Named one of America's Top Young Designers by House Beautiful, David Phoenix has earned a reputation as one of the most influential talents in the field. Having completed projects for the Kennedy family, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rob Lowe, and more, Phoenix has built a roster of devoted clients from business magnates to Hollywood celebrities. Drawing from a multitude of styles to achieve each client's unique goals, Phoenix provides a wide range of services from consulting to planning to the acquisition of art and antiques. Learn more about the innovative designer in our Q&A below.
Q: Who is your biggest role model?
A: A family friend, Nick, who helped raise me.
Q: Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?
A: Any James Bond movie.
Q: What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project?
A: Everyone is an ambassador the first time you meet them, so I watch closely for body language and a sense of their comfort level. To get a true read, you have to get them to relax. I find if I can put clients at ease and make it fun, I can get a quicker idea of how they make decisions, how open minded they are, and how best to work together.
Q: What new design trends are you excited to integrate into your work?
I am not really in to trends, but I like incorporating technology into my work. Also, how we treat outdoor spaces has really evolved. We are designing outdoor seating and kitchens like indoor rooms. The outdoor space is no longer a secondary area. There are so many great options now for outdoor fabrics. Clients are even requesting outdoor fabrics for their interiors. You don’t have to sacrifice beauty for durability.
Q: How do you completely unwind?
A: I go to the desert. Palm Spring is such a contrast to LA, I can mentally flip a switch and enjoy the serenity of the open space and relax.
Q: If you hadn't become a designer, which career would you have pursued?
A: I thought I was going to be a chef.
Q: What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?
A: Graveyard shift answering phones in a call center...I was fired for falling asleep on the job! It was a blessing.
Q: What’s your favorite recipe?
A: Dinah Shore’s brownie recipe. She shared it with me over lunch in her kitchen!
Q: Would you rather shop new or vintage?
Q: First celebrity crush?
A: Robert Conrad (from original Wild Wild West show).
Q: What’s your hidden talent?
A: Wouldn’t be hidden if I told you...but Cooking.