Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a designer series lecture at the Pacific Design Center. AD 100 and Interior Design Hall of Famer Juan Montoya spent an hour dazzling us with images of his work and insider info on how he does what he does so well.
Anytime I have the opportunity to listen to a person who is this successful, I take it. Mr. Montoya is in his 70s and is going strong after decades due to his common sense approach and passion for interior design and architecture.
One of the things I love so much about being an interior designer, is that if you’re good, you get better with age- like a fine wine. It was reassuring to hear someone I hold in such high esteem, espouse the same principle that I hold dear- a green approach to design. No he didn’t use the words “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” or “green” but he practices these things none the less. In most of his designs he uses furniture, art and accessories from the 20s, 30s and 40s, some of my favorites being Jean Michele Frank and Jacques Rhulmann.
He rarely uses carpets and instead creates design in a hard (more easily cleaned and longer lasting) surfaces. He is well known for his liberal use of exquiste veneer on columns, walls, ceilings- but always prefers to restore what is there vs. ripping it out and installing new. And the greenest of all is his attitude, his very best advice being to smile a lot.