Emily Zoba Maynard, in Elva Fields...in a living room she designed this year.

[photo by Manolo Langis]

Though we're told sharing was not one of our strong suits growing up, we've come a long way...and couldn't be happier about sharing a name with sister-in-law Emily Maynard!  Founder and principal of George Interior Design based in California, Emily has incredible style, determined work ethic, a gracious presence, and handles most everything along the way with ease and cheer.  We asked her a few questions recently and hope you'll enjoy our family banter and fun insight into another Emily Maynard's business and design! 

[photo by April Saas]

Elva Fields/Emily Maynard:  So, despite rumors to the contrary, let's just confirm up-front that neither of us is the Bachelorette Emily Maynard.  We just both happen to be named Emily and married Maynard brothers.  Did you have any interesting emails or web traffic as a result of the recent reality tv same-namer, by the way? 

George Interior Design/Emily Maynard: Oh, my word!! I thought I had been discovered from all of the traffic I was getting!  To make matters even more confusing I went to Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee (where the Bachelorette Emily Maynard is from) but alas, the bachelorette I am not.

EF/EM:  Speaking of web traffic, we love checking up on you and your latest installations, travels, and design suggestions through your blog. (Sad-but-true solution for living several time zones away, I guess.  Sigh.  We miss you!)  What are your favorite things to write about on the George blog? 

GID/EM: Thank you! I'm a believer in sharing what you know so I blog about what I know best...interior design.  On Tuesdays, I post a relevant design term such as "bull nose countertop," to help people better communicate their design vision to contractors and the like.  On Saturdays, I post a snippet from a project that I'm working on.  Every so often life intervenes and on occasion I'll blog about that.

EF/EM:  Any fun design projects in the works--or recently completed--you can tell us about?  

GID/EM:  Like you, I've come back from having a baby with a vengeance! I'm loving my project line-up right now with a little bit of residential with lots of kitchens, bathrooms and family rooms.  I just signed on with a couple (who I worked with on their previous home a few years back) to renovate their 1949 beach house.  Look for another coastal-inspired kitchen to creep onto my blog soon!  (I blogged about the first kitchen I did here.)  And below are images from a recent shoot we did of a townhouse in Marina Del Rey--love how we were able to capture a global vibe for the couple.

[photos by Manolo Langis]

EF/EM:  Your most important project of late is no doubt your beautiful baby girl Selby (already nearly six months old!)...how is she and how is that nursette of hers?  (Readers: Not only is Selby adorable...she has perhaps the cutest and coziest nursery ever...tucked away in their enviable beach apartment.) 

GID/EM:  Selby is our pride and joy.   We live in enviable Hermosa Beach but our 1 bedroom apartment is anything but!  Having said that, I do love Selby's "nursette" off of/in our kitchen and I have blogged about it to show how little space you really need to be able to start your family.

[photo by April Saas]

[photos by Emily Zoba Maynard]

EF/EM:  You enjoy beach and mountain living in Southern California--what's your favorite thing about each spot?

GID/EM:  As a designer and as a person, I revel in wide, open spaces.  I stop breathing when I catch a glimpse of the shimmering Pacific ocean at sunset at the beach or when we find ourselves sitting above the clouds in the mountains.  It has also been extremely satisfying getting to (slowly) implement my own design whims in our mountain house.

[photo of Emily Maynards with baby Viva at the Getty Villa, courtesy of a kind stranger!]

 EF/EM:  Okay, since we have you here...what are your top three design tips for adding a bit of style to any room?  (And all California-based readers: hire her to make these insider tips a reality in your home or office! You will thank both of us later.) 

GID/EM:  Thanks for the plug!  My first tip is to have a design plan or goal for every space in your house... rooms or spaces that achieve something are truly the best sorts of spaces.  Secondly, (other than sofas) buy the best things that you can afford and keep them forever (even better, buy vintage from antique, consignment and garage sales). And lastly, get things up on your walls.  No room feels finished without wall art.


[photo by Manolo Langis]

EF/EM: Now for fashion versus interior design!  We love that you've been a fan of Elva Fields even before we shared a name and in-laws...even helping us to secure a retailer at the beach in L.A. a few years ago!  (Cami boutique in Manhattan Beach started carrying Elva Fields in 2008.)  How do you mix your laid-back style with our jewelry?  (Please note our envy of your ability to wear linen year-round!) 

GID/EM:  Oh how lucky I was to marry into the Maynard family and the fabulous jewelry-designing sister-in-law that came along with it!  Seriously, I LOVE your jewels and if I could, I'd own one for every day of the year.  The pieces that I own, which feature things like mother-of-pearl, glass beads, and beach-inspired colors, lend to the laid-back persona that I'm trying to cultivate when I dress for work.

I also love your very thoughtful names and labels on each of the jewels.  Your names capture an intangible mood or a feeling within the piece and give the person wearing it a launching point for how to wear the necklace. I love how your creativity goes beyond just the physical and into the emotional connection to what we wear!

[photo of "Sojourn," one of Emily's Elva Fields necklaces by Emily Wheat Maynard] 

 EF/EM: Alright, one last question...then you no doubt have lots to do as a working mama...your credo is "Good design is about good living."  What does good living mean for you?  

GID/EM:  To answer that, I think I'll steal a line from Shantaram, the book that I am currently reading.  To me, good living is indicated by "...an abundance of good food, laughter, singing, ...an amiable disposition...and robust health." Good design is woven into the life threads of people who live like this because it promotes all of these qualities of life and more!





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