L.A based interior designer Jamie Bush combines modern design sensibilities with an organic approach, to create interiors that reflect a very ‘rooted in nature’ modernism. Eclectic influences in his childhood possibly influenced his unique perspective, which combined with an interest to experiment with various styles result in a style that is quite distinctly—his own.
Could you tell us about your background, where you were born and raised and what the early influences were in terms of design ?
I was born on Long Island, NY and raised in a family with very different backgrounds of farming and the arts. We had cattle farms on Long Island where my great grandfather and uncle would raise their herds and grow vegetables and we would play in the fields as kids.
This brought about a great appreciation of nature and about being inventive and making things. Farmers have to be quick on their feet, come up with inexpensive solutions all the time, either fixing things or making something out of nothing.
At the same time, other family members were highly artistic: my great aunt and uncle were the highly regarded shoe designers – Beth and Herbert Levine out of New York; my uncle is the famous fashion photographer Bruce Weber; another cousin is the widely acclaimed realist painter Phillip Pearlstein.
I also have other relatives that were models and actors in New York as well as jewelry makers, an interior designer and a sculptor. This rich eclectic background paved the way for me to pursue architecture and design with a focused interest in the natural world.
Most memorable experiences
Designing and building my own home in Venice, California was a turning point for me in my career in that it gave me the opportunity to completely express my point of view at that moment in time.
Working for Kelly Wearstler who was a huge influence on me early in my career.
And lastly, opening up my new design office last month in an amazing loft space in Los Angeles and the excitement of what’s to come this year.
I received both my undergraduate and masters degree in architecture from Tulane University in New Orleans. Living and studying in that city had a huge influence on me and my work. There is so much history, beauty and patina in New Orleans and I loved designing modern buildings in the context of such a historical city. Designers who influence my work today are such divergent people such as Carlos Scarpa, Axel Vervoordt, Kelly Wearstler, Luis Kahan, Donald Judd and the designers at Commune in Los Angeles.
My design philosophy
To create simple elegant spaces with natural materials and textures that will patina and age gracefully over time. And to fill them with carefully curated but eclectic objects from a broad range of time periods and design styles.
What are some of the benefits to hiring a designer as opposed to homeowners designing their homes ?
As in any profession, a designer not unlike a doctor or a mechanic can be objective while approaching a project for a client. We have been trained to look at the big picture, understand the construction process, we know how to prioritise where to put money and where you can cut the budget, so many things that our involvement is invaluable.
In the end, we add value to any project we work on, monetarily and aesthetically, and many times we save the client money by avoiding costly mistakes. I would never fix my own car or diagnose my own illness; the same rules should also apply to the design of one’s own home.
My design process
I start with the architecture – that tells me what base language to start from as well as how to appropriately break from its language when needed. From there, it’s always a balance of the tastes, needs and aspirations of the client and how to translate them to a design language that is appropriate for the building and respectful of the budget.
Design Trends 2012
Hand crafted objects.
Edited, curated spaces vs. overly designed and decorated spaces.
Large specimen indoor trees.
Rough, imperfect flooring with lots of character and age.
Monochromatic antiquities and ancient objects living amongst very contemporary monochromatic designed pieces – this creates a very modern look of NOW.