer, Judith Lance

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We love it when we are able to collaborate with interior designers to help them find the right piece/s for a project they are working on, there’s so much satisfaction for us and our clients to know someone who is considered a professional tastemaker is interested in recycling their long loved possessions. Because few of us out there can afford to work with an interior designer we’re thrilled to know that estate sales can really level the playing field for people to own designer quality home furnishings and décor. Still some of us struggle with transforming our homes into designer abodes…

We were lucky enough to spend a few moments talking with the creative force, Judith Lance, a Los Angeles based designer with impeccable taste and style. Judith’s international experience in fashion and interior design has instilled in her a unique aesthetic and cultural range that continues to be the basis for her passion for the decorative and domestic arts. May this interview inspire you!

Can you tell us a little about your background? I was born in Tokyo and grew up in Tokyo and Manila.  I spent my high school years in schools in Hawaii, Arizona and Los Angeles.

How did you get started as an interior designer? The interior designer, Bill Sofield, approached me to work with him.  I did not have formal training and had previously been in the fashion industry, my last position being with Valentino Garavani.

Judging from your online portfolio you’ve had the opportunity to design some pretty drool worthy spaces – is there any one thing that you’ve designed that you wish you could’ve just moved right into? Not really, they were all designed specifically for each client’s requirements and vision, though the closet I could say that would apply would be the project 1 on my website….with some modifications, of course!

It seems like you use a lot of soothing neutral colors and natural elements in your designs and keep things modern with pops of color in the textiles – What other design tricks do you use to keep your designs timeless but fun and interesting? For fun and interesting: There is much focus placed on upholstery details, well-chosen objects. For timeless: Emphasis is placed on addressing the bones of the room that allows for thoughtful furniture plans, traffic flow and appropriate storage and millwork.

So many of your designs feature interesting furniture pieces and decorative art – where do you find such awesome stuff? So many places; dealers, antique stores and many in-house designed furniture and objects made by our fabricators for us.

Does a lot of it come from your husband’s store, Dana John? Only when appropriate to the project.

Do you have a favorite resource, online or brick-and-mortar, other than Dana John,that is your go to resource when sourcing items for a project? 1stdibs is the go to place to shop decoratively.

Can you tell where you find inspiration for your design projects? From my clients, the given architecture and where my aesthetic interest happen to be at the time.

Like anything design is cyclical and mid-Century design is all the rage right now, what do you think will be the next design style to become popular will be? Mid-century means different things to different people, as does the word modern. For me modern encompasses the period, primarily though not exclusively, from the 1920’s – through today.  For some it means the period of the 1960’2 – 1960’s Eames / Knoll California modern.  That said, traditional interior design is alive and well, though mixed in with “modern” pieces. And are you seeing any movement in that direction now? I think the goal going forward is towards comfort, not overly aggressive design or “themes”, more sophistication in the mix.

Your home must have so many mouth-watering decorative pieces. Give us a little taste of what’s behind the doors of your personal residence. Vintage paintings and prints with custom frames, lots of vintage light fixtures slowly collected over the years, thoughtfully designed upholstery in rich fabrics, a garden we designed with 85 topiary plants.

Any parting words? We relate to the world around us through our eyes and happily find much to entertain us in both the humble and extravagant.

Thanks, Judith!

photos courtesy of Judith Lance   blog post by Stacy Browner
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