We recently lost Joe, one of the bright lights of the Los Angeles interior design community. His strong, color-filled interiors (he never met a chintz he didn't love), mixed the right amount of old-world elegant antiques and graphic artwork, providing an unexpected beauty that will will stand the test of time. Influenced by the "Dean of American Decorating", Albert Hadley, Frances Elkins and his mentor and great friend, Hollyhock's Suzanne Rheinstein, Joe adored seeking out beautiful antiques and fresh color combinations. From Suzanne, he learned the business, sharing in the pursuit of excellence, and the value of hard work. He just had a passion for great design and it was infectious. He loved and was driven by things of beauty, whether it was the curve of a chair arm or a well-styled bookshelf. When all is said and done, clients become close friends after the shared design journey. This was certainly the case with Joe.
His 2010 book Flair: Exquisite Invitations, Lush Flowers, and Gorgeous Table Settings by Rizzoli, which I was fortunate to work on with him, explored infinite ways to entertain at home, with a relaxed, festive, color-driven elan. His love of masses of Baby's Breath and Carnations was well-known, as was his preference for linen napkins over paper. The Nebraska native believed in elevating everyday experiences.
His support for the LA design community was constant -- he was always in attendance at book launches, new collections, and design store openings.
It is rare to lose an enormous talent so young-- Joe brought so many wonderful ideas across through his work, and I believe we have lost one of the great American voices of design today.
The cover of Joe's book, Flair. One of his all-time favorite Brunschwig fabrics made it onto the cover, as the table skirt that provided a perfect backdrop to the scenic pink and white Isis ceramics plate and black bamboo flatware.
Joe's Beverly Hills apartment was featured in House Beautiful. The charm of his spaces came from a mix of ladylike prints and cozy upholstery and pretty accessories with a presence emphasized his more-is-more credo.