Next week, the Pacific Design Center will host its annual dinner and awards ceremony celebrating the “Stars of Design” and “Stars on the Rise” in multiple categories from interior design to architecture, landscape design and photography.
Among the honorees is industry veteran Timothy Corrigan, who will receive the Star of Design distinction for interior design. This reporter chatted with him, and learned about his decade-spanning career and the advice he has for newbies.
How does it feel to be known a “star” of design?
I am thrilled because I would never have been able to do all of the projects without the incredible range of terrific resources that are found under one roof at the PDC.
What are you most inspired by as a designer and how has that changed over the years?
Probably the single driving force in my life is to always feel that I am continuing to grow and learn. I love that incredible feeling that you get when you take in new information that, whether you like it or not, forces you to re-assess how you see the world around you. As a person (and as a designer) I hope to continually evolve and change. Some of my favorite projects are those that pushed me out of my comfort zone in terms of design style, architectural limitations, or logistical challenges.
What is something you are always trying to improve?
I feel that I have been incredibly blessed in my life and one of the things that I continually try to practice is gratitude. The interesting thing about gratitude is, the more you express it, the more you have for which to be grateful!
What are you most proud of?
I am tremendously proud of having had the courage to leave a very successful career in advertising and to follow my heart by embarking on a new career in interior design. The fact that I have achieved any degree of success in my second career is a testament that we all must follow the path that beckons us; I strongly believe that when we are on the right course, the universe will support and nurture us.
Do you have a favorite project that you've ever done?
I have loved the development of my new line of fabrics and furniture for Schumacher as well as carpets for Patterson, Flynn & Martin—all of which are debuting this March. The whole process forced me to really look at what I admire in design. I had to look at what shapes and colors I love and then figure out how to whittle them all down into cohesive collections that reflect the changing taste and styles of today.
What is a piece of advice you have for young designers just starting out?
I have two pieces of advice to young designers:
1) It is important to study the history of architecture and design because even the most contemporary design has its roots in the past. All of design operates on a pendulum shifting from one end to the other—from rococo to neo-classicism, from art nouveau to art deco, from the clean lines of modernism that we have experienced for the last ten years to the more layered and textured look that we are evolving to today. By understanding the history of design one is able to re-create from the past in wonderful, fresh new ways.
2) Design is all about trust between you and your clients and you and your suppliers. You must establish that sense of mutual trust and continue to reinforce it all along the way. While this is a field filled with creativity it is also a business in which our clients are entrusting us with their hard-earned money and it is important to handle a client’s money as prudently as if it were your own!
If you hadn't gone into interior design, what would you be doing?
I would love to be a landscape architect. What a joy it must be to integrate architecture (space, shape and form) with the most wonderful of all materials: trees, shrubs and flowers. I continue to be in awe of everything in nature as it progresses through the four seasons and over time. Nothing ever stays the same in a garden. One of the reasons that I bought the Château du Grand-Lucé in France was to get to play with gardens on a large scale.
What are you working on now?
We have some amazing projects underway. We are working on two historically important Mediterranean houses in Beverly Hills, a Georgian house in London, a penthouse in a glass box skyscraper in Chicago, a full floor on New York’s Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park, a spectacular beach front property in La Jolla and a 65,000-square-foot house in Bel-Air are some of our current projects.
We are also working on a second tabletop collection for Royal Limoges, a wallpaper collection for Schumacher and a collection of plumbing fixtures for French manufacturer THG. You see, I do have a lot for which to be grateful!