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Meet Ed Coco, Senior Designer at MTV

FormDecor got together with Senior Designer for MTV, Ed Coco for a one-on-one Featured Professionals interview. Well known for his creative special event planning skills, Ed Coco has also been involved with theatre design for major Broadway shows as a scenic designer. As a well-rounded individual in the special events industry, he continues to push….

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FormDecor got together with Senior Designer for MTV, Ed Coco for a one-on-one Featured Professionals interview. Well known for his creative special event planning skills, Ed Coco has also been involved with theatre design for major Broadway shows as a scenic designer. As a well-rounded individual in the special events industry, he continues to push the envelope when designing and planning events. But we don’t want to give it all away in the introduction! FormDecor invites you to get to know Ed Coco!

FormDecor: Were you always creative as a child? What was the first creative project you did?

Ed Coco: You know, I really don’t think that I was any kind of “exceptionally creative” child. I just had a really normal, fun childhood and I was very fortunate to have an incredibly supportive family. I would say that I was always VERY curious. I would take things apart and put them back together (or sometimes not). When something became of interest to me, I would find out as much as I could about that thing.

As a child, I started playing the piano when my brothers were taking lessons and ended up teaching myself, and I would show their teacher when she came over for their lessons. Eventually I took over those lessons, and I think I was like that with a lot of things as a child. Once something caught my attention, I became absorbed in understanding that thing.

FD: Your biography on www.ecocodesign.com says that you were the Associate Scenic Designer for the Broadway productions of Spring Awakening and Green Day’s American Idiot. That sounds like an amazing opportunity! What was your experience like in the theatrical industry?

EC: I love being involved in theatre! I have a Masters Degree in theatrical design and I continue to teach in the graduate programs at NYU and Rutgers University. It has taught me so much, and still continues to teach me things today. I’ve been fortunate to take part in eight Broadway shows and they were all brand new experiences.

Most of my professional theatre experience has been through my long association with Scenic Designer Christine Jones. Christine has always told me that it’s important to always have at least one project that you’re doing “for your soul”. Theatre is what I do for my soul!

FD: You are well known for your party planning skills for television channels such as Comedy Central, MTV, MTV2, Nickelodeon, VH1, Spike and many others. Are there particular steps you take from concept to actualization? What is your favorite part of the process and why?

EC: I think what keeps me in this business is that I’ve been able to throw the recipe book away. I approach every project very differently, and I have the luxury of getting to work on a myriad of vastly different projects… So it always feels fresh and new. Sometimes I get the opportunity to get really detailed on a design in isolation where I can create a wonderfully intricate 3D model and research materials and technology before revealing anything. Other times, I’m creating things very quickly on the fly, and I’m calling a scene shop to collaborate with the actualization as ideas come into my head. I love every part of the process no matter what kind of process I end up having to utilize. Sure, things drive me crazy at times, but when I walk into the office every morning, I think about how lucky I am to be doing this for a living.

FD: At what point in your career did you realize you wanted to plan special events? How did you start?

EC: Well, honestly, I came into the events world at a bit of a late age. I was purely designing for theatre and broadcast when another designer brought me on to help with some large events for McDonalds. I was blown away at the opportunity to apply my skills to this brand new world.

Designer Evan Alexander brought me into MTV Networks. Like me, he was from a very hardcore theatre education and had discovered the opportunities in events. I think the appeal for many of us was the chance to show our skills to so many people. The theatre world can be a little insular, and there aren’t as many opportunities. The field of Special Events has grown to involve so much these days; from parties and concerts to sponsor activations and integrated marketing events. It’s exciting to think about all of the things in which I can participate.

FD: Out of the many special events you have planned for MTV, which one is the most memorable for you? Do you have photos to share?

EC: I don’t know that I’d say that any one in particular is the MOST memorable. I have so many great memories from so many events. That’s one of the benefits of working in a Special Events department, with so many fantastic co-workers and friends. But the post party for the Comedy Central Roast of David Hasselhoff is a great example. It was really a wonderful collaboration between the events area, the production area, and the design area of our department.

We were at Sony Studios and turned the lawn outside of the cafeteria into a giant beach/boardwalk/lounge. It was all on such a grand scale, from the 30 or so giant palm trees to the full scale lifeguard station that served as the DJ Booth. It was great to see the studio employees pass by during our load-in and look impressed. They’re a tough crowd to impress!  But what made it memorable for me was the collaboration across the board, from our internal staff to the producers and clients at Comedy Central.

Careful and non-intrusive sponsor integrations, unique food and drink offerings, fun activations, and clever technical enhancements all came together with the design elements that I’d help create. When you have a lot of amazing people working together and hitting their stride at the same time, it’s pretty cool! Those are the productions that I remember the most.

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FD: When you take on a new event planning project, where do you draw your inspiration from?

EC: I suppose my theatrical training has taught me to try and look for clues from the source. In theatre that can mean the Director, the performers, and the script.

In the events world it can mean properly listening to and asking questions of your clients, producers, and collaborators. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I like to try and design something “cool” that comes purely from what I’m interested in at a particular time, but for the most part I look for the little inspirations that are hidden in what people are saying about the project. Whether they know it or not, they’re leaving those clues behind to be found.  They can be mentioning a cool club they’ve been to, a movie they’ve seen recently, or an artist that they admire. The key is to try and listen, and not jump in too quickly or jump to conclusion. Otherwise you’re designing just for yourself and trying to talk someone into something they really don’t want. There is a delicate balance between getting input and guiding a client. But as a designer you just know when you’ve hit the points correctly. Things just start to fit and come together.

FD: What has been one of the most challenging events you’ve worked on since being in the industry? Please share with us how you overcame those challenges. Do you have photos to share?

EC: Well there are certainly various levels of “challenges” in this business. I feel like my biggest challenges come from dealing with producers, clients, and sponsors because they can be hard to read and interpret at times. With any project you, really have to determine what you’re trying to do and what you’re trying to serve before you can succeed. And there often isn’t an easy answer to that; especially when you have to please various parties who you can start off with completely different ideas about an event.

One example is our MTV Upfront event. It’s a business meeting, a product reveal, a sales event, and a PR opportunity all in one. Oh, and there are at least two musical performances thrown in and it’s usually being taped in the same manner as an on-air production. The final twist is that at the end of the program it has to turn into a party for two thousand people. You have outside sponsors, corporate executives, and internal producers to please. And they aren’t even your clients; that’s the Press Department and Integrated Marketing area. So you walk the line between creating a design that has a lot of built-in flexibility.

For two years, I designed sets that could be lifted into the air to reveal the party that was hidden in the backstage area. I was particularly happy with the 2011 Upfront where we created an intimate thrust stage in New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom. I think the set served all of its purposes equally well; which at one time seemed impossible. But, again, you overcome those obstacles with close collaboration between various areas. And having an internal events department here at MTV allows all of the elements to really stay in touch.

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FD: What “words of wisdom” do you have to share with young professionals entering the events industry in this day and age?

EC: I’m probably biased since I work at two major universities, but if it’s possible I would really encourage young professionals to make sure they’ve had a good education. It’s really invaluable. I won’t pretend to know what programs and schools are best suited for this field (that’s a very personal choice and match), but I feel like too often we’re an industry that’s very in-bred.

People get a job working on an event when they’re young and they eventually stick around and move up the ladder by being available. They know how to get a specific type of job done well through repetition, but not because they’re creating something new and challenging. I think that’s what often leads to the “cookie-cutter” type events that happen so frequently and sometimes give “special events” a bad reputation. I know great designers with degrees in Art, Philosophy, and Theatre (I have an undergrad in English Literature, for heaven’s sake). And I know wonderful Event Producers who have degrees in things like Psychology and Media Studies. The point is that they went to school, learned “how to learn”, and then applied their skills to our field. Plus, college is just fun! It’s one of those few times in your life when you can just apply yourself to random new things without having a lot of worries and obligations. It’s important to go through that experience.

FD: If you had the chance to design any event in the world, what would it be? What is significant about that event that makes it your dream?

EC: I think what I would do is assemble all of my favorite collaborators from every area and create a charitable event from scratch. Look at some of the stuff that Joe Lewis from the Joe Lewis Company is doing with charitable events and self-initiated projects; it’s really amazing to be able to use your professional skills to give back something.

When you get to a certain point in your career, you stop worrying about the “next great project”; you just have a sense that if you stay true to your calling the next great project will be right around the corner. What you instead try to do, is create the opportunity to share that project with those that make it worthwhile. Through our pro-social initiatives at MTV Networks, I’ve been lucky to work with some great charitable organizations such as VH1’s Save the Music Foundation, Lifebeat, and Comedy Central’s Night of Too Many Stars, a benefit for Autism Education. Those are the events that I really love to design, and the people with whom I like to collaborate.

FD: If you could choose one design of FormDecor’s for your home or office, what would it be? Why does that one design stand out among the rest for you?

EC: I’d have to pick the Mies Van der Rohe Barcelona furniture. I’m an old school fan of Bauhaus style, and I think that line of furniture is beautiful. There’s such amazing complexity in a design that at first appears so simple and clean. One of the things that constantly amazes’ me is how easily it can blend with a multitude of other design styles. It’s so versatile. Not to mention comfortable. At a big party, they are always the first chairs to be claimed.

Now if you mean “what DESIGN created with FormDecor’s line of furniture” I would have to say that I’d just want John Calkins of John Calkins & Co. to come and design my office with anything from your inventory that he wanted. I’m always stunned at how good he makes everything look. I’d ask him to make my office look like one of his Comedy Central Roast designs. They always feel like places where you’d just love to hang out with your friends.

FD: What haven’t you checked off your bucket list? 

EC: You know, I don’t have much of a bucket list. I would love to travel Europe extensively; meaning without any obligation whatsoever. I find that when I travel I’m often locking myself into schedules like I do at work. It would be fantastic to just travel, experience and discover as things happen. I think everything on my bucket list would have to do with traveling. I’m still so curious about so many places and things. Also, my parents are retired and they’ve been traveling a lot. It makes me jealous to hear about all of the places they go.

 

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Dr. Phil House Decked out in Orange, Purple & Lime Green

The Kids did! Dr. Phil did! Do you dig it?! Check out how Set Decorator, KayDee Lavorin brought together colors of orange, purple, lime green & turquoise! It’s vibrant yet playful!

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The Kids did! Dr. Phil did! Do you dig it?! Set Decorator, KayDee Lavorin blended colors of orange, purple, and lime green to design the perfect vibrant atmosphere for this spring’s Dr. Phil episode “Is My Child a STAR?” Pops of orange from the Elan Sofa & Loveseat contrasted playfully with the Pierre Paulin Mushroom Chair to create a youthful, fun atmosphere in the Dr. Phil House. And let’s not forget the Iman Modular Chairs, Lime Cube Seats and purple Genoa Lounge Chairs!

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Giving Back in STYLE!

Give Water… Give Life… Give Back! Last month, FormDecor was honored to contribute lounge furniture for the 3rd Annual Thirst Project Gala at the Beverly Hilton. As a non-profit organization, the Thirst Gala raises money to support building clean water wells in developing countries. With celebrities, city officials & a wide range of supporters in….

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Give Water… Give Life… Give Back! Last month, FormDecor was honored to contribute lounge furniture for the 3rd Annual Thirst Project Gala at the Beverly Hilton. As a non-profit organization, the Thirst Gala raises money to support building clean water wells in developing countries. With celebrities, city officials & a wide range of supporters in attendance, it was a beautiful gala for an inspiring cause, and we were so proud they chose FormDecor to furnish their celebrity lounge and interview stage. Furnished with the Modular Cube Chair, Modular Cube Chaise, Leather Coffee Tables and Rouge Pillows, the lounge was definitely the spot to be at! Lights, Camera, Social Action!

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Opening Act + Black & White Furnishings = Harmonizing Lounge

Which artist would you want to open for? E! Networks newest music phenomenon, Opening Act, gets decked out in FormDecor’s classic Black and White furnishings!

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Which artist would you want to open for? E! Networks newest music phenomenon, Opening Act, gets decked out in FormDecor’s classic Black and White furnishings! Judges and contestants enjoyed a harmonizing lounge to help ease performance jitters and let their true talent shine. Seated comfortably on the Dunbar Daybed and London Sofa matched with the Angel Trumpet Floor Lamps, George Nelson Saucer Lamp, and Delano Credenza, contestants prepared for their auditions in style!

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BizBash IdeaFest Done Right in Grey, Gold & White!

Less is MORE! FormDecor exhibited at this year’s BizBash IdeaFest 2012 where we demonstrated the design modern mantra… LESS IS MORE! New to FormDecor, the Chrysalis Screens served as a textural backdrop that made the Florence Knoll Classic Sofa and Gold Finger Lounge Chairs stand out above the rest! The Angel Trumpet Floor Lamps provided….

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Less is MORE! FormDecor exhibited at this year’s BizBash IdeaFest 2012 where we demonstrated the design modern mantra… LESS IS MORE! New to FormDecor, the Chrysalis Screens served as a textural backdrop that made the Florence Knoll Classic Sofa and Gold Finger Lounge Chairs stand out above the rest! The Angel Trumpet Floor Lamps provided the right light while the Eileen Gray Side Tables and Hilton Coffee Table served as clean-lined accents. Retro chic? We think so!

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Celebrate the Red, White & Blue!

It’s time to pull out the BBQ’s, visit with family and friends… And don’t forget the fireworks to celebrate the USA’s independence! Inspired by the red, white & blue? FormDecor sure is! Check out our “4th of July” inspiration board below. From our team to yours, we want to wish you a very fun, safe….

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It’s time to pull out the BBQ’s, visit with family and friends… And don’t forget the fireworks to celebrate the USA’s independence! Inspired by the red, white & blue? FormDecor sure is! Check out our “4th of July” inspiration board below.

From our team to yours, we want to wish you a very fun, safe & happy 4th of July!

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Dear Fritz… May 2012

Dear Fritz, I love Pinterest and I can’t get enough of it.  When I follow FormDecor on Pinterest, should I follow all boards or just a few? What could I expect by following you? Signed, Anita Pinsome Dear Anita: Pinterest enthusiasts, like all of us at FormDecor, are pinning like crazy! From colors and furniture,….

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Dear Fritz,

I love Pinterest and I can’t get enough of it.  When I follow FormDecor on Pinterest, should I follow all boards or just a few? What could I expect by following you?

Signed,

Anita Pinsome

Dear Anita: Pinterest enthusiasts, like all of us at FormDecor, are pinning like crazy! From colors and furniture, to style and art, FormDecor is definitely one to follow.

FormDecor’s pin boards are grouped by color, style, furniture category, events and more… a valuable environment that is different from the comprehensive product catalog on FormDecor.com. You should absolutely follow all of our unique boards as you never know what new furniture designs or collections we’ll come up with next! You can even see what our team members are pinning to their boards! And you won’t want to miss what gets pinned next… It could be the 2nd Quarter Giveaway! {Hint! Hint!}

By following FormDecor on Pinterest, you’ll experience a thematic environment of design, style and color that goes above and beyond the current trends. Like White Hot or Going Green at the Altar… From designing a wedding or event to providing the additional touches to a TV set, movie or exhibit booth, Pinterest has taken designing and inspiring others to a whole new level.

To facilitate your thematic experience, FormDecor has recently enhanced the FormDecor product pages to include the Pinterest “Pin it” button. You can now “pin” any FormDecor furniture design to any of your boards. Simply click the “Pin it” button & you’re done!

What are you waiting for? Start your pin-gines & get to pinning!

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E3 Queen Freddie Georges Takes You “Behind-the-Scenes”

Meet Freddie Georges, Founder & CEO of Freddie Georges Production Group – FG|PG It’s a very busy time in the Exhibition and Tradeshow Industry, but FormDecor still caught up with Freddie Georges, Founder and CEO of Freddie Georges Production Group (FG|PG) to get a “behind the scenes” interview. Established in 2001, FG|PG is a full….

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Meet Freddie Georges, Founder & CEO of Freddie Georges Production Group – FG|PG

It’s a very busy time in the Exhibition and Tradeshow Industry, but FormDecor still caught up with Freddie Georges, Founder and CEO of Freddie Georges Production Group (FG|PG) to get a “behind the scenes” interview. Established in 2001, FG|PG is a full service exhibit house based out of Southern California with national capabilities. With a long list of prestigious clients, FG|PG creates interactive experiential environments for tradeshow exhibitors, earning the reputation as a leader in exhibit design and execution. As a female business owner with over 20 years of experience in the industry, Freddie Georges has a lot of wisdom to share, and we are delighted to share her insight on the FormDecor Featured Professionals blog.  But we don’t want to give it all away… Get to know Freddie Georges!

FormDecor: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Freddie Georges: Before the age of 21, I wanted to be a designer, any kind of designer. After I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in Interior and Environmental Design, I obtained my first professional design position as an Exhibit Designer with a firm called Design and Production (D&P). I knew then that I eventually wanted to own my own business. D & P specialized in museum exhibit design and fabrication with their biggest client being the Smithsonian. From my childhood exposure consisting of visiting museums all over the world, I was fascinated with how museum and interpretive exhibits were conceived, designed and produced.

After pursing my career at D & P for a year, I discovered their tradeshow division and I immediately fell in love. The projects were set at a much
faster pace than the museum exhibits…Twenty-five plus years later, my love of “all things” exhibits has only gotten stronger.

FD:  When clients read your biography on www.FGPG.com, they immediately learn that you were quite the interior decorator at an early age. Where did you find the inspiration to redecorate your childhood home?

FG: As a child of parents in the airline industry, both Air France and Swissair, I benefited from the international travel where a lot of my inspiration came from. I spent many summers throughout my childhood in Paris with my grandparents who took me to places like the Palace of Versailles, the Louvre, and many more. My favorite part of the Palace of Versailles was the Hall of Mirrors, which spawned into a love of mirrors to this day.

A personal favorite interior design project of mine to date is my primary residence in California where I took a non-descript beach house in Huntington Beach and completely transformed it into a Craftsman-style revival. My favorite room is the living room that consists of custom display cases filled with family heirlooms, some over 200 years old!

FD: Starting your own business in a male-dominated industry must have been daunting at first.  What gave you the courage to succeed?  Did you have any particular challenges that you had to overcome?

FG: I never really thought about how daunting it would be before getting into the exhibition and tradeshow industry because I have always been team focused. I had the “all for one and one for all” mentality that everyone gets along for joint success. That was the naiveté of a young woman. Once I got into the business, the challenges were less about gender and more about knowledge, although gender issues did come up in my younger years. Since I did not have a mentor in the industry, I learned a great deal on my own or through occasional team-spirited colleagues.

Genuine LOVE of the work accounted for  80% of my success, and 20% was sheer tenacity… These percentages still apply today.

Regarding difficult challenges, there is nothing more discouraging, demoralizing and exhausting then an unappreciative, disrespectful client. I’ve
had a few that, later in my career, I actually had to “fire” as clients after concluding that they were the type of people who a) cannot be pleased and b) are  too toxic to be able to build a healthy business relationship with. The result is that I have time to pursue and maintain more rewarding client relations.

FD: You have many impressive clients at the Electronic Entertainment Expo every year… Rumor has it, you’re known as the “E3 Queen”!…  Tell us about some of your favorite E3 memories.

FG: My fondest career memories stem from two categories: History and Challenges!

One of my clients in the cable television industry has been a client for 25 years! Wahoo! I can tell you, that is a huge achievement in any industry by any standards.

Other fond memories are all based in the most challenging projects. For example, one of my clients asked me to locate a real vintage (circa 1920) train car to rent or purchase for their tradeshow booth. The idea was that they wanted to use the train car as a display to promote a locomotive-based marketing campaign. Finding the inventory was a fun and exciting project in and of itself, but then working on the logistics of bringing it to the show site was quite a rewarding experience.

FD: What is one of the most memorable exhibits you designed and built for a trade show event? Do you have any photos to share?

FG: That’s a tough one to single out because they are all a labor of love… But if I had to choose, I would have to say one of my most recent, 2K Games at E3 2011, followed by Vivendi for E3 2006 and then King World for NATPE way back in 1998. Below you will see a few photos from my favorite exhibits.

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FD: Recently, we read your blog on www.FGPG.com about the custom exhibit you built for Borderlands 2 at PAX East 2012. What were the highlights for you working with The Shop @ Show Ready on this project?

FG: After years of creating scenic environments, overseeing the production of four human-like characters from the video game Borderlands 2 was exciting because I’ve only produced creatures, never human figures. The Shop @ Show Ready had the skill set to bring blocks of foam to life, depicting four very realistic human-like characters. In the world of exhibits, the harder the projects are to produce, the more I enjoy the project because I love to learn new production techniques. I love a new challenge!

Overall, it was a harmonious and collaborative team effort… Always a must for ANY successful business relationship.

FD: You have won a number of awards and you must be particularly proud of your woman-owned business awards. What was the first award you received? Are there any award experiences that stand out in your memory?

FG: My first award that I received was the “Top 500 Business in Southern California” award. I have to laugh out loud when asked what award experiences stand out in my memory… I share the same award experience with Warren Buffet, as he has the same award hanging on his wall… The ‘Dale Carnegie Sales Course’ award which I earned back in 1986!

FD: Being a woman and a strong leader in the exhibit and events design industry, what wisdom would you impart for a young
woman just entering this profession?

FG: TALK LESS, LISTEN MORE… but only to qualified mentors because there are a lot of “know-it-alls” in our industry who won’t necessarily always give you the best leadership guidance.

FD: We’re especially proud that FG|PG incorporates FormDecor modern furniture into its award winning designs… If you could choose one design from the FormDecor inventory for your office or home, what would it be?

FG: Wow… That’s especially tough because of course, all the inventory is absolutely to die for… But if I had to choose, it would be the Red Warren Platner chair. This chair matches my personality… Elegantly simple yet sophisticated. I love the Red Warren Platner chair!

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Hip & Fashionable by Destination Concepts Inc

Funky & Psychedelic… We Love it! Destination Concepts, Inc created a hip and fashionable lounge space at the Hard Rock Hotel in beautiful San Diego, CA for the PCMA event earlier this year! Color was definitely poppin’ with the Pink Dunbar Sofa, Genoa Lounge Chair, and Pucci Pillows! Add in the Probber Chrome Coffee Table….

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Funky & Psychedelic… We Love it! Destination Concepts, Inc created a hip and fashionable lounge space at the Hard Rock Hotel in beautiful San Diego, CA for the PCMA event earlier this year! Color was definitely poppin’ with the Pink Dunbar Sofa, Genoa Lounge Chair, and Pucci Pillows! Add in the Probber Chrome Coffee Table and who wouldn’t want to enjoy this lounge setting?!

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Rouge Fainting Couch makes its Debut on TV

The Rouge Fainting Couch isn’t a “One Hit Wonder”… It’s ever so fabulous!!! This luscious Rouge Fainting Couch is all over the TV scene these days… First, used to cradle Roshon on Dancing with the Stars… Now, ABC Family’s, Pretty Little Liars! It’s the perfect addition to any set. ABC is in love with it!….

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The Rouge Fainting Couch isn’t a “One Hit Wonder”… It’s ever so fabulous!!! This luscious Rouge Fainting Couch is all over the TV scene these days… First, used to cradle Roshon on Dancing with the Stars… Now, ABC Family’s, Pretty Little Liars! It’s the perfect addition to any set. ABC is in love with it! We’re in love with it! Are you?!

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E3 Expo 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

E3 Expo 2012 June 5-7, 2012 Los Angeles Convention Center 1201 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015

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E3 Expo 2012

June 5-7, 2012

Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

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BizBash IdeaFest 2012 – Los Angeles, CA

BizBash IdeaFest 2012 June 13, 2012 Los Angeles Convention Center 1201 South Figueroa Street Los Angeles, CA 90015 Look for FormDecor in Booth #P512!

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BizBash IdeaFest 2012

June 13, 2012

Los Angeles Convention Center
1201 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015

Look for FormDecor in Booth #P512!

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Licensing International Expo 2012 – Las Vegas, NV

Licensing International Expo June 12-14, 2012 Mandalay Bay Convention Center 3950 South Las Vegas Blvd. Las Vegas, NV 89119

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Licensing International Expo

June 12-14, 2012

Mandalay Bay Convention Center
3950 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89119

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ComiCon 2012 – San Diego, CA

Comic-Con 2012 July 12-15, 2012 San Diego Convention Center 111 West Harbor Drive San Diego, CA 92101

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Comic-Con 2012

July 12-15, 2012

San Diego Convention Center
111 West Harbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92101

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Aqua & Coral is SO 2012

FormDecor constantly strives to evolve ahead of rental style trends to give their clients fresh, practical options with exciting design details.  If you follow the FormDecor blog, you know that Coral is a fashion-forward furniture color which pairs beautifully with Turquoise or Aqua.  Just look at the beautiful inspiration board above! To fulfill that trend,….

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FormDecor constantly strives to evolve ahead of rental style trends to give their clients fresh, practical options with exciting design details.  If you follow the FormDecor blog, you know that Coral is a fashion-forward furniture color which pairs beautifully with Turquoise or Aqua.  Just look at the beautiful inspiration board above! To fulfill that trend, FormDecor recently added the Coral Victoria Chair to their Victoria furniture family.  FormDecor gives wedding planners fresh and unique inventory to satisfy even the most particular clients with loads of color to make any wedding or event pop!

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James Pearse Connelly has The Voice for Set Decor!

FormDecor sat down with James Pearse Connelly, Set Decorator Extraordinaire, who brings personalities alive through his design. From concept and creation to the final product, he provides something extraordinary! Just recently, you may have seen his work on NBC’s “The Voice” where he designed the off-stage set and what a phenomenal stage it was. In….

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FormDecor sat down with James Pearse Connelly, Set Decorator Extraordinaire, who brings personalities alive through his design. From concept and creation to the final product, he provides something extraordinary! Just recently, you may have seen his work on NBC’s “The Voice” where he designed the off-stage set and what a phenomenal stage it was. In addition, he has worked on the MTV Video Music Awards, on Spike TV and more… But we don’t want to give it all away in the introduction! Get to know James Pearse Connelly!

FormDecor: As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

James Pearse Connelly: The earliest I can remember, is I wanted to be a TAXI DRIVER.  And then I remember saying in middle school that some day, I wanted to be a PSYCHOLOGIST.  In Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts, I fell in love with Theater Set Design.   Now, all I do is drive around in LA trying to balance personalities while managing a design.

FD: You’ve become quite a well-known and up and coming Art Director / Production Designer!… When did you decide that this was what you wanted to do?

JPC: I just kept following what felt right.  My mother was an art teacher turned computer education specialist, and my father was an architect.  Design, computer skills, and judgment on aesthetic surrounded me.  For a period of time, I even remember somewhat branching out from it.  Taking classes in math, psychology… even typing skills.  It wasn’t until I was in drama club in high school, that I reconnected back with what felt right, thinking through shapes and forms to construct a set.

FD: What was one of the most memorable sets you’ve worked on? Do you have photos to share?

JPC: Aren’t they all special?  2007 VMAS!  I art directed that for Scott Storey and being a part of Britney Spears’ disaster of a performance was an unforgettable moment.  When it was finished everyone in the audience didn’t know whether to say it was horrible or not.  I was so proud to be a part of such a huge production and work on a number for Britney Spears, that my pride out shined the fact that it was truly AWFUL.

FD: Congratulations on winning an Emmy for Art Direction for Variety, Music or Nonfiction programming: “2008 MTV Video Music Awards”…  Will you share with us what that experience was like for you?

JPC:  I would only guess it was similar to being called on stage for the PRICE IS RIGHT.  It was such a shocking surprise, that when we were called – my astonishment and my adrenaline mixed and exploded to a total frenzy as I bolted, shook and grinned down the aisle.  My mother and sister were too excited to even notice that I turned into a raging spaz.  And to be honest, I can barely remember it.

FD: We loved your design for the Scream Awards greenroom on SpikeTV, so much that it’s displayed in our Showcase on FormDecor.com!  Was there any particular inspiration that made you choose our Hollywood Regency Style for this striking lounge?

JPC: With that project, we always talked about it being a stylized version of a backstage (or back tent) of a vintage carnival.  I drowned myself in carnival and circus research from all points of history to see what I could learn. We built the custom tent from fabric we got from INDIA because we wanted a particular color for the ceiling.  I picked through turn-of-the-century research to see what styles married well with FormDecor’s vast contemporary selection.

SpikeTV-Awards

SpikeTV-Awards1

FD: Season 2 of The Voice just aired on NBC after the Superbowl. Your design for the offstage presence was “harmonizing”! What were the highlights for you in working on this project?

JPC:  This was a crazy project that landed on my doorstep very late in the process.  I designed this over a weekend since the next day was an expected day of build.  The idea was to create a showroom of stylish furniture that incorporated the Voice brand.  I used color for the brand harmony and FormDecor for the style.  FormDecor has such great stuff, that I thought without even knowing what to choose yet, that I would get 80% of the furnishings there, and then fill in with what was needed for added interest.  I guess it takes a quick turnaround of a schedule to harmonize.

Grand-Banquette

Iman-Lounge

FD: The work you do with FormDecor furnishings is FABULOUS…If you could choose one design of FormDecor’s for your home, what would it be?

JPC:  Right before we were about to go live on air at the Grammy’s this year, of course while the crew was on a dinner break, I took a nap on the IMAN sectional.  Fabulous, comfortable and… Perfect.

FD: What is your greatest source of inspiration?

JPC:  I’m obsessed with Pinterest!!  Honestly, I find inspiration in new architecture and decoration.  And usually, in garish places with big economies where money is no object; Las Vegas, United Arab Emirates, corporate projects, sports arenas, shopping malls and retail wonderlands, and illustrative make-believe.

FD: What is your dream project and why? 

JPC: I think it’s time the Oval office had a new desk, don’t you?

FD: What haven’t you checked off on your “Bucket List”?   

JPC: Making out with Justin Bieber

FD: Where do you see yourself five years from now?

JPC:  In a bigger house with 2 bathrooms.

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James Pearse Connelly + FormDecor = The Voice

Lights… Microphone… SING! James Pearse Connelly eased pre-performance jitters with his harmonizing off-stage set design for NBC’s “The Voice”. The Grand Banquette, Iman Modular Series, and Sasha Sofa combined beautifully with the Judy Lounge Chair and Noguchi Coffee Table…  comfort and style suitable for Carson Daly’s back-story interviews with America’s next superstars.  Congratulations to ALL….

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Lights… Microphone… SING! James Pearse Connelly eased pre-performance jitters with his harmonizing off-stage set design for NBC’s “The Voice”. The Grand Banquette, Iman Modular Series, and Sasha Sofa combined beautifully with the Judy Lounge Chair and Noguchi Coffee Table…  comfort and style suitable for Carson Daly’s back-story interviews with America’s next superstars.  Congratulations to ALL the contestants!… Well done!

Iman-Lounge

Grand-Banquette

The-Voice-1

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