We’re back with a new guest tastemaker for some quick-fire questions and a mini-curation of some fab Chairish finds!
This week, we are chatting with San Francisco’s own Noz Nozawa of Noz Design. Dubbed the Queen of Colorful Interiors by Sunset Magazine, she is no stranger to bold color combinations and patterns, in the eclectic and collected spaces she crafts.
The seeds of Noz’s design career were planted back in 2014, while she was still climbing the corporate ladder in tech marketing. Her boss caught her designing her friend’s living room while on the job, and it made her realize that it was time to take the leap of faith and pursue a career in design. Noz’s approach is to not get bogged down by too much academic rigor, and instead curate spaces filled with pieces that truly speak to her client. Her ethos has always been that if you love something, you can make it work in your space, even if it doesn’t make sense to others.
Read on to find out the unique theme in her home decor collection, and why she believes people crafting a home they love should practice more patience!
How would you describe the quintessential San Francisco interior aesthetic?
Even after 14 years in San Francisco, I still think the quintessential SF home is a Victorian house where the interiors balance a reverence for the original architecture with the practicalities of modern life. It should also incorporate the quirky, personal evidence of the current dweller’s desire to make the home – with over 100 years worth of history – their own.
What is the most outstanding design element you’ve ever incorporated into a space?
I recently completed a house in San Francisco where the top floor was very modern. All of the windows faced breathtaking views, except for two, which had a wide, heavy, imposing fireplace between them. The client wanted to replace the fireplace with more windows, but upon demolition, we discovered that the fireplace was originally put there to hide huge structural posts that we could not remove! But I’m proud to say that I found an amazing indoor/outdoor fireplace that is basically a 5-foot tall window. It fits precisely between the two posts, which allowed us to achieve the client’s goal of providing more of a window experience there. We were also able to redesign the fire feature to really feel like it belonged in the space.
What kind of design additions or changes have you recently made to your home?
I’ve lived in my home for almost 12 years, have known ever since I moved in, that I wanted to work on the bedroom suite. Over the past year, I finally invested time into changing the primary bathroom and creating a walk-in closet. I’m now working on redecorating my bedroom, inspired by the 360º murals painted by my amazing artist friend Serge Gay Jr. And I’m also renovating our deck off the bedroom – in part due to a larger very uninteresting roof leak in our building. I’m obsessed with all of these projects, even though they all end up in “Last Priority” when things get busy!
Do you collect anything? What sparked your interest in collecting that item?
I have realized I love collecting things with faces on them: Vases, decor objects, cutting boards… This pattern in my collection happened without my realizing it until someone asked me about it. (I think this person was a bit creeped out and would not make the same aesthetic choices!)
But having things with goofy faces around my home brings me a lot of joy. I think there’s something to the fact that somebody made the thing, knowing some stranger like me would find it at a store and love it! Like for instance my frowning cutting board! Someone had to carve some walnut “sad” and inlay that into a maple face.
What’s a current design trend that you hope doesn’t exist in 100 years, and why?
Fast-ship and immediate-gratification furniture! We’ve become too comfortable with the notion that things you don’t need urgently should arrive urgently. And so many of us are already seeing the devastating consequences on supply chains and our environment; Not to mention most of this fast-ship furniture is not made to last. If we’re lucky enough to have a planet in 100 years, my bionic 135-year-old self will be thrilled to see a design world in which we’ve come to appreciate that good design takes time and is worth the wait!