Designer Q&A with John Anderson

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From August 8 through 10, the American Craft Council Show returns to the Fort Mason Center in San Francisco for a three-day celebration of all things hand-made. Over 225 artisans from around the country will be showing off the best in textiles, jewelry, metal & clay sculptures, woodwork and more.

In response to this year's theme, Let's Entertain, six Bay Area designers will transform six spaces into vignettes inspired by, and incorporating, a craft piece or pieces that they've chosen. What better time to find out how a designer takes something and translates it into a room? First up, designer John K. Anderson.

Anderson is a San Francisco-based designer. Influenced by the city's rich and vibrant history, he creates classic environments as seen through a modernist's eye. His rich and livable spaces balance contemporary, mid-century and traditional elements.

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Tell us a little bit about your design and how the artisanal pieces you chose inspired it.

Our design is inspired by the organic yet structured qualities of Elliot Stith's wood and steel table and Kris Marubayashi's ceramics that inhabit the room. Their shapes and lines are echoed two dimensionally, wrapping the space like paper to punctuate the three dimensional forms.

Why did you choose these pieces?

I love the simplicity of form and purity of the materials each artist utilizes in their work.

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Any stories about a DIY or a craft that you’ve created?

For a couple who wanted to share their bedroom with the new baby, we had the client’s father build what we called a “Baby Barn.” We took the doors off a closet and enclosed about 1/3 of the bedroom with a partial height wall built of simple wood framing and reclaimed wood. It was braced to the angled ceiling to imply a pitched roof. The crib was nestled into the former closet recess painted a beautiful deep gray with white vinyl sticker branches wrapping the interior. Against the inside of the “barn” wall was built-in shelves, a changing table and storage cabinet. They loved it!

Given that this year's theme is Let's Entertain, can you share with us your favorite trick, excluding fresh flowers in abundance or candles, for creating a party atmosphere in your home?

Great music and a featured cocktail, usually involving champagne!

Okay, dream dinner party. Who would you invite and what would you serve?

Our best friends of course, as well as Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, and their musicians. Let them sing their hearts out while we sit back and enjoy those champagne cocktails.

Count me in! Last question: as you know, sometimes even clients with the biggest budgets fall in love with an affordable item from a popular catalog or online store. What's one of your best affordable finds?

The Martini Table from West Elm. It has great style and scale, comes in several finishes and mixes well in both modern and traditional rooms.

Thanks John!

For more about John, hop on over to his website. For more about the American Craft Council Event, click here.

(Image credits: John K. Anderson Design; Elliot Stith; Kris Marubayash)

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