Wednesday, February 11, 2009

An In-depth and Personal Interview with Beverly Hills Designer James Swan

Jim Swan heads up James Swan & Co., a successful interior design firm based in Beverly Hills. His interiors have been featured in most high end national shelter publications and many I'm proud to say have included both custom and antique pieces from MOI.

Shown below: A James Swan interior:

When I first met Jim he was exclusively doing only ultra high-end jobs. But recently he's launched a line of products, some in partnership with Ballard Designs, for clients who want high style but don't necessarily have multi-million dollar budgets. This is an interesting and emerging trend in the design business and so I thought I'd get up close and personal with him to see what makes him tick.

What amazed me is that Jim answered every one of my totally inappropriate questions. This is a guy who's quite the cool cucumber and talented to boot:

Q: Jim, I'm a serious journalist so let's get real here: Do you think I’m the most stylish antique dealer in the country?
A: Um, absolutely, especially given that photo you sent me.
Note to readers: here's the photo I sent Jim:
Q: What is the biggest mistake designers typically make other than being interviewed for my blog?
A: The biggest mistake designers make is taking themselves too seriously. The second biggest mistake is interviewing for your blog.
Q: What’s your favorite color and do you come here a lot? Oops, wrong blog. So let me ask you something else equally embarrassing: You’re ageless. Having said that, how old are you? And don't give me dog years.
A: I'm 47.
Buzz's comment: I can't believe we're the same age!
Jim's comment: Neither can I.
Last ridiculous Q: Many people comment on how cute you are. Is that a blessing or a curse?
A: Unfortunately I've missed those comments. Please get them on tape the next time you hear one.
Q: Ok, but all kidding aside, who is Jim Swan then?
A. He's a kid from Sacramento who's spent most of his life trying to fit in somewhere.
Buzz's comment: You gotta love this guy, right?
Q: How did you get into interior design?
A: I was enrolled in the Architecture Program at ASU but didn't enjoy it much. So I took a few design classes and found exactly where I belonged.
Q: Pick one word to describe your interiors.
A: Comfortable.
Q: What is your design philosophy?
A: Appropriate, appropriate, appropriate. Good design considers the architecture, the client (including their needs, dreams, requirements) and location of the structure. If each decision in these three areas is "appropriate", then the world (and the project) will be a more beautiful place.
Q: Tell me about your partnership with Ballard Designs.
A: My relationship with them is a new adventure for both of us. Ballard has helped open my eyes to a huge portion of the market place that is very design conscious and have very focused economic boundaries. i believe that gracious living is not limited to the wealthy. I’m enjoying developing responses to design challenges that bring more beauty and function to peoples lives.

And here's a photo of my friend and good sport, Jim Swan:
Thanks, Jim.


Grant K. Gibson said...

GREAT GREAT posing. Keep the interviews up and keep them funny like this.
Can't wait to read more.

Anonymous said...

I think you're the cutest dealer in San Francisco! Thanks for the info on Jim Swan