James Hernandez is sitting in his newly completed sunroom on the 2022 Pasadena Showcase Home of Design, held this 12 months within the 1905 English Tudor often known as Oaklawn Manor in South Pasadena. Being a South Pasadenan for the previous 18 years, this return to the Showcase Home after sixteen years, is particularly significant. “It’s at all times an honor to be chosen – it means you’ve been invited by the Pasadena Showcase Home design committee, that you just’re acknowledged by the docents, by fellow designers ” explains Hernandez. “It’s a privilege to be acknowledged by the Pasadena Showcase Home to your dedication to inside design and the contribution you might be giving to the humanities and neighborhood.”
Hernandez exudes enthusiasm and his ardour for design emanates from him as he exhibits us the solar room he has designed for this 12 months’s Showcase Home. “I’m right here each day. I get so excited – I’m enhancing and high-quality tuning my house,” he says. “At this time I went out and obtained dwelling grey willows to go with the grey stem that’s within the lotus wall masking.” The room can also be peppered all through with stunning succulent preparations and he clarify that, “You’ll by no means see fake flowers within the Showcase Home. It’s a part of the official pointers.”
He goes on to say, “I take a lot pleasure in my work. I don’t sleep at evening as a result of I’m considering of what I can do to boost my house. And typically I understand that much less is extra. I like the simplicity of the silouhette of the couch” he says gesturing in the direction of a bit within the solar room. “I like the neutrality of this swivel chair.” His personal private touches are scattered all through the room like a portray of his canine, Barnaby, accomplished by a shopper’s 11 year-old daughter and commissioned summary art work accomplished by Dr. Frank Flowers.
“My objective right here is to draw each the standard and the non-traditional. For instance, some issues on this room learn as mid-century trendy – the couch traces are Italian mid-century trendy – I’ve used Cubism within the materials, after which a traditional stripe – that to me is the place you’re taking trendy and conventional and make it work collectively,” he says. He additionally factors to the mobile-like gentle fixture used rather than a chandelier to exhibit added modernity.
That is Hernandez’s fourth Showcase Home and his first time again in sixteen years. “It’s lots of dedication and onerous work – individuals suppose designers simply are available in and embellish – no” he says. Along with designing the idea, designers use their very own distributors, provide all furnishings and décor, all the pieces from A-Z in creating the room. “Due to Covid delays, I bought furnishings from showrooms months forward and had all the pieces reupholstered,” he explains. “That white furnishings? Chances are you’ll suppose, “oh I don’t ever need white furnishings”. That’s Crypton. I may spill one thing on it and it will bead up. And these chairs are fake leather-based. So as an alternative of your traditional brown, man’s leather-based – I’m exhibiting you an interpretation of a person’s membership chair. You could possibly name it a fragile, girls’s channel again chair or a good-looking channel again males’s chair. It’s versatile. I don’t need you to not sit on my furnishings – I would like individuals to reside in my work – I would like it to perform. I would like it to be excessive efficiency however nonetheless have magnificence.”
Hernandez has an enviable power and says that whereas he’s developed his design model over time by his in depth journey, model has at all times been part of his life. “I’ve at all times been excessive power and I feel that it’s important to have some innate sense of design. I feel you possibly can study the formalities of design however it’s important to have a sense of fashion. I’ve at all times had that.”
Hernandez started his foray into inside design a few years in the past working with a outstanding inside designer in Santa Monica. It was whereas working for her, they found Pasadena Showcase Home. “It’s an honor to be chosen to do the Showcase and we had been chosen for the primary time in 2000 for the house in Arcadia. We did slightly lady’s room and that lit a fireplace in us and the following 12 months we did the Walgreens Property close to Annandale Golf Membership.”
After a 12 months of dwelling overseas in Barcelona, Spain, he settled in South Pasadena in 2004 and branched out on his personal. Shortly afterwards he started working with a well-known Supermodel/TV persona, designing her mom’s residence amongst different initiatives which led to extra excessive profile shoppers all through the Los Angeles metro space like Kimora Lee Simmons. His work was featured on her actuality present “Life within the Fab Lane” and he designed the interiors of Caitlyn Jenner’s residence in Malibu which is featured in Self-importance Truthful. He has labored throughout Los Angeles however is delighted to be working extra domestically. “I by no means thought I’d be working in Pasadena however I work rather a lot right here now and I like it. I reside in South Pasadena and I’m now producing work the place I’m with the identical household a number of instances by a number of generations. They take me together with them,” he laughs. “I’ve turn into a part of their lives! I continue to grow with these households and now my shoppers youngsters are in faculty and I’m nonetheless working with their mother and father.”
Having the Showcase Home in South Pasadena has afforded him a really quick commute and a possibility to work within the city he’s come to like. “Dwelling in South Pasadena brings appeal and tranquility to a really hectic and busy design life,” muses Hernandez. “Having lived on the west facet, I discover a sure calm and peace after a protracted days’ work, which carries me throughout LA, Manhattan Seashore, Calabasas, and just lately a challenge in South Carolina. I look ahead to the native Farmers Market and evenings at Garfield Park with my canine, Barnaby, native eating and dinners with buddies and neighbors.”
It’s certainly an thrilling and difficult life, one he has super gratitude for, including reflectively, “I’m grateful that I get appreciated for the work that I’ve accomplished – to make individuals’s lives brighter, happier – to raise individuals’s sense of fashion.”
The 2022 Pasadena Showcase Home of Design can be open by Might 22 (home excursions are closed on Mondays). Tickets ($40-$50) are on sale now. For extra info or to buy tickets, go to pasadenashowcase.org. Use code Hernandez to avoid wasting $10 off on tickets after 1:30pm.
Pasadena Showcase Home for the Arts, an all-volunteer, nonprofit group, has been supporting native music and humanities packages since 1948. With the onerous work and dedication of its 200+ members, the group raises funds from its main profit, the Pasadena Showcase Home of Design—one of many oldest, largest, and most profitable residence and backyard excursions within the nation.