Meeting Great Designers – Part 1

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan & Kevin Sharkey

Each month, Apartment Therapy (the blogosphere’s leading design site) holds an “offline” Design Meetup. These Design Evenings give anyone the chance to come hear 1:1 interviews with some of the most exciting members of the design world.  Whether this is your business or your passion, it’s a wonderful way to get inspired and hear about how these designers got started, what motivates them, which projects they’re currently working on, and to ask them direct questions through audience Q&A.

I’ve been attending for almost two years and write up the evening’s events for the site.  We meet at ABC Carpet & Home in Manhattan (join us!) but the design evenings have also expanded across the country (check here for one in your city).  All links to our New York Design Evenings are featured here, but I wanted to start highlighting some of my favorites – this week, I’m featuring two designers who use color in fantastic, eye-catching ways.

Maxwell & Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler is as fun and spirited in person as you’d expect him to be.  As someone who uses bold color and quirky, offbeat themes in his designs, how could he not be?

In this December 2010 Meetup, Jonathan talked a lot about his new books (released November 2010), both of which were available for purchase and signing and which I highly recommend picking up. If you’re ever having a bad day, look at his pictures and read the fun commentary throughout the book.  Yes, he gives great design suggestions, but it’s also done in a way that reminds us all that design is fun!  And it makes life fun!  Look, I’m getting excited just thinking about his books!

So, add them to your shelf. If nothing else, the spines will be a lovely display amongst your more staid paperbacks.

color chips in kevin’s office

Kevin Sharkey may not be a name you know directly, but if you get Martha Stewart Living, you’ve seen him on the cover. In fact, Kevin has the distinct honor of being the only other person besides Martha to have graced the cover.  As the Senior Vice President and Executive Editorial Director, Decorating, and Executive Creative Director, Merchandising for Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. (MSLO), Kevin has a fabulous job.  Not only does he get to play with color, furnishings, and experiment on a regular basis in Martha’s design “labs” (aka her numerous homes), but most recently, he completed a full design project of his very own: his new apartment on Manhattan’s west side.  Take a look at his slides (again, color abounds!) and enjoy a tour of his apartment project on Martha’s site.  What better to have a crew of co-workers (including Martha herself) to assist in the design and layout of your own space?

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