American Design Hot List 2018
Los Angeles, etcforshort.com
We’d been fans of interior designer Sally Breer since she designed L.A.’s trendy Hotel Covell in 2015, but she’s since taken her practice to the next level, joining forces with stylist Jake Rodehuth-Harrison to form ETC.etera and gearing up to launch — early this year — a line of furniture the pair teased with an appealingly chunky coffee table at last year’s OFFSITE show. That, plus a new ETC.etera showroom and a new L.A. hotel project opening soon, are putting their firm at the top of our radar in 2019.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
JH: Without getting too political, America is truly a melting pot and its design is a reflection of that. What you seeing happening on the East Coast is different than what’s happening here in Los Angeles, and so on. I think the varying landscape and history is a major factor. My aesthetic has been uniquely different in each part of the country I’ve lived in. Living in Los Angeles has definitely pushed my process and thinking into new territory.
SB: We’re not burdened with the responsibility of as much history as Europe is, so somehow that space allows for more surprising — and dare I say interesting? — design. That might also just be an American arrogance.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
JH: We’re opening a boutique hotel/restaurant/bar/gift shop/coffee bar in an old firehouse in L.A.’s Arts District early in the new year, plus some really beautiful residential spaces, both here and in New York.
SB: Something we started to do in a big way this year was collaborations with other makers and artists, and my hope is to continue that in an even bigger way this year.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
JH: I’m really inspired by vintage spaces, especially from the 1970s and ’80s. There was such a sense of wonder in so much of what was being created then that’s returning to the world of design now — people are taking bigger risks, having more fun, and playing with unconventional materials in a way that feels fresh and exciting. Our aim is always to create spaces that people want to return to, either physically or in print, and a big part of that is working to make spaces that are a bit outside the box.
SB: Truly the folks we’ve been collaborating with. We’ve been lucky enough to work with some tremendously inspiring people on the Firehouse Hotel, and through the process have taken left and right turns that inspire whole new directions. For example, a studio visit to Block Shop and a conversation about the scale of rug patterns inadvertently tumbles into a more thoughtful study of rugs. Or I sent a sketch of an idea for a side table and light combo to Jason Koharik for one of our suites, and he sent back a riff idea that’s bonkers beautiful. Same for our own studio: We’ve got a team of incredibly talented and inspiring women that have been a major contributor to our creative energy this year.
JH: To add to that, I think the design world is merging in really beautiful ways. Instead of competing, creatives are coming together to create really beautiful works. I’m very interested to see what this time looks like from the future — socially connected, playful, and hopefully above all, memorable.