Name: Tina Nicole
Company: Nathan Anthony Furniture
Position within company: Principle Designer
Tell us a little about your background in design (education, experience, etc.)
An Associate of Arts Degree from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, a Bachelor’s Degree from UCLA and a Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School. Always a lover of textiles, forms and fashion, I worked in sales and then as a window dresser for iconic retail brands Colours de Benetton and Polo Ralph Lauren. This gave me a feel for combining the right fabrics to the right frame, and for learning the art of merchandising. I use all of my education and experience at Nathan Anthony Furniture whether it’s building the administrative infrastructure, designing product or marketing. My diverse education and experience has been invaluable.
How would you describe your personal interior design style?
Hollywood Regency meets Italian contemporary. I love wide open spaces with tall architectural ceilings and minimalist forms. Every piece should have a purpose. Art and furniture must have dialog. White with black are my go-to palette with pops of either soothing pastels or crisp primary colours. I like to emphasize a 360-degree view of our products using unique sewing techniques, materials and shapes that bring visual interest.
Where does your design inspiration come from?
I am drawn to beautiful things and have an unyielding curiosity. Travelling abroad or around the U.S. four times a year, I indulge in all that is around me – architecture, street art, window shop, museums, art openings, cafes, theatre and concerts. Because design is art and artists push societal norms, this broadens my view of what design is and how it’s evolving…It’s best to see all kinds of expressions of art in so many different genres
In what direction do you feel that design is moving towards in a general sense?
With today’s large, open spaces in living areas, you can expect ingress and egress from different parts of the room. This architectural trend has prompted space planning and interior designers to bring furnishings away from walls and into the center of rooms. It’s imperative to establish visual interest from every vantage point in contemporary spaces. The backs and sides of furnishings are as now as much the focal point of the room as the nexus of the seating area is. That’s a welcome challenge for furniture designers like me because it’s a license to get creative.
Name five key themes to consider when approaching design in 2017 and beyond.
If you could offer one piece of advice when it comes to product design, what would it be?
A diverse education balanced by apprenticeships is a really good balance for creative people. This way you learn the history and conventions of your discipline while using the tools of today in the practical environment. Study abroad is valuable too because it expands your ideas. Lastly, study art and artists, both new and old… they are society’s challengers
How important are The International Design and Architecture Awards as recognition of talent and achievement?
Extremely. Being recognized by your peers for excellence for something you designed is the ultimate compliment and greatest encouragement for more greatness.
What projects are you currently working on?
Expanding our product offering into new categories to become a lifestyle brand in 2017 is very exciting.
What are your aims and goals for the next twelve months?
To create more awareness and get people talking about the beautiful hand made products we make at Nathan Anthony Furniture.
Final thoughts; tell us a little more about yourself
Your most treasured possession?
Lladro, A boy with bird on
Your favourite holiday destination?
Your favourite hotel / restaurant / bar?
Monastero Santa Rosa, Boutique Hotel & Spa Amalfi, Italy
Your favourite book / film / song?
Book – A Confederacy of Dunces
Film – A Room With a View
Song – Time After Time by Cindy Lauper
Your favourite food and drink?
Homemade chocolate chip cookies and ice cold milk
Your favourite way to spend an afternoon? (in no more than 25 words)
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
A Writer, preferably a comedic writer for the sitcom Modern Family. A Signer/Musician.
Anything else interesting?
I secretly yearn to star in a period piece movie