Behind every beautiful space we share is a team of talented designers bringing visions to life. From the creative thinkers and solution-seekers, to organizers, installers, purchasers, stylists, and many important roles in between, it truly takes a team and we are excited to introduce you to ours!
A California native and graduate of University of Southern California, Wendy grew up on Balboa Island in Newport Beach, CA. After extensive travels and life abroad in Africa, Europe, Australia and South America, she makes Balboa Island her home again today with her husband Greg and their teenagers, Cooper and Piper. As the daughter of a custom-home builder and an art + architecture professor, Wendy, along with Greg, have developed their design business over the past twenty years. She now leads a team of 22 employees designing new builds and renovating homes across Southern California and throughout the United States. The influences of foreign culture, vibrant color, and life by the sea are clearly reflected in Wendy’s fresh and distinctive style, as well as her spirited lifestyle. She loves living and working by the water, hosting and entertaining her family and friends, and cheering on her kids in all their endeavors.
Who is your favorite artist? Vincent van Gogh. His art and his beautiful letters to his brother Theo.
Are you in a profession you dreamed of as a child? No, I thought I was going to be an international journalist.
Who is your fashion icon? Pharrell Williams + Harry Styles.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @travelandleisure // @colossal // @ottolenghi
Greg hails from the heart of the English countryside, growing up in Warwick. He spent years abroad in the British Army. Traveling and windsurfing were his favorite. After eight years he left and lived in Hong Kong and the Philippines, eventually coming back to England to go to University. While vacationing one Christmas in Cancun, he met Wendy – on a vacation of her own – and he was lured to California for its sunshine and his future bride. After years in corporate advertising, he and Wendy ventured into business together with a furniture store turned full-service interior design studio. Twenty years later, Greg continues to manage Blackband Design’s growing team and projects. Catch him on jobsites overseeing the renovation division and almost always on the phone coordinating with clients and contractors. He’s the ‘calm, cool, and collected’ that keeps our team moving forward. When Greg is off the clock (if only), he loves to be out on the water, boating, fishing and watching his kids’ sailing regattas or in the kitchen cooking for his family and friends.
What spaces do you get most excited to design? Ones that we can demo.
Favorite vacation? Future second honeymoon (yes, with Wendy).
What’s your go-to midnight snack? Sleep.
Meet Mary! Twelve years ago Mary joined Blackband and the design team grew to a team of two, Mary and Wendy. You may detect a slight mid-western accent, or a quirky turn of phrase, but this gal is a California native. She went to school on the central coast and Los Angeles, then made her way back to Orange County where she lives with her husband and daughters. Mary loves a great cookbook and wide open spaces. She’s truly an old soul with a young heart.
Favorite design style? Eclectic. Layering periods of design within a home adds character and warmth. I also like a sense of humor or surprise in design, interiors can become so serious.
Favorite vacation? Tulum or Big Sur. You can’t help but feel totally enveloped in the raw landscape. No cell service is a bonus here!
Dogs or cats? Dogs for sure. We have Zoe, our little Staffy nanny dog, and Buck, the boy I never had!
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @beatahueman // @nealbeckstedt // @dianemorrisey
With a life long love for interiors and a design degree from San Diego State University, Rachel joined the Blackband Design team in 2013 and has been designing and managing projects ever since. She loves the creativity and challenges of each part of the design process. Born and raised in South Orange County, Rachel credits the quiet beach town lifestyle for her laid back approach to design. Whether she’s on a beach in Hawaii or adventuring along the coast of California, Rachel always enjoys exploring with her fiancé and baby boy.
What spaces do you get most excited to design? Powder bath - perfect place to pack a punch that everyone will see.
Are you a hoarder of anything? I’d like to call it collecting. Found objects. Textiles. Shells, rocks, wood, cactus.
If you could only eat at one restaurant forever, where would you go? TJ’s Woodfire Pizza in San Clemente. Last year we decided to try a new pizza place every Friday. That only worked for a few weeks until we found TJ's. Now we are regulars!
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @est_living // @baliinteriors // @cortneybishopdesign // @noasantos
Daniel is the project manager for Blackband Design’s in-house renovation division. From demo day to final clean ups, he’s onsite seeing home makeovers through to completion. Growing up in the construction business with his dad, Daniel kicked off his career in 1999 and has been with Blackband Design for the past decade. Off the clock, he’s saltwater fishing, taking in a baseball game, or smoking something for dinner on the BBQ. Daniel grew up in Fullerton, CA where he’s now raising daughters with his kindergarten sweetheart.
Favorite architectural style? Spanish colonial, because it’s old Southern California.
Favorite band? Social Distortion.
Vintage or new? Always vintage – cars, houses, bourbon.
Kate manages the marketing and public relations for Blackband Design. Originally from Fresno, CA, she moved down to attend UC Irvine where she studied Business Administration and Social Psychology. She joined the Blackband team fresh out of school and has grown with the company from a showroom assistant to managing social media, pitching projects for publication, styling homes for installs and photoshoots and coordinating odds and ends in between. Kate loves all things creative and always has projects of her own in progress at home. She lives in Costa Mesa with her husband, labradoodle and brand new baby boy. Any day spent with her boys is a good day – especially if it’s in the sunshine!
What’s your favorite piece of furniture to source? Not furniture, but I love sourcing books for our clients’ homes. The covers, the topics, the colors, the graphics, the bindings – books are a work of art and add so much personality and inspiration to a space.
Do you create anything in your personal life? I love creating – sewing, painting, doodling, designing, baking… give me a DIY and I’ll give it everything I’ve got to make you think I bought it (best compliment).
What’s your go-to midnight snack? Pregnancy brought back my childhood addiction to chocolate milk and 4 months postpartum I’ve yet to shake it.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @blaireadiebee // @ashleytstark // @theresalosa.art
Megan grew up in Merced, a small town in Central California. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing from California State University Fullerton and an associate’s degree in Interior Design from FIDM. When it came time to apply for jobs, she knew where she wanted to work – Blackband Design. Starting as a design assistant, she’s worked her way up to her current role as a senior designer. When Megan is not working, you can find her at the gym, walking her goldendoodle puppy, or trying new restaurants with her husband. When she has time, she enjoys traveling the world with her family and friends.
What advice would you give an aspiring interior designer? Don’t be afraid to follow your heart. Oftentimes I’ll choose a fabric I like, then decide it isn’t right, select many alternatives, just to go back to the original option.
Are you in a profession you dreamed of as a child? Yes – I knew I wanted to do Interior Design from a very young age. My father owns a construction business so I grew up walking job sites with him and have always loved arranging spaces in my head.
Brunch or happy hour? Brunch all the way! Eggs Benedict + mimosas.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @luxemagazine // @sunatsix // @stahl_band // @hotelsandresorts
Kim is an Orange County native and loves all things beach, camping and chasing sunsets. She attended a local private university where she played collegiate softball and earned a business degree. Some of her other hobbies include cooking, hosting, going to the gym, and surfing in the summertime. You can catch Kim around town grabbing coffee at a local coffee shop, spending time with her twin sister or on the hunt for the best burrito! Kim is recently married and enjoys a down to earth California lifestyle with her husband Brady and her active dog Rusty. Kim was organically introduced to the interior design industry over 5 years ago and has been hooked ever since. Working on the logistics side of the business, she thrives under pressure, is the problem-solving queen and most importantly, focuses on bringing furniture design ideas to life.
Favorite phase in the design process? Furniture procurement and production, duh!
What was your first job? Barista.
Cocktail of choice? Spicy Margarita!
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @thelifestyledco // @thehavenlist // @sunsetmag
Rylee grew up in the quaint town of Santa Clarita Valley. She attended FIDM for Set Design and Decoration. Her experience working for Free People, a prop house, and a production designer led to a passion for interior design. Rylee started at Blackband Design as a design assistant and has worked her way up to junior designer. She is going on her fourth year at Blackband and aspires to continue creating dream homes! On her days off, you can find her at the river, on a dirt bike track with her boyfriend, or at her parent's home.
What spaces do you get most excited to design? I love designing spaces for children! There are no rules or limits when it comes to designing a kids room, bathroom or playspace. The opportunity to think "outside of the box" with loud colors, textures and patterns is a blast!
Favorite band or favorite concert venue? Smaller concert venues have my heart! The Roxy, House of Blues and Troubadour are a few of my favorites. These venues create an intimate and memorable experience.
Vintage or new? Both. I grew up going to antique fairs and swap meets looking for hidden treasures to bring back home. It’s a great feeling to pair that one of a kind vintage rug with your new sofa!
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @tyler_spangler // @claire_desjardins_art // @pepallama
Alanna was born and raised in Adelaide, South Australia and moved to Orange County four years ago. She discovered her passion for interior design from a young age and began her journey as a showroom assistant at Blackband Design, and has since moved into a design role. In her free time, she is at the beach, working out, and hanging out with Joey, her Golden Retriever. In the future, Alanna would love to travel to Europe and visit family back in Australia.
Favorite interior design style? Earthy transitional + little eclectic.
Do you have any life hacks you swear by? Driving an electric car so I can take the carpool lane solo everyday to work.
Dogs or cats? Dogs.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @theexpert // @countrystylemag // @vivietmargot
Tanya was born and raised in Guadalajara Jalisco, Mexico and moved to Redondo Beach when she was 14 years old. She’s always admired her surroundings, especially the mix of old and new architecture in Mexico. With interests in Interior Design and Architecture, Tanya found the best of both worlds in a 6-year program at CSULB where she received her BFA in Interior Architecture. As a senior designer at Blackband Design, she loves getting to know and understand her clients to create spaces that fulfill their wants and needs. Aside from design, Tanya is a huge football fan, listens to EDM, and loves sports cars (the faster the better!).
Who is your favorite architect? Frank Lloyd Wright.
If you could study design abroad anywhere, where would you choose and why? England. The best architects and interior designers usually are found there. They break every rule of interior design and architecture, and their creativity and imagination are incomparable.
What’s your go-to midnight snack? Limon chips with tapatio and freshly squeezed lime juice.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @vogueliving // @archdigest // @archidesiign // @dwellmagazine
Lea is a California native who has always had an interest in design and fashion. She started at Blackband as a studio assistant and has since moved to the design team. She is continuing her education at UCLA Extension Architecture and Interior Design Program. Her guilty pleasure TV show is any basketball documentary, but she’d rather be reading on the beach or spending time with her two nieces. She's a breakfast burrito connoisseur and loves a nicely chilled espresso martini.
What spaces do you get most excited about designing? Lately, more masculine spaces! There's an opportunity to use some unconventional color palettes.
Are you in a profession you dreamed of as a child? 100% yes. I was always watching home makeovers and giving my parents an opinion about how to arrange our furniture.
Last show you binged? The Bear on Hulu. Highly recommend it.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @forsythart // @ad_italia // @espasso
Alexandra grew up in Orange County by the beach and spent her days with neighborhood girlfriends, playing water polo, and swimming in the ocean. She attended San Diego State University and earned a degree in Interior Architecture and Design. She then moved back home to Laguna Niguel to pursue her passion. She began working at a local design shop in Laguna Beach, quickly falling in love with interior design outside of the classroom. She started her career at Blackband Design about a year ago and has developed a strong love for her work and her coworkers. Her favorite restaurants are anything Mexican or sushi. She listens to classic rock and indie rock, and will always say yes to a road trip. Next goal in life is to adopt a puppy of her own.
How did you get into design? At a young age I was constantly drawing, painting, and sketching things that inspired me. I think I changed the orientation and decor of my childhood bedroom every single year growing up and always had so much fun doing it. I have known most of my life that design is what I’ve felt pulled to do — I pursued graphic design and interior architecture in my college years followed by working at Blackband Design!
What are your favorite hobbies? Spending time at the beach, surfing, taking photos, drinking coffee, painting, discovering new music, ceramics, and hanging out with my parents.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? Australia — it’s the place my parents met each other and fell in love. It has been on my mind so much lately to go and visit. I would love to spend time exploring the lifestyle over there and driving the coastlines to surf different beach breaks.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @apriltomlininteriors // @jakearnold // @thelpcreative // @tywillyums
Melissa grew up in Redding, California. She studied Interior Design at San Diego State University and moved to the East Coast after graduating. After 3 years in Washington DC, she had enough of the cold, and came home to Orange County. After her daughter, Holland, turned one, she got back into design. A few years later she joined Blackband as a senior designer. In her free time, she trains at a local Crossfit gym and loves to spend time with her family.
What spaces do you get the most excited to design? The Kitchen! I grew up in the kitchen cooking with my Sicilian mother. This is where we spent most of our time as a family.
What was your first job? Lifeguard and Swim Coach.
What’s your favorite holiday to celebrate? The 4th of July! Sunshine, tan lines and fireworks!
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @uniquehotels // @vivirdesign // @smpliving
Kori grew up in Newport Beach, CA and attended CDMHS where she was a member of the dance team. She studied Urban Design and Architecture at NYU with a minor in Studio Art. Through her studies and exploring the city she discovered a passion for intentional design. She finds inspiration roaming flea markets, swap meets, art galleries and traveling. In past months, Kori enjoyed traveling to Italy and spending time with family in Tahiti. She will never say no to eating at a restaurant she’s never been to. One of her favorite things to do is watching movies with her 6-year-old Tijuana native puppy, Ally. In her free time, she enjoys painting, drawing, photography, reading and writing. She recently participated in art exhibitions in both Ojai and Balboa Island for her photography. Kori loves her job and spending every day with all the talented faces of the Blackband Team.
Favorite phase in the design process? Design development – when the possibilities are endless. Brainstorming ideas and seeing how the design unfolds is an exciting phase of any project.
Favorite artist you've seen perform live? The Strokes or Boy Pablo.
If you could learn a skill what would it be? Woodworking or metal welding. I have always wanted to have the skills to imagine something and bring it to life.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @studiogiancarlovalle // @todo__vintage // @qratededition // @visualpleasuremag
Ivana grew up in Orange County, CA as an only child raised by a Salvadorian mother and a Colombian father speaking Spanish as her first language and English as her second. After working in the banking industry as a Fraud Investigator, she decided to follow her passion for fashion and design. She is currently studying interior design while interning at Blackband Design and absolutely loves it! In her free time she enjoys hanging out with her mini weiner dog and visiting local breweries and wineries with friends.
Favorite phase in a design project? Picking out materials (tile, hardware, fabrics, etc.) . It’s so fun looking at all the different options and getting creative.
Are you a hoarder of anything? / Do you collect things? I can’t seem to let go of birthday cards, I keep all of them! They are sentimental to me.
What’s your go-to midnight snack? Jalapeño chips with cream cheese.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @gardenstudio // @mellon_studio // @marieflaniganinteriors
Jordan was born and raised in Newport Beach. She attended the University of Washington in Seattle and worked for a tech start-up after graduation. Growing up in a mid-century home designed by architect Rudolph M. Schindler’s associate, Jordan has always been passionate about design. Jordan currently attends UCLA Extension’s Architecture and Design program while working as the studio assistant for Blackband Design. In her free time, she trains her newly adopted dog, a Great Dane named Milo, and recently traveled to the Middle East, visiting Israel and Petra, Jordan.
Dream home feature? Mid century modern, bring back the conversation pit!
If you could study design abroad anywhere, where would you choose and why? Dubai or anywhere in the United Arab Emirates, both phenomenal residential and commercial design.
If you could adopt any pet what would it be? An elephant calf.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @midcenturyla // @chadwoodinteriors // @rowelosangeles
Marissa was born and raised in Costa Mesa, CA. She went to college initially to explore event planning but soon after realized her passion was in interior design all along. She then attended Cal State Long Beach to get her Bachelors in Interior Design. While at school she was a junior designer. After graduation, Marissa wanted to work for a larger firm and gain more design and construction experience, which then landed her at Blackband Design. She recently got engaged at the Downtown Orange Circle, where five years earlier they had their first date. She has a kitty named Odin. In her free time she enjoys spending time with family and going on staycations with her fiancé to Palm Springs, Big Bear and San Diego.
How did you get into design? I got into design through my family, my grandpa loved drawing and painting so I was always interested in the color palettes he used, along with his creative ideas. My dad is a general contractor of custom homes and would bring me to his job sites. I loved being involved in the construction process! Fun fact: I initially went to Cal Poly Pomona for event planning but then quickly realized that you don’t get free weekends, which is definitely a deal breaker.
What are your favorite hobbies? Playing pickleball over the weekend with friends!
What’s your cocktail of choice? Spicy Jalapeño Marg with a tajin rim.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @gregnatale // @ann2carrdesign // @kelsrfloyd
Natalie discovered her passion for design at a young age. Growing up in the Midwest, she was inspired by her English Nanny who was an interior designer, hand-painting walls and growing her creativity. She made her way to Orange County and later attended the University of Idaho as a Student-Athlete, where she studied Interior Architecture and Design. Throughout her college years, Natalie was an intern at Blackband Design, where she quickly fell in love with the design profession. After graduation, she joined the team full-time as a Junior Designer. In her free time, Natalie is an active and creative person. From ceramics classes and sourdough baking to film photography and rollerskating with her dog Daisy, she is always bringing her visions to life.
Favorite phase in the design process? Design development phase - material selections!
Favorite vacation? Panama.
Your cocktail of choice? Spicy margarita.
Go-to Instagram accounts for inspiration: @thomashayesstudio // @nicoleehollissf // @ferly_living
Michael, or Uncle Mikey as we like to call him, comes to Blackband Design with over twenty years in the construction industry. From building single-family and track homes to multi-unit apartment complexes, Michael has an impressive track record. At Blackband Design, you will find Michael onsite with our Renovation Team working on our latest projects. Surfing, surfing and surfing, from San O and Surfrider to the North Shore, Michael loves to surf. He’s a big concert goer, filmmaker and dancer.
Favorite hobby? When I’m not surfing, watching Elton John concerts and football with my sister, and laughing and dancing with my niece and nephew.
Things I can’t live without? Spotify + dessert.
Design style? Natural, earthy, rustic beauty.