I run the Grain Edit blog, which is focused on classic design work from the 1950s-1970s and contemporary designers who draw inspiration from that time period. I also run a boutique bookshop/book consultancy where I build design libraries for collectors and firms. I started with the books, and through my own fascination with collecting, the blog was born. Initially it was a way to display some of the designs and the people behind them who get me excited. Back then, there weren’t too many options for design blogs outside of contemporary design and what was happening at that exact moment. Most of the major magazines hadn’t switched to a blog format yet either, so Grain Edit was a great opportunity to share these.
ON DOING WHAT I LOVE
There’s something to be said about just doing what you love and having it turn into something bigger. Through my work and in just meeting people who fascinate me, following my passion has led me to incredible opportunities such as helping design personal libraries. I’ve done projects for Pixar, Airbnb and a lot of design firms such as Hatch, Tomorrow and Hybrid, as well as individual collectors. Currently, I’m helping build a library for a new design museum in China. They were looking for books and monographs on designers primarily from China or Japan, so I filled in a lot of the gaps between what they already had and then introduced them to a lot of designers they were unfamiliar with. Being able to introduce people to new designers or even titles they didn’t know existed is what gets me most excited. I think the whole process of unearthing this material and then sharing it is what I really enjoy.
ON THE NAME GRAIN EDIT
I’ve always been attracted to wood as an aesthetic, so the word grain in Grain Edit comes from wood grain. It’s the idea of using wood as a material within a space and selectively editing that space while using wood as a key element. When I was naming the blog, I was really inspired by the natural warmth and beauty of wood and the grains found in it.
“Being able to introduce people to new designers or even titles they didn’t know existed is what gets me most excited.”
Style is something that is constantly evolving and shaped by the experiences around you. If I had to pick three words to sum up my overall philosophy and style, it would be: minimal, modern and modular. I tend to gravitate toward items that are less ornamental and more structural. I love modular architecture and shelving systems—things that you can obviously reshape and take apart. Material wise, I love concrete, clay and wood. As far as color palette goes, I’m very restrained but with bolder accents. It's funny because on Grain Edit, I tend to feature more work that is highly illustrative and very bold in color schemes. There's that dynamic of the difference between some of the work that I feature and my own personal preferences as far as fashion and furniture.
ON DESIGN INSPIRATION
My first experience of having my own space and starting to think about shaping that space was hugely influenced by mid-century modern. Learning about the Eames family and Danish goods was definitely my introduction to it all. At the time, I loved a lot of teak furniture and kitchenware, storage and credenzas. Now I don’t like to get holed into an era or a time period. I think for a lot of collectors, all they think about is mid-century modern, but I don’t like to get boxed in that way. I’m inspired by a lot of contemporary designers as well.
Originally, I came to San Francisco because I was part of the music label Anticon. During that time I was going out heavily to look for records. Between the cover art of these records and getting interested in the stories of the actual artwork itself, as well as some of the objects I was unearthing through this process, I started getting really fascinated with design. I went to art school in Maine for a period, and I could see as I was starting to collect, that it was definitely a side of me that I wanted to explore further. I’ve always been fascinated by the life of objects and the roles they play in other's lives, and the things that I really gravitate towards are items with that sense of history.
Wanelo has made it very easy for people to manage the act of discovery. And as far as I know, Wanelo is the first to enable adding products on the phone. That’s huge for me because I’m active on my phone always browsing, so it’s great having that feature to organize everything I find. I also love the stories and being able to curate these mini collections. I’m additionally fascinated by the community. Every site has a different user base, and with that, their own aesthetic. It’s been really fun to explore the people involved with Wanelo and see what gets them excited. The Wanelo user tsingeli alone has just been a wonderful source of discovery, and being able to connect with people like that through what they are sharing makes it really fun to be on Wanelo.
“I’ve always been fascinated by the life of objects and the roles they play in other’s lives, and the things that I really gravitate towards are items with that sense of history.”
I’ve found so many awesome things on Wanelo. There are people you look to for certain things, and it’s always interesting when you post something a little more obscure and not for the mass public, and you know that it’s not necessarily going to be very popular. I’m always fascinated by who’s going to save it. For instance, maybe there’s one or two herb books or maybe it’s a record, but I’m always fascinated by that because it gives you insight into what that person is like and where their passions lie.
ON DISCOVERY AND EXPLORATION
My biggest passion in life is to embrace new experiences. Life can easily get monotonous, and the more you can throw yourself into new experiences, the more interesting it can be. Embracing that is huge for me. I’m constantly trying new things out, whether it’s immersing myself in a new culture or trying out food at a new restaurant. Every part of my life has some element of discovery and exploration.