Designer Crush: Steven Cooper

1. Who is your biggest role model?

My mom.

2. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?

The Great Gatsby. 

3. What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project?

You can tell pretty quickly how engaged a client is going to be and how much direction they are looking for based on a few questions about materials they are interested in, what their expectation they have for a timeline, whether they place more importance on function or aesthetic. From there, I have a good sense of the direction I need to take with the client.

4. What new design trends are you excited to integrate into your work?

I love unexpected materials. We are using a lot of unique metals like pewter, bronze, and treated steel. It’s also exciting to incorporate things like leather, pyrite, and natural quartzites.

5. How do you completely unwind?

Sitting down to a good meal in a beautiful restaurant space with my wife and friends…and a good gin.

6. If you hadn't become a designer, which career would you have pursued?

I was a finance major, so I thought I would end up on Wall Street. In hindsight I’m glad I ended up as a designer!

7. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?

I worked for my family’s construction company growing up and my dad was a big believer in teaching through hardwork. He had me sawing and hauling tar soaked railroad ties at 15 years old. 

8. What’s your favorite recipe?

My go tos are a simple fresh risotto with mushrooms and parmesan from my local farmers market and a premium cut of beef grilled medium rare with salt, pepper, and olive oil. I enjoy the simplicity of high-quality ingredients without a lot of fuss.

9. Create your perfect playlist for us.

Lightning round!

10. Would you rather shop new or vintage?

Vintage.

11. First celebrity crush?

Pat Benatar.

12. What’s your hidden talent?

Photography.

13. Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?

Republique. 6th & La Brea in LA.

14. SF or LA? 

LA, of course.