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Publication Date: 2015-01-05

Inspiration

​Designer Crush Q&A: Mark Cutler

Australian-born Mark Cutler may call the land down under home, but his eclectic designs and sophisticated style translate effortlessly in any part of the world. With a background that blends architecture and interior design, Cutler customizes original homes, renovations, and additions, calling on his creativity and in-depth knowledge of complex construction. Though he’s up to speed on the latest trends and innovations, Cutler favors classic, elegant designs that are influenced by history and stand the test of time. From Hollywood mansions to Asian villas, this man from Oz clearly knows how to lend some intercontinental magic to any project.

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1. What is your favorite place in the world and why?

I’m torn…if looking for quiet solitude, I head straight for Zihuatanejo on the Mexican Pacific Coast. It is the perfect blend of great beaches, great food, and just far enough away to feel like I’ve left everything behind. If I want a more of an urban getaway, I simply can’t beat Rome. I go at every opportunity and discover something new every time.

2. Who is your dream celebrity client and why?

(Laughs) Well, I think I would have to go with George and Judy Jetson. I go weak at the knees for new tech toys and I think that with my style and their tech, we could truly make magic happen!

3. What’s your favorite space you've created and why?

I did a home for a couple who had recently married after both losing their previous spouses to various health issues. They decided that the new house was a great way to honor their past and build a new future. It was a life lesson in turning adversity into advantage.

4. If you hadn't become a designer, which career would you have pursued?

Well, I did briefly go to dental school, but I don’t think that was ever my calling. I think if I was anything else, I would be a crazy inventor, locked in a basement somewhere. My mind is always going a mile a minute, asking, “What if I…?” So that would probably be a good career for me.

5. Where do you find your favorite pieces? Any shopping tips?

My favorite pieces are the ones I find in unusual places, tossed on the side of the road, or in a megamall in China. I love to take things and turn them into something else, so wherever I travel or wander, I am always on the lookout for that odd little piece that just hasn’t found the right home yet.

6. Ever had an epic DIY disaster? What project would you never dream of taking on yourself again?

Yes! I was once invited to decorate a Christmas tree with a whole bunch of other designers for a charity function. My idea was to use the fabric from the showroom that sponsored my design to create rings on the tree symbolizing Christmas traditions, like the ripples in a pond, passing from one generation to the next. It was all going well, till the fire marshal showed up and insisted that I dip the rings in fire retardant before putting them on the tree. My idea went from crisp to soggy in a matter of moments and it was definitely my greatest DIY fail to date.

7. What new design trends are you excited to integrate into your work?

I think we are starting to see a lot more color and bright, happy work and my newer designs reflect that. I am doing a showhouse at the beginning of 2015 and my bedroom will be all white and chartreuse, which I think will totally be on trend.

8. Where do you gain inspiration from for your design process?

I am a reading junky, whether it’s stopped at a traffic light or hanging at home on a weekend, I am constantly browsing something usually on one of my tablets or laptops, so I am always clipping and reposting; there is a never-ending stream of ideas in front of me.

Lightning round!

9. Beach or mountains? Beach!

10. Twitter/Facebook/Instagram? Facebook.

11. Should you spend money on an eye-catching piece of furniture or high-quality lighting? The eye-catcher.

13. Would you rather shop new or vintage? Vintage.

14. Great view or perfect pool? Great view of a perfect pool.

15. SF or LA? LA

16. What's one tip you wish someone had told you when first starting out in the design world?

People are crazy. No, really, they are crazy!

By Michelle Konstantinovsky

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