The Malibu-based Designer Talks Candidly of the Challenges the Pandemic Has Posed—and Offers Us a Glimpse of Her Own WFH Paradise.
Designer Vanessa Alexander’s coveted interpretation of California chic—layered in textures, rich with global influences, edgy yet relaxed and liveably luxurious—has caught the attention of clients like David Duchovny and Gerard Butler, with projects that range from the restoration of a 1940s loft in Venice to the renovation of a Brentwood home originally designed by Mexican modernist architect Ricardo Legorreta. She’s also arguably been one of the strongest voices in design to export Malibu’s particular brand of laid-back cool: Her design of Malibu Farm restaurants’ new locations in Miami, Hawaii, New York and Tokyo has widely broadened the appeal of the West Coast flavor, style and vibe. Her firm, Alexander Design, specializes in residential, retail and hospitality interiors, providing services from ground-up construction and full build-outs to a wide variety of custom design elements.
And while the designer, who loves to travel, is—like so many of us—tethered to home as we ride out the pandemic, she took a moment to capture herself on video talking about the challenges of her role as her firm’s design principal and leader. While Alexander ultimately counts herself lucky to have ongoing projects and a trusted team still able to work in harmony from afar, she notes the difficulty of, “just keeping that sense of connectedness and synergy—I’m trying to find new ways to bring that togetherness to our experience despite the physical distance.” And finding those little, magical items for clients that are so often discovered by chance, on a trip or while browsing, aren’t happening either, she notes ruefully. Watch the short video below for more.
Alexander recently moved into a new home with her ICM partner Steve Alexander, and three children, and it’s an ideal place to isolate. In the video below, catch a glimpse of the bocce ball court, olive trees and pool that are part of her enviable WFH outdoor space. But the designer makes a bigger point in this second introspective video, musing on whether the work of designers, architects and others in the design world is essential and important right now. Her conclusion, however, is definitive...and inspiring. “We can’t feel bad about what we do, even though it's normal to have moments when you think, ‘Amongst all that’s up in the world, how can we be talking about pretty things all the time?’” she says. “We all have to keep on moving forward with what keeps us passionate and inspires us.” Watch the short video below for more.
Scroll to see more of Vanessa’s interior work below, and follow her work on Instagram at @alexanderdesignbuild.
|Venice Loft |
Photography by Nicolas Tosi for Elle Decoration