Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Star Blogger~Brooke Giannetti

Interior designer, Brooke Giannetti's hit Velvet & Linen site reflects the romantic elegance and classic rustic chic of her widely admired style.

Brooke's the pretty brunette pictured above helping to stage her Santa Monica beach cottage for a 'New Old House Magazine' photo shoot. She studied sociology at UCLA—the science concerned with humanity’s well-being. Her own name suggests the fluidity, transformative and unifying powers she achieves in a near magic cohesion between her clients stated use of space—and how they wish to feel and be in it.

In simpatico collaboration with her architect husband, Steve Giannetti, Brooke integrates her artisan sensibility and cognoscenti’s love for old things with his project vernaculars. Be they beach cottage, traditional, Spanish, Italian, Modern, or French. Together, the couple transport the harmonious charms of bygone eras into our clamorous own--to materialize beautiful dream worlds set apart.

Married for 23-years, Brooke and Steve balance two homes, three children, and two businesses. They founded their architectural and interior design firm in 1987. Their latest enterprise is their San Vicente Boulevard shop Giannetti Home where they showcase pieces collected from around the globe, their own refined furniture designs and Steve’s seascape paintings. Their work has been featured in top newspapers, magazines, and websites—and Brook was among noteworthy designers interviewed on The Skirted Roundtable, a popular podcast about blogging and interior design.

Like many of us, Brooke expresses spiritual affinity with women’s blogs, stating her own has been a clarifying process where she attempts to strike the right note between professional and private.

Brooke, thank you so much for your time in answering this modified Proust Questionnaire. While many designers cite one main influence, you’ve named a number in interviews including: your mother, husband, Swedish blogs, favorite sites like Cote de Texas, plus top designers like John Saladino. Yet, your work is very serene. And you have that essential macro-micro sensibility. Is this inherent?

I’m fortunate not to have gone to school for design, so my artistic ideas come completely from my heart. I follow my intuition when creating interiors or gardens for myself and my clients.

On the tech side do you have an assistant to handle all the details?

I write all of the posts and upload the pictures, but Hope Wallace from Paper Relics helped me with the original design of my blog. I still e-mail her pictures and links when I want to freshen things up a bit.

With all you have to juggle are you able to work in regular exercise?

Steve and I take the dogs on an hour-long walk every morning at 5:30. It's a great way to connect before our
hectic day starts.

Do you grocery shop and cook or have help?

I couldn't survive without Elsa. She does most of the grocery shopping, but I cook dinner 5 nights a week for family dinners. The kids love to help too.

What’s you favorite style of entertaining?

I'm not a "catered event" kind of person. We designed our home with a very open floor plan. The kitchen, dining room and family room make up one space. It works perfectly for the casual family entertaining that we prefer.

Your husband has his painting, what is your favored way to relax?

I find gardening to be so relaxing. It's also so much less pressure than interior design. Plants aren't very expensive, and they're easy to change.

When your friends say 'that's so Brooke' about a clothing look, what are they referring to?

I'm really a boring dresser! Jeans, boots, cashmere sweaters in neutral colors.

What is your favorite virtue? Gratitude

Your chief characteristic? Persistence. When I have a goal in mind, I don't stop until I achieve it.

What one memory from your entire life would you choose to live with through eternity? Meeting Steve.

Your favorite qualities in a man? Justified confidence and a great sense of humor.

And in a woman? Justified confidence and a great sense of humor

What you appreciate the most in your friends? The ability to make me laugh and provide some perspective during what seems to be a crisis at the time

Your main fault? Insecurity

Your idea of perfect happiness? A life without insecurity!

Your idea of misery? A life without my family

If not yourself, who would you be? My daughter Leila. She amazes me every day.

Where else would you like to live? In California: Sandy Land Cove in Carpinteria. Anywhere in the world: Venice Italy.

Your favorite bird, color and flower?

Our society finches in the store. I love working with their subtle chirps in the background. Color is chalky gray blue - the color of my Swedish pieces. My favorite flower: white hydrangeas. I love how they turn colors as they mature into Fall.

Your 3-favorite books? The Course of Miracles. John Saladino Villa. Atlas Shrugged.

Your favorite heroes/heroines in fiction and in real life? Dagny Taggart. Howard Roark. My Children: Charlie, Nick and Leila.

Your favorite films? Breakfast at Tiffany's. Shawshank Redemption. Dead Poet's Society.

Do you and Steve have a song? We don't have a song. My parents chose our song at our wedding. It was a real groaner! Since then, no song.

Your favorite food, drink and WLA eatery?

Favorite Restaurant: Ivy by the Shore. Favorite Food: Grilled Vegetable Salad with Chicken at Ivy by the Shore. Favorite drink: Belvedere Vodka straight up with a twist and a splash of lemonade

Your favorite names? Charlie. Nicholas. Leila.

What you loathe most of all: The words "I can't"

The natural talent you’d most like to be gifted with: The ability to be comfortable with myself in any situation.

How would you wish to die? In Steve's arms.

What is your present state of mind? Grateful

Your favorite motto? Carpe Diem!

Brooke, thank you for adding so much beauty to the world.

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