Design Q & A with Jane Hallworth

Design Q & A with Jane Hallworth

Abby Stone
May 2, 2013

If you don't know Jane Hallworth, you're not alone.  Despite being a favorite of young Hollywood (she counts Kirsten Dunst and Michelle Williams as clients), the discrete designer has kept a low profile. (It may be a family thing.  When her older sisters launched a jean company, they had to be coaxed into doing publicity.)  

Asked by The Hollywood Reporter, who named Jane one of their 25 Most Influential Interior Designers in LA in 2012, which set she was most anticipating, Jane responded "The Munsters remake for its gothic sensibility".  That phrase could also be used to describe Jane's work.  Intimate, complex, intriguing, her interiors are a blend of styles — 20th century furniture, antiques, cutting edge contemporary designer pieces — made whole through her innovative use of color and an architect's sense of balance and form.  Her distinct visual vocabulary has led to the launch of her first product line, debuting at Blackman Cruz in May.  Paying homage to American vernacular furniture, it captures the symbolic nature of iconic American pieces while adding a slightly dark, modern twist.      

What is your favorite design moment (house, restaurant, building, public space) in Los Angeles? 
There are endless answers to this: the Stahl house by Koenig (classic); David Chipperfield’s boutique for Valentino (modern and glamorous); Gehry’s concert hall (ditto);  Meier’s Getty (bold but aloof, a temple of art);  and Schindler’s house on Kings Road, two streets away from my office in the La Cienega Design Quarter (How lucky is that?!).

Let’s pretend you have $400 to update a 250 square foot space, how do you spend it? 
Paint everything a unifying color: walls, base, crown molding, floor boards.  If you’re feeling bold, paint randomly collected pieces of furniture a single contrasting color, like a lovely herd of furniture running through a landscape.

Tell us a little bit about your window for LCDQ's (La Cienega Design Quarter) Legends of La Cienega event.

I don’t ever know what it will be until it is done, but they are usually dark and a bit dastardly, not like me at all.  Must be an alter ego!  (Jane's window can be seen at Fuller & Roberts). 

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).

Five Twinkies!  Would they really last that long?  And, if they did, dessert for the archaeologist that finds them!

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

England circa 1840, on the Lancashire Mores and Yorkshire Dales.  I would love to have run into the Brontes and seen the Heathcliff and Cathy world: dark, romantic and wild. Then again, I would love to have been in Egypt when Cleopatra was up to her wiles and the Library of Alexandria still housed the imagination of the ancient world. 

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

A camera, of course - who would believe you?

What 5 things do you recommend keeping on hand for unexpected guests?

Clean towels, a comfy bed, wine and good conversation — and maybe a camera again!

What’s your biggest design or home-related indulgence? 
Lighting.  No space fails if you do that well.

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

I did my architectural thesis in college on Blade Runner. Using Frank Lloyd’s Wrights 1920’s Ennis Brown House as the bricks and mortar foundation for the future, Ridley showed us the ultimate time travel. I loved how layers of the past created that complex, saturated future. 

What do you love most about LA? 

I love that our town’s greatest export — film —  is the culmination of a group of creatives’ imaginations.  We trade in imagination, and it filters into so much of all of our lives.

What’s your favorite cheap design trick or tip?

I love making throw pillows using a great sweater that has seen better days. Cashmere should always be recycled! 

To learn more about Jane and see more of her 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: Jane Hallworth)

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