After working for acclaimed designer Michael S. Smith, Joe Lucas and Parrish Chilcoat started their high-end design firm Lucas Studio, Inc. Lucas is now sole owner of both the firm, known for timeless east coast classic meets west coast cool, and Harbinger, his retail showroom in the heart of the La Cienega Design Quarter.
What inspired this career path for you? I sort of fell into it when I was working as an actor and soon discovered that I loved it even more than performing, and it stuck. I was destined to be in a creative environment and this is a perfect combination for me.
What is your go-to source for inspiration? I think travel is the best way to get inspired. It forces you to look at things in a different light and to really search to think outside the box.
Tell us about your creative process. It can be different for each project depending on the client. But most of the time I start with one main focus in the house. I like to find what the “thru line” will be and then it flows pretty easily from there.
Describe your style in 6 words or less. Timeless East Coast with California Cool.
What are the biggest trends you see in interior design right now and what are you loving (and not loving)? I try not to focus on trends because they are just that. Trends. I want my projects to last the test of time. However I do see, and hope, that we are moving away from the more industrial trends that have been so big, and people are yearning for antiques and a more classic mix of old and new. Fingers crossed.
What’s a staple in your tool kit? Hmmm. Actual physical tool kit? Would have to be a really, really good measuring tape that doesn’t bend!
Figurative tool kit of design? The “bridge fabric” – that one fabric in each room that pulls the whole story together.
Who do you look up to in the design world? I always say there are so many designers who we have lost that give inspiration, but I for one look up to a lot of my friends and peers that are working today. Steven Gambrel, Peter Dunham, Tom Scheerer, Hallberg Wiseley are a few that always inspire me.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be? I love the idea of designing a house in the country or [along the] beach that has a smaller main house but with a few great little cottages as part of more of a compound back east somewhere. The challenge of making it cohesive but still being able to make each space a little different is part of the fun. And for whom? A great family that would really USE the space. Part of that type of home is being able to use it for entertaining and big groups.
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote. I’m not sure I really have a favorite that comes to mind, but I can tell you it isn’t “pop” or “accent wall.”
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?I love Remodelista. It is always fresh and I use it a lot to research a city I might be travelling to. I’m not a fan of most of the design shows. I’ll watch them, but until they start showing real work with real budgets and real clients, it’s too painful to watch.
What do you love about Viyet? It’s great to see new sites come up with a different point of view. I like that Viyet has a very specific point of view and goes for a high-end collection from sought-after vendors and designers.