Design Q&A with Rafael and Josh of FormLA

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You've come a long way, baby! I have a special place in my heart for Rafael Kalichstein and Joshua Rose of FormLA; one of their early projects, their own home, was one of my first house tours on Apartment Therapy. Joshua, a former visual effects designer for film and television, and Rafael, trained in the practice of Eastern Medicine, combine their unique skill sets for work that is quintessentially Los Angeles mixing the glamor of Hollywood with the balance and grounding of Feng Shui. Their love of salvaged furniture remains unchanged; its vintage aesthetic informs much of their work.    

What is your favorite design moment (house, restaurant, building, public space) in Los Angeles?

Josh: Tony Duquette’s “Dawnridge.” 

Rafi: Urban Light by Chris Burden. 


Let’s pretend you have $400 to update a 250 square foot space, how do you spend it?

Invest in a focal point: a chandelier, a large piece of art … something conspicuous and beautiful.


Tell us a little bit about your window for LCDQ's (La Cienega Design Quarter) Legends of La Cienega event?  (Their work will be seen in the window of Antonio's Bella Casa.)

We are approaching the window as an installation and hoping to stretch the concept of “time capsule” beyond design.


What 5 things would you put in a time capsule?(NOTE: The theme of this year's LCDQ event is Time Capsule: The Past, Present and Future of Design).

Rafi’s grandmother’s brisket recipe; an iPhone 5 loaded with music, photos, videos, and contacts; Werner Herzog’s letter to his cleaning lady; a bottle of Il Colle Brunello di Montalcino; a map and a key to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.


What period of history would you most like to have lived in?

Berlin in the roaring 20’s.


What would you bring with you if you were time traveling?

A camera, a diary, a first-aid kit... and a sensible pair of shoes.


What do you recommend keeping on hand for unexpected guests?

That bottle of Poire William we could never bring ourselves to drink.


What’s your biggest design or home-related indulgence? 

Beacon Hill silk draperies and our rare mineral collection.


What’s your favorite home from a movie or tv show?

The original Addams Family TV Series home.


What do you love most about LA?

The weather and, subsequently, access to local, organic foods.


What’s your favorite cheap design trick or tip?
When all else fails, a fresh coat of paint and some throw pillows.


To learn more about Rafael and Josh and see more of their work, click here. To learn more about the La Cienega Design Quarter Legends of La Cienega event, which begins May 7th in Los Angeles, click here

(Image: Rafael Kalichstein and Joshua Rose)

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