Blackband Design, led by husband-and-wife team Greg and Wendy Blackband, is known for its Coastal Bohemian approach that effortlessly blends a clean, neutral palette with eclectic, sophisticated accents to reflect the easy elegance of a coastal life. One of the most sought-after interior design studios in Southern California, Blackband Design appeals to clients who want to live stylishly and comfortably in casual luxury.
Growing up in a charming cottage on Balboa Island means that ocean breezes and fresh sea air live in Wendy's veins. Her passion for travel has taken her across the globe for extended stays in Africa, Europe, Australia and South America, profoundly influencing Wendy's eye for color, her appreciation of other cultures and her unique sense of style. Her husband and partner, Greg Blackband, is from England and brings a refined European layer to their designs.
"We love to create what I call 'beautiful comfort', with rich layers of textures, finishes and colors, luxurious textiles, and the blending of vintage or legacy elements with current pieces to create interest and surprise," says Wendy. "We specialize in designing spaces that embrace our clients' own tastes, lifestyles and preferences by drawing from a wide range of styles and influences, all in the most beautiful and imaginative ways possible. By combining the classic with the unexpected, we create environments that are fresh and current, but also timeless."
Everyone is warmly welcomed at the 5000 sq.ft Blackband Design showroom, located in Irvine, Calif. Visitors have called it "a treasure trove of hidden gems", where they find high quality custom furnishings, amazing and unusual accessories, all available to purchase immediately or to have constructed just the way
Wendy Blackband, Partner ASID
Wendy Blackband, co-owner of Blackband Home & Design with her husband Greg Blackband, is widely known for her eclectic take on coastal elegance. A California native and graduate of University of Southern California, Wendy grew up on Balboa Island, and after extensive travels and life abroad in Africa, Europe, Australia and South America, she makes the island her home again today with Greg and their two young children. The influences of seaside life are clearly reflected in Wendy's style, and her eye for vibrant color and foreign culture punctuates her fresh and distinctive "coastal bohemian" look.
"I think it's important to note that 'coastal bohemian' varies from project to project, and client to client," says Wendy. "It's not one specific look with absolute signature elements. Instead, it's really an approach that is adapted for each space. Some clients are very traditional and just want to update their home without making a drastic change. They may have antiques or family pieces that they want to work into an updated design. Other clients want a much more eclectic look, but one that is comfortable, polished and pulled together. It's a style that works well for families, for people to entertain often, and for everything from small spaces to grand estates."
Visitors to the Blackband Home & Design showroom and retail store immediately notice Wendy's sophisticated-yet-unpretentious approach, demonstrated by her unique ability to blend traditional pieces with more current elements such as reclaimed wood, vintage linens and world art to create environments that are luxurious, inviting, and often eclectic.
While Wendy's design philosophy is about comfort and coastal elegance, her business philosophy centers on quality and value. Blackband Design enjoys a well-deserved reputation for fair pricing, exceptional client service, and a personalized approach for every project, regardless of scope.
Adrienne Palmer, Allied Member ASID
Adrienne Palmer heads the Blackband Design Studio in Bethesda, Maryland, where she brings Blackband's signature “coastal bohemian” style to upscale East Coast homes. Influenced by the charm of Balboa Island, her home for many years, Adrienne specializes in integrating vintage and modern elements, using classic lines of the past, updated with layered combinations of patterns, textures and colors. The result is beautiful homes with a look that is both current and classic, casual and elegant.
A graduate of Arizona State University and L.A.'s prestigious Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising (FIDM), Adrienne has broad experience in both commercial and residential design. She has led design efforts for noted hospitality and master-planned residential projects in the U.S. and abroad, and worked with luxury brands such as Starwood Hotels and Resorts.
When Adrienne decided to focus exclusively on high-end residential design, she joined Barclay Butera's internationally-recognized team, working out of his Newport Beach showroom with clients throughout the country. Adrienne joined Blackband Design after finding a “kindred design spirit” in Wendy Blackband. The two women share a common design ethos, embracing an approach that effortlessly blends classic and modern luxury with a subtle coastal flair.
After designing many interiors throughout the U.S. from Blackband's Southern California studio, Adrienne is now in the Washington D.C. area, and is in high demand introducing the fresh, eclectic Blackband personality to fine homes of the East Coast.
Mary Meek, Allied Member ASID
Mary Meek brings a great eye for style to Blackband Design. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles, Mary holds a degree in Interior Design and has extensive experience in kitchen and bath design.
"I am inspired by rich, organic textures and bold hues," says Mary, who saw her perfect match when she started working with Blackband Design and experienced their layering of traditional, textural and coastal styles.
Mary's expertise also includes remodels, in which she expertly leads start-to-finish construction projects to meet her clients' tastes.
"Residential kitchen and bath projects provide an opportunity to bring creative design into a functional space. As a result, our clients enjoy rooms that are both beautiful and comfortable on a day-to-day basis," says Mary.
A native of California, Mary spent most weekends growing up at the stables, on the trails, or in the show ring. There, she became fascinated with the landscapes that surrounded her, which led to her studies in horticulture at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Initially a horticulture major, she decided to bring her passion for the outside in, and went on to pursue her education in interior design.
Mary currently resides locally with her husband and young daughter.
Born and raised in Newport Beach, Calif., Ashley Porter is a designer and an artist who shares her unique sense of style with Blackband Design.
"Interior design really speaks to the soul, and it reflects a person's character," says Ashley. "Being raised in Newport Beach, the casual/coastal style is ingrained in me, and that is reflected in my work with Blackband Design."
Ashley loves Blackband's ability to integrate classic, timeless looks with a distinctive, artistic edge. She is drawn to mixtures of colors, textures, and shapes - a style that is evident in Blackband Design's signature "coastal bohemian" look.
As a designer, Ashley is passionate about the creation of beauty, and she enjoys sharing that passion as she works with different types of clients.
"Creativity is what drives the process of designing spaces," Ashley says. "Whether I am interacting with clients in the showroom or on a project, I enjoy being involved in the creative process that leads to Blackband's unique way of transforming spaces."
Ashley is a graduate of California State University in Fullerton. She resides in Newport Beach.
Elizabeth Saienni, Member ASID
Elizabeth Saienni is an incredible asset to the Blackband Design team. A graduate of USC's Marshall School of Business, Elizabeth is currently furthering her education focusing on design and architecture in UCLA's prestigious Masters in Interior Architecture program.
Along with a strong design education, Elizabeth brings well-rounded experience in both real estate and marketing. A member of ASID, she is drawn to eye-catching colors, energizing prints and unique textures when creating a welcoming home environment.
Elizabeth, born and raised in the beach towns of Southern California, honed her design eye at an early age while visiting art galleries and antique shopping with her parents on weekends. She currently lives in Corona Del Mar.