DESIGNER Q&A: TAKE FIVE
HPxD knew DON RICARDO MASSENBERG by reputation, but first met him at High Point Market in his role as Style Spotter. He’s the founder and principal designer at the well-named studio called DESiGN iNKREDiBLE. Don’s design work is informed by broad creative interests – music, art, fashion – and keen focus on detail (he can’t let go). His spaces make statements with bold use of color, innovative floor planning, and mastery of scale and proportion. Don’s homebase in Durham is an easy drive to High Point. We look forward to his constant “style spotting” in HPxD showrooms as our city of design opens up.
#1 WHAT DO YOUR FAVORITE HIGH POINT SHOWROOMS HAVE INCOMMON? IT’S OK TO NAME NAMES!
“I look to market for inspiration, and love a showroom where each and every piece is strategically placed to not only get me to purchase items but to give me an experience. This is not about just throwing tons of products into a space. The curated showrooms that spend time creating vignettes and selecting items that complement each piece are those that pull the wow out of me every season. Bernhardt always does an amazing job with every inch of their huge space. Also, I cannot imagine going to market without making it to Eichholtz and Roberta Schilling.” DRM
#2 IN THE SPIRIT OF WHERE’S WALDO, WHAT THING OR PRINCIPLE IS PRESENT IN ALL YOUR WORK?
“I’m a textile guy. Add the extra width, welt, and a little trim! With every project, I lead with fabrics. You can expect to see lush layered bedding and sumptuous textiles throughout a space I have styled. I feel like fabrics make the space. The warmth, coziness, and all the texture feels come from the fabrics for sure!” DRM
#3 WHAT DOES A GREAT SHOWROOM EXPERIENCE PROVIDE YOU AS A DESIGN PRO?
“A designer needs to be knowledgeable about the products they share with clients. Try online shopping for a sofa when you have a client who is dead set on comfort first. It looks good on the screen, but you have no idea what it feels like. Visiting a showroom gives you the opportunity to touch, sit on, flop down on, and bounce if you need to, so that you can give your client a true idea of what the piece feels like. Also, visiting vendors allows you to meet and shakes hands with sales reps and other staff that you talk to or email so frequently. It is great to put faces with names and once representatives know who you are, they typically do all they can to accommodate you.” DRM
#4 DOWN THE ROAD, WE ARE LIKELY TO DEFINE TIME BEFORE COVID AND AFTER COVID. HOW IS THE PANDEMIC CHANGING THE WORLD OF DESIGN?
“This has been an amazing time of reflection and refining processes. I have realized that there are so many aspects of design that can be done virtually and tons of tasks that homeowners can manage and/or complete themselves with a little direction from me. So basically, I don’t have to be there all the time. Also, sourcing locally manufactured items is so important and valuable right now. With shipping being at a snail’s pace or at a complete stop from some countries due to COVID, it’s a great time to begin partnerships with stateside vendors and those who are just around the corner right here in NC.” DRM
#5 WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR JOB – THE PART THAT KEEPS YOU GOING EVERY DAY?
“I love reveal days. Those moments you see on design TV shows do happen in real life! When a client walks into their completed space and sees all their favorite pieces and selected items, it just feels so good to know that I have done my job, to provide an awesome experience and help someone live better in their home. And if I get a tear or two, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!” DRM
John Black for Seawell Black Photography
Amber Gluckin for Novel Creations