Erinn Valencich bristles with energy. “I always wanted a big life” she told us during a recent interview, ”I wanted to make people’s lives better. And interior design is how she does it. “I never would have believed what an impact designing spaces can have on people’s lives.”
Erin’s work is notable for a sense of fun, for color and pattern. Her designs are varied but with a common intent. Her philosophy is perhaps best illustrated by what she describes as her favorite part of the job.
“I love it when people have their first party or social gathering in a space I have designed, I love how they react. Being able to entertain in your home is so important. If you don’t love where you live you close off that whole side of your life.” Erinn creates spaces people want to invite people to and that’s a philosophy we can get behind.
I ask Erinn if she has a signature style. “I never repeat myself” she replies. But there is something distinctive about her work “There is always a line of color and pattern, maybe an influx of Chinoiserie , a little art deco, maybe some mid-century .
I tell her that I noticed the art deco influence and like the way in which she mixes it with contemporary surroundings and pieces. “I love art deco”. She enthuses, “a lot that can be taken from it. A lot of pieces are distinctly current. I love the mix of straight line and curves.” Then we are back to talking about mixing old and new. “I don’t like it when a room has too many art deco pieces, I like to mix them in. I like the unexpected, to be surprised.
The element of the unexpected will, we suspect feature in one of Erinn’s current projects – a Vegas nightclub where, she says “enough is never enough”. Construction is just starting and Erinn wasn’t forthcoming about the details but there was a gentle hint “Vegas is somewhere you can be a little bit wild”. We are looking forward to invites for the opening nights, Erinn.
We talk a little about Erinn’s blog and my favorite feature on it ‘Artists I Love’. There is something very personal about the selection that seems to focus on contemporary American artists. “Art is such an important influence “ says Erinn “and art is such a key element. It can be somewhere you start with or a finishing touch. It is also something people without a big budget can find tricky.” It is an element on which Erinn clearly cares about working with her clients.
And when she isn’t designing interiors for residential and commercial clients, writing blogs and spreading the word about contemporary American artists, Erinn finds time to overseeing a range of furniture. “Around 80% of the furniture we put into homes is designed and built by us” she says. It takes me a second or tow to reflect on the implication of this but Erinn is already explaining why. “The term custom furniture scares people but often we can get things achieved in a shorter time frame and at a good price. And we can make things that are exactly what we want and which fit the space”. Everything is made locally often only shipping fabrics from afar. Sofas, beds and cabinetry are all produced under Erinn’s supervision. And there is a custom lighting line and rugs on the way.
Erinn delights in knowing how things are made. She grew up on a ranch outside Sacramento. Her grandfather was a fine cabinet maker and her father studied with Frank Lloyd Wright. She made dolls house furniture out of scrap wood. The business is in her blood.
And just when you think there must be a limit to what one woman can achieve, Erinn begins to describe her new showroom Erinn V Maison in Beverly Hills on Robertson Boulevard, a very established shopping street with a history of furniture stores. “I always wanted a store of my own’. She says. And in that case there really can not have been any doubt that she would get one.
The showroom is big, that almost goes with out saying, over 5,000 square feet. And she has, of course, redesigned it to where the space now boasts voluminous 14ft ceilings. And she isn’t stopping at the one location or at retail either. There is the possibility of more stores and an e-commerce site.
So where does Erinn get her energy from? She loves what she does. As clearly, does her ever growing band of customers and admirers.