As a mother, you try to impart all of your wisdom and experience onto your child. It’s our natural desire to see that they grow up happy, find themselves, and realize their fullest potential… even when they are technically “adults”, we still can’t help ourselves from influencing their life choices.
I didn’t know quite what to expect when Gabi returned home from graduating from Parsons to work for B. Pila Design. Though always a creative in her own right, we were a bit of a design version of “the odd couple”: I more influenced by architectural design and space, she influenced by objects and materials; I a creator by sketch, she a creator by technology and tactile play; I compelled by my clients’ desires, she compelled from within; I more seasoned by experience, she young with a fresh perspective. But once together, we melded into a balance more akin to yin and yang, with each of our design voices harmonizing with each other. This became most evident in the development of my first furniture collection, Hide & Seek. This collection was to become my newest baby, and I was confident with how it was moving along. What began as a sounding board talk with my daughter about the pieces in development became an electric brainstorm. It was a creators’ game of tennis, even the smallest of ideas hit back and forth until we scored with the ultimate design. It led to impacting adjustments to new creations all together. I credit this collaboration to our Hide & Seek’s impeccable level of detailing that elevate our designs to more than furnishings but a legacy merging design and art.
When I started in interior design, I looked at it from the perspective of making a living stemming from my humble immigrant upbringing… I had no choice. I discovered my talent in the interior architectural component; the decorative side was more learned. Through my experience, I make a mental checklist of items that clients want and desire, but simply don’t exist. Function and space planning being the driving force and the hallmark of my work and creating beautiful spaces which people actually use and enjoy.
Free of these experiences, Gabi expresses directly from within. For a young woman, she has already defined such a distinct and strong voice. There is a level of artistry and messages in her design, and she truly resonates with the artist mentality…always an original.
Which point of view is wrong or right for B. Pila Design?… I learned that it doesn’t have to be one or the other. At this past High Point showcase, it was amazing to see how her whimsical, flowery perspective meshed so well with my streamlined furniture. My Player’s Rocking Chair and her fun, vintage-fabric wrapped acrylic swing – both taking on the same idea of porch relaxation – were side-by-side and it worked! It was the perfect balance and expression of both of us.
Working with your daughter is a challenge. The mom-side of me wants to impart all of my knowledge and protect her from all of the hard knocks I’ve learned in the industry. But I’ll never let my ego get in the way of listening to what she has to say, even if I have more experience than she. In this sense, we are nurturing each other’s respective growths. It is HER now that is helping ME realize my dreams… I can’t think of a better gift for a mother.
Favorite Collaborative Pieces
Gabi’s artistry influenced me to break design’s Cardinal Rule of “form follows function.” It was a great risk, but resulted in a beautiful chair that helps our audience see that a product can also be a work of art.
Sukra Floor Pillows:
These were inspired by the idea of family. Easily maneuverable and stackable, family gatherings can be created anywhere in the space. They promote comfort and closeness, a lost art in my opinion in today’s technology era.
Full Bloom Planter:
As we continued working together, nature became a more prominent influence in the collection, incorporating elements metaphorically and quite literally. This leaning wall planter is a sophisticated way to highlight nature’s budding beauties. I love the juxtaposition of sleek with organic.
Hair on Hide Rugs:
Gabi’s pattern-piecing techniques give this traditionally rustic, organic material a quirky twist. The effect is almost three-dimensional.