Brigette Romanek: Gap Meets Gucci

Episode 2 September 01, 2023 00:47:27
Brigette Romanek: Gap Meets Gucci
The Interior Collective
Brigette Romanek: Gap Meets Gucci

Sep 01 2023 | 00:47:27

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Show Notes

Welcome back to Season 3 of The Interior Collective - a podcast for the business of beautiful living. Quiet Luxury is the buzzword in every marketing campaign and TikTok video around these days. But the concept of mixing bespoke, one-of-a-kind pieces with quality, everyday items is here to stay. Joining us today is Brigette Romanek, founder and principal designer of Romanek Design Studio. She is one of LA’s most sought after designers, and named repeatedly in Arch Digest’s “AD 100” and Elle Décor’s A-List.

Brigette's clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Misty Copeland & Demi Moore and she’s built her studio on the foundation that spaces should be fresh and functional, aesthetically provoking, and completely lived in. Tune in as we break down how Brigette achieves that livable luxury in every project–from quiet family homes to multi-million dollar high-profile projects.



Mentioned in this episode: 

Livable Luxe by Brigette Romanek

Brigette Romanek on The Expert

Romanek Studio’s Showroom on The Expert

Design Camp

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:08 Welcome back to season three of the Interior Collective, a podcast for the business of beautiful living. Quiet luxury is the buzzword in every marketing campaign and TikTok video around these days. But the concept of mixing bespoke, one of a kind pieces with quality everyday items is here to stay. Joining us today is Bridget Romanek, founder and principal designer of Romanic Design Studio. She is one of LA's most sought after designers and named repeatedly in Arc Digest 8,100 and El de course A list. Bridget's clients include Gwyneth Paltrow, Beyonce, Kelly Rowland, Misty Copeland, and Demi Moore. And she's built her studio on the foundation that spaces should be fresh and functional, aesthetically provoking, and completely lived in tune in as we break down how Bridget achieves that livable luxury in every project, from quiet family homes to multimillion dollar high profile projects. Hello and welcome, Bridget. I am so glad to have you here on the show. Speaker 2 00:01:10 Oh, thank you. Thank you for having me here on the show. I'm excited to be here. It's always nice to see you. Speaker 3 00:01:50 Uh oh. <laugh>, Speaker 1 00:01:54 Kind of the backstory, your design career did not start with interiors. Can you walk us through what you were doing when you realized interiors might actually be your calling? Speaker 2 00:02:04 I was designing handbags, <laugh>. So, and that was really something that was organic as well, and it was this one year where a friend had said, let's make things for each other this year. And it was a bunch of us ladies at lunch, and we thought, oh, that would be really cool. And I somehow decided and thought I can make handbags, and, and I did. And it was really quite fun to do. And, and yeah, we had moved to London for a while. We came back and so when we came back I had a garage full of like extra bags and I said, you know, I'm gonna have a, a sale and get rid of these bags. And people came and bought bags, but they liked my home even more than the bags. And so a friend said, can you help me with my house? And I was like, okay, sure. Let's do it. And that's, yeah, <laugh>, Speaker 1 00:02:48 That's how it started. Speaker 2 00:02:49 That's how, that's how it started. That's how she move. Yes. Speaker 1 00:02:52 So it sounds like your handbag career was not super lengthy, but <laugh>. No. I'm wondering if designing handbags, do you feel like it taught you anything about interior design? Speaker 2 00:03:06 Well, I think it's all part of the same muscle, to be honest. You know, it's just that those creative juices flowing, you know, and what is one's connection to the, to their creative path and how do they do it? And what are, what are the things they look at to create and what's important to them? And for me, it's, you know, it's always the same. I want to make people feel good and I wanna make people happy, and I wanna make them feel strong. And so the, the bags I created, they were such statements. And the interiors I create, I, I hope, are statements, big statements for people. And yeah, it really is part of that same process. So, yeah. Very lucky. Speaker 1 00:03:42 The day this episode comes out, I'm gonna beg you to post pictures of your handbags on your Instagram stories <laugh>, because now everybody is gonna be like, where do we see these handbags? Oh Speaker 2 00:03:52 My gosh. It's so crazy. Yeah. You know, the bags were amazing because I created them just for friends, and then somehow they became pretty big. And I, and I kind of couldn't keep up for a while. And then we were moving to London, so right at that time I kind of said, oh, perfect time for me to stop. And I liked it, I really did. But I love interior design, that's my joy, and that's my home. So it was, you know, it was part of the journey to get there, to get to here. So that's all good. Speaker 1 00:04:20 Okay. So now that interiors is your home. Yeah. You have had so many recent accolades and I feel like they must be incredibly effective and impactful on your business. I mean, we're talking cover stories and just like celebrity project after celebrity project, plus the upcoming book. And I just feel like there's so much rolling right now. <laugh>, how have those accolades and like those sort of like benchmarks in your career shaped the creative freedom you are getting as far as inquiries coming in? Speaker 2 00:04:56 Well, it's really, it's interesting because I view, and you know this about me, like, and I say this all the time, like I, I view every project is equally is important. Whether you are a celebrity or not a celebrity in your own home, you are the celebrity, you know, <laugh>. So I view every project the same, and the dedication and the love that I give to the project. So the fact that people wanna hire me and trust me, I just, you know, it's, it's amazing. And so I really always wanna do my best. But of course, with working with prominent people, you definitely get more eyes on your work. And so that's helpful and amazing. And it also, it's also great because it sort of allows for people to, to believe in your creativity. And it allows them to feel more of a, a safety with your creativity, which is really fantastic. Speaker 2 00:05:53 And also allows for them to often say, you know, we trust what you wanna do. And that means a lot. I I always dig into what my clients want though, 'cause that is hugely important and, and a big deal to me. So that combination, I, I hope brings out the best in the project. But yes, getting eyes on your project is, is important because that is how you move forward with your work. And obviously not every job, but, but, but yes, a lot of jobs do come through people seeing work that you've done. And a lot of times that happens with, with celebrity clients because you know, their houses are published or even they sometimes will post a picture in their, in their house in the background. So it's all these good, all these good things. Speaker 1 00:06:40 That is gonna lead me to another question about technicalities of like, privacy, especially when it comes to celebrity clients mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But I wanna talk a little bit about the firm first. So can you give us some background about the structure of the business, as in how many people are on your team now, and how involved are you in the design process itself? Speaker 2 00:07:00 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I do every ounce. I, I do the design <laugh>, I, you know, my firm is still relatively new. You know, we, we, I open the firm in, let's see, what was it, June? In June, Speaker 1 00:07:14 I think it was 2018 <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:07:15 Thank you so much. That's right, <laugh>. That's right. And we started, it was just myself and someone who could sort of run the office, if you wanted to call it that, and just someone else to assist me. And, and that was it. And now we are between nine to 12, depending on the project and the size. But it's, it's been this incredible process and we're still learning every single day how to do something better. You know, we update our procedures, we update protocols, all of it based on experiences, you know. And so I think in this beginning, and I still consider it the beginning, it's important that I do the design and it's important that it is my, my vision along with my clients. And I have team members who, let's say for instance, if I've pulled something and maybe it's taken a moment for the client to decide if they like it or not, if it's vintage, if it's gone, you know, they might show me other items, which would be great, and say, well, that's not available anymore, but here are three more Bridget. And that helps me. And then, then in my firm, there's Naric who's like my, my right hand, who I just love so, so dearly. And he's been with me since the beginning and just knows me so well. So he's able to help me. But, but I am, I, I live for the design and the creative part. That's my favorite part of it all. And so I still, I still do that. Speaker 1 00:08:48 I love that you have been able to maintain control of the creative part because I feel like so many of our listeners, and even myself as a business owner, as the business grows, you get pulled to doing so many other things. Absolutely. Primarily managing mm-hmm. <affirmative> and not even doing the creative part. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So what, what part of the design process are you able to outsource to your team? Or do you have someone else doing technical drawings? Do you have someone else doing elevations? Those sort of technical things? Speaker 2 00:09:14 Yes, that's exactly, exactly right. You <laugh>, you, you nailed that. And those, and those things. It, it's, so, it's super, super helpful. And so I do have team members that take care of that for me. But I think it's really important as, as we grow our businesses to remember what we love about it and why we do it. And that is hugely important. And that's sort of the fuel for me. And it's really one of those things where it is, you know, 95% business. And so you have to be on top of that. In no way can you sort of shut your eyes and just cross your fingers. You have to be on top of it. But getting back to the root of it and, and what makes everything go, 'cause that is a foundation, that's what makes all of this work is that creativity. So it's really, really important. And I have my design days where I do nothing but that. And those are, you know, my favorite days in the office. Speaker 1 00:10:13 <laugh>, I think, I forget who told me this, but it was a conversation I had one time and someone reminded me that you should be doing the work that someone is hiring you to do, and someone is hiring you to design. And so your hours should not be spent doing those technical specific drawings or doing the actual ordering or following up on that invoice. Yeah. That work needs to be done, but that's not why they came to you. Exactly. And I think that you are such a good reminder of that. Speaker 2 00:10:41 Exactly. Uh, exactly. I mean, and that, and that's the thing, you know, the behind the scenes of how you get the project into fruition is, is obviously really important. And all of those steps makes everything go. But the basis of what this is is when it's all said and done, you know, you want to have created this incredible, stunning personal love letter and this, this sanctuary for someone, you know, so you have to remember and you have to be fueled by all that good stuff, you know, that that gets it there, you know, and that's what you should be doing. The creative, the creative one, the one who created the firm is in that person's name and that person's vision. So you gotta remember that. Speaker 1 00:11:28 Absolutely. Bridget, would you say that the majority of your clients are in like the southern California area? I feel like when I look at your portfolio, a lot of it is, do you do a ton of work nationally, internationally? Speaker 2 00:11:42 I would say that most of it is in just going through the projects environment. Most of it is in, most of my work is in la but it goes out to many other places and more and more, which I love. You know, I was speaking to a friend of mine, a colleague who was saying, you know, she's doing her first project and it's in Dubai and she's been in business like 20 years. So that was great because it just tells me how it just continues to sort of grow and reach other places. But, you know, we've done Italy, London, New York, um, Hamptons, Boston, different places, and I, and I love that. I love that. I love expanding and growing. Speaker 1 00:12:25 So how does your project management shift when you're designing something somewhere else? Are you usually the person who does like the site visits, the walkthroughs? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. In that instance, do you send someone else? How does that break down? Speaker 2 00:12:37 No, I go, initially I go and I have to get my eyes on the building and I'm such a, a, you know, just a big ball of feelings, <laugh>. So, you know, I need to walk into the space and see how it feels to me and walk through with my client and, you know, and know what they wanna feel. And so that, that pushes the design aspect forward. So I can't really send anyone else. So I do go for the initial visit. I will send someone else during the process, you know, sort of in the middle. But I think it's important that the PM on that job get to see it as well. And so we really can have a clear conversation about it. And, um, not one of those, well, if you only saw the, you know, this part, so that doesn't work. It's just better when we both have had our eyes on it. So usually in the middle I will send the PM on the job and then for the end I go for every install. Speaker 1 00:13:29 Always amazing. Yeah. So back up in the process, I really would love to talk about presentation day and what that looks like. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>, it sounds like to me that you do the presentations yourself. Is that correct? Yes. Speaker 2 00:13:42 Yes. Speaker 1 00:13:43 Can you, Speaker 2 00:13:44 All the initial presentations, I always, always do it because I'm the one who has the conversations with the client and I'm the one who they've hired and, and no one can really speak to it the way that I can. And what I mean by that is I have very, I, I've been very lucky and I have incredible people on my team, all very talented and skilled people. But I think that when it comes to, you know, our clients viewing this presentation for the first time, I can't help myself. The excitement I have and the information or just the speaking about it, I'm, I have so much passion about it that I wanna share that with the client. And then sometimes more so when most of the design is done, if we need to change an item or something, I might have someone on the team express to them that was gone. Speaker 2 00:14:36 But this is what Bridget likes as a, you know, as another option and likes equally as well. And that's just great 'cause that's an efficient way to do it. And they also know the vibe or know what it's gonna look like. And so it's just a one-off piece that we need to adjust or, or change or something like that. But I, I have to do it. I mean, maybe one day, I don't know, I dunno, <laugh> if I'll ever be able to, to not do it, I don't know. But it's interesting because sometimes, you know, it's like, you know, you get a little excited but nervous at the same time. You know, it's all of these, all of these feelings, you know, but I put it all on the page. I tried to. Speaker 1 00:15:11 So explain to us what presentation day looks like for you. And I'm just sitting here picturing Gwyneth sitting in her house, <laugh> as you go and present this, but are you presenting physical, tactile items and printed copies of presentations? Is it digital? What is the, what is a presentation by Bridget look like? Speaker 2 00:15:33 Well, it's all, it, it's always put in one of our beautiful binders. It's always really large <laugh> and it's always an awkward, uh, binder to carry, but that's okay because it's the most important thing is that the client be able to really see the pieces. And I learned that sort of early on as well. 'cause when you're talking about something, and if you've got a little page and it's not really showing the item, you know, the client's kinda like, oh, can you send me more images of that later? And so you want to give them as much of a picture as you can. And so I'll even ask vendors, can you send me more pictures of this item even before I am presenting? Because if I feel like the picture I'm seeing might not be good enough, and now I sort of know what clients are looking for, you know? Speaker 2 00:16:20 So I will absolutely ask for more pictures before I put it on boards. But I do, I do a rather large presentation. And also knowing my clients and, and understanding them is really important too, because I have some that, you know, I will just call him Bill, you know, bill might not necessarily care about the fabrics. He's gonna trust me. He doesn't really need to see 45 fabrics. And what it actually does, it confuses him. So maybe what I'll do is just put, you know, a few, this is the general direction, but I don't bring necessarily everything. And he was like, yes, great, go ahead. That's fine. You know? And it became, it was kind of funny because in the beginning I was lugging everything. And he's like, I, okay. I, nope, don't <laugh>, you know, so it's also reading my client. But we do absolutely have a, a protocol in place and, and taking as much as we can. And then, you know, if it's meeting after meeting, so yes, here are all of the pieces. If they're gonna be custom, you know, we're thinking of this color, you know, and maybe if not this color, we, you know, we, we take as much as we can. And I, it's always me and then the pm and then usually someone on that team that's gonna take all of the notes and to make sure everything is being heard correctly and we're all on the same page. So Speaker 1 00:17:36 Does that presentation, does the client get a digital copy of that giant binder as well? Speaker 2 00:17:42 Yes, yes. Yes. Digital as well. It's almost like homework too, because then the client can look at everything and then, and then process it all. 'cause it's hard in the moment. It's like you're overwhelmed when you're seeing it. And sometimes they need time. Speaker 1 00:17:57 I know that a huge majority of your project is are vintage and one of a kind pieces. Do you have vendors send videos as well to clients? I mean, 'cause we're talking about like very expensive, one of a kind pieces. And I can imagine that sometimes those cells can be a little bit harder. Speaker 2 00:18:14 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Absolutely. I try to get as much information on a piece as I can. You know, especially if it's an artist edition or if it's coming directly from the artist or if it's a one-off. You know, these are really important things because you're asking the client to basically buy something sight unseen and trust that everything is right, you know, from just from an image. And that's not easy. And so the more support we can give them, feeling confident about what they're doing, like what they're purchasing, it's just important. It's really important. And it's also a great way for you to say, like, so if the piece comes and the client says, oh, I didn't realize it was this color. It's like, yeah, we went over that <laugh>, you know, and in a way of looking after yourself as well, it's just better for everyone. As much as you can get on that, that piece. Yeah. All the information. Speaker 1 00:19:07 Do you, do you get signatures or some sort of sign off on each of those individual vintage or one of a kind pieces before making that purchase? Or is like, like, okay, the living room has been approved, go ahead and place the orders? Speaker 2 00:19:23 No, it's more a case of if it's approved and then we send through the proposal and then if, you know, and all the information's on the proposal. And then if the client then doesn't want it for some reason, they'll say, no, actually I'm gonna pass on this. You know, so we try to alleviate a step and, and do it that way. Because if they have approved it, then we immediately go to the procurement phase and they'll let us know if, you know, what a second thought no. Or all great, just, just depends what the honest, Speaker 1 00:19:55 So obviously you have a background in Hollywood, born and raised in the, the spotlight, and now you have such high profile clients. But so many of our designers who are listening might have high profile clients, whether they're in the tech industry or whatever it is. And they have, they really value their privacy. And some questions have come up about, Hey, this client won't let me photograph this project. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And from a business owner standpoint, it's like, this was, you know, three years of work. I have to photograph this like it is critical to my business. I'm sure that's come up for you. Can you talk us through any advice you have on how to negotiate that or how to have in your contractor, how you cautiously and empathetically handle it? Speaker 2 00:20:45 So I, I was actually born in Chicago, but I have been in LA all my life. But what I would say is that it's important to have in your contract that you are allowed to photograph the project. And if it's, if it's flagged or if it's brought up, then you negotiate what can be photographed. You know, what, what rooms are available to you, what section of a room or if you have to get approval on the photographs, meaning you will have your photographer take them, but they need to see them first. There's usually something that can be negotiated. You could even say, I'll never say who the client is, but I'd like to be able to present my work because that's how I get more work. And I've not had a client just, I mean, I've had a couple of 100% nos, but, and those projects were still important for me to take for my, for my growth and for them. And so it was all it, it was fine. And that's another thing, you have to really look at a project and see if it's right for you on all the levels that matter for you. But yeah, for the most part, you can find a happy medium that works for everybody. And usually people like to be able to say like, this is my home. Look how, how great. It's, so you can find a way, find a sweet spot in there. Speaker 1 00:22:01 As we kick off season three of the Interior Collective podcast, we are also celebrating seven years at Idco Studio. Now through September 5th, save 20% off Sitewide with code happy [email protected]. Save 20% off our award-winning website templates for interior designers. Done for you client process documents, 60 plus pre-written email templates, virtual design bundles, limited edition branding suites, and so much more. Remember use code happy anniversary today to save at our biggest sale of the year. I've also heard of designers who will charge some sort of fee for, if someone decides to opt out of photography in their contract, they can pay an additional $5,000, whatever it is to opt out of that. And it's, I believe that our attorneys itemized it as something along the lines of like, loss of advertising, like a line item like that. So that was an option as well. But I think that's so smart that you could negotiate specific vignettes within the house, et cetera. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, yeah. Detail shots. To be able to evoke that. Do you have like a number of shots for a, a project that you feel like, if I'm gonna shoot this and make it worth it, I need to get five shots out of it? Mm-hmm. Speaker 2 00:23:21 <affirmative>? Well, I think about it in terms of like rooms. I would like to get at least three rooms. 'cause that can kind of tell the story of the vibe of this place and what that's about. So that's, that's how I view it. I view it more like, you know, if I can show, you know, part of a living room or a vignette of the den or just, you know, just moments. Speaker 1 00:23:42 So you have been photographing for your book and Speaker 1 00:23:48 I feel like there's kind of this, this line between designers who are newer in their career. You know, they've had their business for three to five years or just starting out and they feel like they need a hundred shots of every project. And then I feel like there's kind of this threshold mm-hmm. Because then I see expert, literally the expert level designers who will have a portfolio project that maybe has, you know, seven photos total mm-hmm. <affirmative> for the whole project. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, how do you gain the confidence to feel like this one shot evokes the whole feel of this room? Speaker 2 00:24:21 Yeah, you know, I, I've sort of learned that even the way I like to look at things is I don't necessarily wanna see <laugh>, you know, like want to see everything. And then, so I like what I think are the, the best moments in that project. And so then you pull those out. So I kind of call it the hit it and quit it kind of like, you know, so you get in there, you show that stuff and then you can kind of move on to the next one. And I think that's kind of better, you know, you don't necessarily have to have hundreds of images. Think of yourself as, I'm so good <laugh> that I can show you. And you know, it's like, what's, what, there was something, oh, like name that tune. I can name that tune in, you know, five notes or something. It's like, I can show you this house in five pictures and you can get the vibe and you can see what it's about. And that's somehow cooler and a little bit more mysterious, I think, you know, than this is, than having it, it more seems almost like having that many images is just a bit more exhausting. You know? You just want to play the hits <laugh>. Speaker 1 00:25:27 Yeah. Yeah. I love that. So when you're in the moment with your photographer and you're shooting the hit shot mm-hmm. <affirmative> do, are there instances where you'll move a piece from a different side of the room to get it into that one vignette? Or when you're shooting, are you like, this is the one angle and it's exactly as it is in real life? Speaker 2 00:25:47 It's both. It's absolutely, it's absolutely both. You know, and it's funny too, it's so much fun shooting with photographers that have vision too, because they'll, they might move a piece and you're like, Ooh, that's good. You know, <laugh>, that's a good idea. You know? So it's really fun to have that relationship and that rapport that with photographers that you really trust and can see things even maybe a little bit differently than you might see it. And so then they do throw in a chair or move something angle it just, so, but it's always in the end what you want it to be. And these are, these are your shots, but they might show you a fresh way of looking at it. So that's really fun. And also for composition, sometimes, you know, designers will move items in a shot or out of a shot just because, you know, you look at the, the picture and it may look one way in your head, but on film it looks, looks like something else. And so you just keep working it until you have the right shot, but you never change the essence of what that room is, or, you know, don't be phony and make something completely that's not, that's a whole other thing. Yeah. So of course, yeah, move items around in that dining room a little bit, or maybe move the table an inch to the left or to the right, if that makes it better. But carrying the essence through of, of what the story you're telling is really important. Speaker 1 00:27:09 Speaking of the essence of a project, I feel like your signature style is that you design for the client. And I think there's definitely always like this cool level of Bridget that I see woven through each of them. Like, everything is always super unique and it's such a mix of styles. It's still really light and airy and there's tons of plants and it's just, I can always tell when it's your work and, but the projects look really different. And so to help maintain that signature aesthetic throughout, are you always working with the same photographer? Speaker 2 00:27:46 I ha no. I mean, I have photographers that I love, but I have been lucky enough to work with a few different photographers. I think Michael Clifford, just his energy and, and his vibe. He's just, he is a, a ray of sunshine. When he walks in Douglas Freeman, we laugh the entire time. I just think he's just fantastic. I mean, there are some great photographers out there and that share their vision and you get to learn and create. So that's really, really fun. And so, gosh, it just, it's you. What the way to find a photographer that is right for you is by looking at their work. You know, looking at their work and seeing imagery that you love. Maybe you don't love the necessary pieces, but that's not important. It's just more that you love the composition, you love the way they, like, you love that, you know, this photographer, their work is sort of like bright and airy or this photographer's moody, you know, whatever feeling you're wanting to evoke, that's how you have to look at it. Look at the photographer's work is through that lens and that'll help you to, uh, get to the right person. And there's some really great ones out there. Speaker 1 00:28:54 Are you comfortable with one project might have a moodier vibe than another project mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And are you comfortable with your portfolio looking super different that way? Or do you try to keep a consistent feel amongst all of them? So there's like a fluidity to it, or are you like every project stands on its own? Speaker 2 00:29:14 No, I like the idea of there being a fluidity and telling a, a story from beginning to end. And even in something that is bright andary that still could, you know, I want everything to evoke a mood. And that comes with the telling of the story. That comes with what I do as a designer. It comes with the pieces that are involved. It comes with the length of the curtain that's draped in the photograph. It comes with the angle, it comes with all those things. And so you can tell your story, which is hugely important with any photographer you work with, but it is really fun to work with different photographers for that reason and see things through their eyes that could be made better or interesting or cool or just, just really fun. And then when you find one who you really just gel with and everything seems like it's all in sync, and that's a beautiful thing too. So that's what being creative is. It's, it's trying things, finding what's right for you. It's all of that good stuff. So I, I like it all Speaker 1 00:30:19 Because, well, first question, do you have a stylist either on your team or that you bring in, or do you style everything at a shoot yourself? Speaker 2 00:30:27 I do it myself, course Speaker 1 00:30:29 Too big girl, <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:30:31 I do it myself. But I was also lucky enough for gps, for, for Buenos house. I worked with Colin King, who I love and who since become such a, become a friend. So that was fun. And yeah, it's all of it. Again, it's that journey of learning and creating and, and seeing other, other creatives take on what you've done, what you do, you know? So yes, it's good Speaker 1 00:30:57 Because you have a lot of, you know, high profile or celebrity clients, like you said, a lot of them will likely want their project shot and like it'll end up being something that runs an ad, for instance. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, when you have a project that you anticipate running in something like ad mm-hmm. <affirmative>, are you working with AD to shoot that project? Or do you also shoot it exclusively for yourself? Or is it always shot by you and you just hand it over to the publication? Speaker 2 00:31:27 No, it's really a, a combination. You know, it could be something where I think, oh, this could be amazing for AD or L Decor or, you know, this could be something special. And so with that, you know, we share imagery and they say, okay, great, we'd like this person to shoot it. Or if it doesn't work, that's, you know, it doesn't work. But AD and <inaudible>, like they're pros. They're, they're such pros at what they're doing and so they have ways that they like to move about, but you can show even, even an iPhone pic of something you're doing that you think is great and because they've been doing this so long, they can kind of tell from that, yes, this is, this is gonna be a great one. Or, you know, maybe it's not for us, whatever the case may be. But they're usually able to tell. And then they also have editors that they'll send out to go and see it as well, you know, and then decide if they're going to publish it or not. And Speaker 1 00:32:25 So when you're working with something that's gonna get published, do you in that contract negotiate that you have rights to include it on your own website? Or do you need to have it shot separately and you don't get to use those images? I know that we've had people kind of hit sort of a, a wall with that too, not knowing if they need to shoot something twice. Speaker 2 00:32:45 Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Well, it depends on who owns the photograph. So if it's mm-hmm. <affirmative> ad that owns them or the decor, or if it's the photographer, it depends on who, who owns them. And that's the first step is figuring that out. And then usually from that, from there I'm speaking to them and asking what your rights are with the imagery. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and it based on that is how you, how you move forward. And I've had it both ways where I've had to shoot something, boy or magazine has been very helpful and said, you absolutely use imagery, or the photographer owns 'em, and the photographer says, yes, that would be great, because that means that they get to show their work as well. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I don't think that there's necessarily a set way I haven't run across that it can be different with, with every, with every house. And so if you have a plan in mind of how you wanna do it, have that conversation before the first shot is taken. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Speaker 1 00:33:47 How do you navigate the situation when you have, you know, you have G's house running on the cover and that's not happening for eight months and you have these gorgeous images, <laugh>, that you wanna add to your portfolio of work. How do you navigate what you can show what you can't show? And is it true you're never allowed to show like anything until it hits the actual publication? Because for a lot of people who've been working on a project, you know, for two, three years, like once they have these images in hand, they are desperate to be able to share it and to wait for the possibility of it getting published can be cumbersome and in some ways a bit detrimental to their business, not being able to showcase their best latest work. Speaker 2 00:34:30 Yes. But it would be more detrimental to your business if you did do it and you weren't supposed to mm-hmm. <affirmative> that, you know, you just don't do it and, and you just wait out those eight months or whatever it is you have to do. You just, you honor what you said you would do and you, and you just wait. And, but Speaker 1 00:34:50 You found that to be true, that you found it to be true, that you typically do have to wait on those images. Yes. <laugh>. Okay. Let's talk book. So your first book, livable Lux, comes out on October 10th. Yes. And it is comprised of over 150 images of some of your most A-list projects. Some of your never before seen projects, and I believe your own home is in there as well, <laugh>. Speaker 2 00:35:16 Yeah, it's blow it still blows my mind that I even have a book coming out. I'm so grateful and so honored and people having never done one before, you know, people tell me, oh, you know, books take two years to do and this, and, and we did it in eight months. And I think the thing that was important to me is really people ask me more than, than anything is about my story and how I got started and how it happened and my journey. And so that was the most important thing because I feel like if it helps other designers to feel, um, empowered or feel like they can do it or whatever the case may be, that if it brings them just that feeling of Oh, she can do it, I can do it. That that's, that's really everything. Um, and there are these lovely moments in, uh, in the book about just how this particular client, how we worked together or how we came together or why I like this particular moment in the house. And it's, yeah, I hope that there's just joy in it for, for people to know that the only rules are the rules you put on yourself, you know, other than that you gotta, you gotta go for what you love. Speaker 1 00:36:30 So you wrote this book in eight months mm-hmm. <affirmative>, and it's a really inspired interpretation of a traditional coffee table book to me, because it is filled with short essays and personal anecdotes. Were any of those essays or notes, were those things that you had been jotting down throughout your career? Or was everything written specifically for this book and was just recollected from memories you had? Speaker 2 00:36:58 So really just, just from memories and, and different publishers had, had reached out to me, and I felt very lucky with that. And I worked with Chronicle Chroma because Gloria and Steve, they cared so much about how I got to where I am in my story, and they cared about having a real relationship with me. And it, and it was about, it wasn't just about like, let's have a pretty image and, you know, and, and that's all, that's all it is. It really was more about telling my, just my truth about what has happened in my career thus far, and how I've gotten here and how much I love what I do, you know? And every day it's not, I don't wake up every day, oh my gosh, you know, <laugh>, it's not like that. It's just that even, you know, and, and even I have spoken about this before, says even in on its worst day, and I want designers to know that there are some tough days in what we do that you still wanna be doing this. Speaker 2 00:37:58 And I just feel so fortunate. My my childhood was not an easy one. And so, but, but knowing that you can use things that have happened to you as fuel, you know, the good, the good and the bad, use it as fuel to, to push you forward. And that's the Steve and Gloria, they were just, they were excited by, by me sharing that, you know, it wasn't about just a pretty picture. They were excited about telling the story, and I wanted to tell my story. J just letting people know, Hey, you, you got a chance, you've got a chance to do this. You know, I, I didn't, a lot of these people came to me through word of mouth or just by just seeing something I might have done, you know, just so it's really believing in yourself and, and knowing that you got a baby <laugh> Speaker 1 00:38:49 In your book, you describe your signature style as Gucci meets Gap, <laugh>. It's true. What does that mean to you? Speaker 2 00:39:00 Well, to me that's just, it's, it's just saying that we can have some things very exquisite and beautifully made, and all of the details are right and they're there and it's just tailored to the nines. And that can sit right opposite something that feels slouchy and sloppy. But if the relationship is there and it's harmonious, then that's what we're doing. You know, a piece that costs, you know, a thousand dollars can sit next to a piece that costs, you know, $50. None of that matters. What matters is how it all comes together and tells your story. And so that's the way that I have to live. You know, like maybe I can save up for that expensive item, but for the most part, my house has to be functional and it has to work and kids and animals and all that good stuff, but I still wanna live in a pretty environment. So it's, it, you don't have to have all precious things, all high ticket items to feel like, you know, this is, I've made it look everybody, it's not that at all. It's, it's about, you know, what feels good and is important to you. And that could be, you know, this incredible rock that you found on the beach that tells the story for you along with the crystal, that cough 18 million. It just, it's just whatever, whatever works and whatever feels right. Speaker 1 00:40:21 So I know those listening are probably giving a little bit of a side eye to the thought of like, Gucci meets Gap as if your fancy clients have, you know, slouchy Furniture <laugh>. But I, I think that the way you articulate the, the emotion and the comfort level and the livability and the materiality of that is so livable. Yeah. Why do you feel like your clientele are seeking out that signature style? What is it about that that feels so particularly appealing to potentially a Los Angeles greater area market? Speaker 2 00:40:59 Because this idea that covid, I mean, listen, COVID is, is awful, was awful. And, and we all had a really rough time. I think one positive from it is that people were actually living in their spaces and seeing how they wanna function and feeling how they wanna function in their spaces and what their spaces meant to them. And so with that, you wanna be able to use every single space you have. You want it to be beautiful, but you also want it to be livable. You also wanna enjoy it. You don't want a velvet rope around the living room. You want, you wanna be able to exhale when you get home. You wanna have your safe space. And it used to be that it felt like the, the two things were very separate. You know, like if you have a beau a room with beautiful items, then the kids can't go in there. Speaker 2 00:41:53 Or if things were precious, you know, they had to be up, up high so no one could really <laugh>, you know, get to them. And it's real, that's not really living luxury to me, is being able to enjoy your things and, and, and to have a space that supports you, you know, supports you and what's important to you. That's real luxury. And it's not about the dollar amount. And I do have high profile clients, but I also have clients that aren't, that are high profile to me and in my heart and in their, you know, and they are, but it doesn't always, Speaker 1 00:42:26 But not in the public eye. Yeah, no, Speaker 2 00:42:29 No, no. And that's most of my clients, you know, so it's just a, a joy to be able to like, to get people to embrace how they live, where they live, um, and have it feel good to them. And like a, you know, studio apartment or 10,000 square foot house. It, square, square doesn't matter. It doesn't matter that, Speaker 1 00:42:51 That's such an insightful look into how Covid has shaped home for people now that I haven't really considered how every room became so important mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because you needed every single space possible when all three kids were home, husband's working from another room, you've got a kid home from college. And to make each of those, that mix of Gucci and Gap, precious and very, um, tactile and usable, I really appreciate that beautiful interpretation that I hadn't considered. How do you see your signature style mm-hmm. <affirmative> evolving over time? Because I feel like you're just skyrocketing up and every creative goes through their seasons. Picasso had their blue face, et cetera. <laugh>, do you feel like your signature have, have you felt it shifting at all? Do you feel like there is a trajectory where things might change? Or are you really comfortable in this sort of signature field that you've created? And we'll continue on that way? Speaker 2 00:43:56 That's a hard one to answer. And, and the reason why is because that's part of the creative journey. You know, like always wanting to grow and progress and not stay stagnant, not stay stuck. And so I'm always, always either, you know, looking for new, looking at old, whatever the case may be. I'm always changing things around in my own house to play and figure things out. And, and sometimes I come and I back and I look at the room, I go, whoa, nope, not <laugh> not a good plan. And other times, like, that's cool, that's unique. So I hope that I'm always growing. I'm hoping that I'm always evolving. I think that the basis of what my design, you know, ethos and philosophy is creating homes that are personal for each, each client, and that, as we all know, like I love, you know, a love letter to them and their home has to be that for them. So those things I don't think will change, but, you know, maybe pieces and styles and creations and all that kind of stuff will, will just hopefully just continue to grow Speaker 1 00:45:07 And evolve. I'm so excited to see the next work you put out. <laugh>. I'm so excited to get my hands on the book. Livable Lux coming out October 10th. Thank you. Bridget, what can you share with us for upcoming projects, collaborations, other book deals, TV shows, what is in the stars for Bridget Romanec right now? Speaker 2 00:45:32 Oh my gosh. Well, first of all, I hope that continuing to do what I love is, is first and foremost, and that's creating great spaces for people to enjoy. And I am working on a club in on Sunset Boulevard here in LA that I'm very excited about, which I'll be able to speak about soon enough. And then working on a collaboration that I'm excited about that I'll be able to speak about <laugh> soon. But I will come to you, I will come to you and let you know I as soon as, as soon as I can't speak about those things. But yeah, just continuing to do this would just be, I'm grateful. Speaker 1 00:46:10 <laugh> the dream. Yeah. Well, Bridget, thank you so much. Those are such exciting projects down the pipeline. Thank you for your time today. It is always such a joy and a peaceful, inspiring conversation I get to have with you. So thank you for sharing that with our listeners. Speaker 2 00:46:26 Oh my gosh, thank you so much for, even for having me here. I feel very, uh, very grateful. Thank you so much. Speaker 1 00:46:33 Well, I'm sure we'll talk soon and I will see you later. Okay. Speaker 2 00:46:36 Take care. Bye. Beauty, Speaker 1 00:46:42 After hearing from Bridget firsthand, it is no wonder why celebrities and design lovers alike are flocking to her name stake Studio Bridget's pure passion for design, for creating spaces that are equal parts safe haven, and inspiration is exactly why I love my job. Don't forget to order your copy of Livable Lux linked in the show notes and available anywhere where books are sold. You can follow along with Bridget on Instagram at Bridget Romanak as she shares behind the scenes in big reveals. If you missed any of the links mentioned in today's episode, you'll find the full transcript and sources included in the show notes. As always, thank you so much for listening. Please, please, please take a moment to leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and rate us on Spotify. Until next week, I'm your host, Anastasia Casey. Thank you for being a part of the Interior collective.

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