Friday, January 6, 2012

Interview with Sabina Vavra of Madison West Interiors

Sabina Vavra is an interior designer, TV personality, creative thinker, jet setter, animal lover based out of Orange County California. She was recently on "Keyshawn Johnson: Tackling Design on A&E". I've had the pleasure of interning for her as I was getting my career started. She is a great person and designer. Please enjoy the interview.

-Would you welcome the opportunity to do a TV series again? If so, what would be ideal/dream/goal?
I actually just wrapped another TV show airing in September on A&E called Fix This Kitchen.  I was the designer behind two of the episodes and have to say, that while the land of TV can be exciting, I’m quite happy to be wrapped with the shoot and back to a more normal paced schedule!  

-You look so natural on camera! How nervous were you while filming?
No, not at all

-Is designing on TV different from designing off camera?
Completely different because in normal life you’re not completely renovating a kitchen in 4 days!  Its completely absurd and the poor crew didn’t sleep for days on end.  We all looked like living zombies by the time day five wrapped and we had a finished kitchen!

-If you could film a design show anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Africa, hands down

-Tell me about your current/future projects?
Well, after wrapping the latest episodes of Fix This Kitchen, I am working on a few residential projects in both Los Angeles, as well as Orange County.  I am also involved in a product line of chic, modern dog beds ( and we are in the process of creating and printing our own fully branded fabrics and patterns which has always been a dream of mine.  I also write for a few magazines on design happenings, and that along with teaching design are fast becoming two of my favorite things to be immersed in these days!

-I love the dog beds! How did “fleabags” come about?
Oh, it was completely random!  I have a 8 yr old golden retriever, Star, and I was looking for a graphic, chic, bold bed for her and all I found was kitschy or boring taupe beds.  I thought what the heck, I’m a designer, and I’ll just make my own.  Well, I though why make just one; other people must be bored of the same old beds too, so I made 50.  Those sold out in a flash, then 300 more sold out, and then the press came rolling in!  It’s quite funny actually, it was just by chance and nothing I took seriously!  Now were on our 3rd season, we are on the brink of launching our custom fully branded fabric, as well as another “donut bed” style, are in 12 boutiques across the nation, and will be featured in the July issue of Sunset Magazine.  I really have to laugh!

-Are the fleabags customizable?

-If your office could be anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Oh, why stop at one...let see, Africa for sure, Istanbul, Amalfi Coast, Paris...

-What inspires you most about your office?
Star snoring under my desk, no, just kidding!  Wow, perhaps my inspiration board of black and white photography

-How would you describe your style in general?
Edgy, bold, a bit unexpected with hidden surprises, and definitely not too serious.  I don’t believe in taking myself, nor designs, nor spaces serious.  Who really wants a home with rooms you're not allowed to enter- very stuffy in my opinion.

-Do you have to like the project to like it?
Well, no.  I appreciate design and well-designed spaces for what they are and who they are purposed for.  I am constantly creating spaces that wouldn’t be particularly well suited for me, however, I do love the end result of the space and the effect it has on its occupants.

-If you had to choose a different profession, what would it be?
A veterinarian, I adore animals

-Which designers do you look up to for inspiration or guidance?
Nicholas Plewman, Christian Liaigre, Erin Martin, Mary McDonnald, Kelly Wearstler + Philippe Starck.

-What are your next or current steps to your awesome design career?
- Just finished designing 2 episodes of Fix This Kitchen on A&E which premiered this month
-Relaunched my blog with focus on the behind the scenes of life as a designer, with an emphasis on trend predicting, inside info, and Diy projects
-Writing a monthly column for the home and garden section of the OC Register on design.

-Tell me about Creative Power Course.
Creative Power Course is a series of individual boot camp courses to help you, 
the emerging design professional rock your business.

Thank you Sabina!!! Good luck to all your endeavors! Keep it up. 

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