Friday, October 19 , 2018, 1:11 pm | Fair 84º

 
 
 
 
Design

Judy Foreman: Blake Wood’s Design Roots — and Appreciation — Run Deep

With new Montecito showroom, design guru welcomes fellow professionals as well as fledgling clients with visions for a fresh look

 

In a town renowned for its natural beauty and Architectural Digest-quality homes and estates, it seemed fitting for Blake Wood to open a new fine fabric, trim and wallpaper design showroom in Montecito’s Upper Village.

With her young daughter, Brynn, Wood relocated to Montecito from Denver to be closer to her parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins. She recently opened Blake Ashley Design in a 700-square-foot space at 1482 East Valley Road, Suite 41, next to the bustling Montecito Executive Services.

“Design has always been ‘a thing’ in my family,” she told Noozhawk.

Her mom was an interior designer, and Wood recalls the family’s Sunday ritual during her childhood in New Canaan, Conn., as church, brunch and touring the stately mansions of their community.

New Canaan was rich with acclaimed architects, and Wood had a connection to one of them: Philip Johnson, who designed and built the magnificent glass-steel-and-stone Wiley House, where she grew up.

Johnson was one of “The Harvard Five,” a group of Harvard-trained architects who settled in New Canaan in the 1940s. The pack — which also included Marcel Breuer, Landis Gores, John Johansen and Eliot Noyes — was influenced by Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus school of architecture.

In a community known for its clapboard Colonial homes, their bold new midcentury modern designs really stood out.

While living in Colorado, Wood gutted and remodeled her own house and fell in love with the process. She went on to do another totally different style of home, and then was asked by friends to remodel and stage their houses.

Before she knew it, Blake Ashley Design was born.

Her new showroom features indoor and outdoor designer fabrics, trim and wallpaper for the general public. She also has several lines of outdoor furniture, custom indoor furniture, lighting, rugs, drapery, hardware and Conrad Shades.

“I do all the sourcing of fabrics and products, and then the clients have their choice of using one of my trusted vendors (seamstresses, upholsterers, drapery specialists) or they can use their own,” she said.

Neatly arranged fabrics, and trims for upholstery, throw pillows, custom bedding, and window and wall treatments are readily accessible in the well-lit, open and airy studio. High-top tables make it easy to spread out the many fabrics and books that she and her clients use to help put together just the right look.

Professional designers doing large projects and retail customers looking to freshen up their homes are all welcome.

In response to an inquiry about popular trends, she noted that indoor/outdoor textiles have come a long way with their new performance fabrics — ideal for the Santa Barbara market, especially with kids, pets, pools and sand. They can be used for everything from draperies to upholstery, for barstools in the kitchen or pool house, and even for custom dog beds.

Wallpaper is definitely making a comeback, she added, and tribal-inspired fabrics are very on point.

Some of Wood’s favorite lines are Fortuny, Scalamandré, Pierre Frey, Jim Thompson, Osborne & Little, Calvin, Perenials, JANUS et Cie, Rogers & Goffigon, Peter Dunham, Schumacher, Kravet, Beacon Hill, Rubelli, Jasper, Elizabeth Dow, Glant, Clarence House, Villa Nova, Romo, de Le Cuona and Robert Allen.

Looking at idea books and drool-worthy samples, I asked the age-old question that has challenged many fine goods shops on the South Coast: How do you get the locals to shop here and not go to the bigger Los Angeles and San Francisco markets?

“That is exactly how I plan to compete,” Wood replied, “by saving people the trip and headaches of travel.

“Now the general public can shop for the same products that are offered at the design centers — with or without a designer.”

A grand opening will be announced soon. In the meantime, Blake Ashley Design is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, and by appointment only on Saturdays.

Click here for more information, or contact Wood at [email protected] or 805.695.0373.

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of John Sener
John Sener
"I am known for tenacity, diligence, honesty, and sound decision making with the ultimate goal of closing every transaction to the satisfaction of all involved parties."

Full Profile >