All posts by abbystone

the writing life: interviewing

as i mentioned the other day, interviewing in a big part of my job and, luckily, one that i really enjoy. but as someone who never went to journalism school and, therefore, never learned the “proper” techniques for conducting an interview, i’ve always second guessed myself: “what do other people do?,” “how could i be better at it? and, of course, “crap, i must be doing this wrong!” So, i felt intrigued, when one of my editors introduced me to a colleague recently with the note that “she’s a really great interviewer.” a few other people — interviewees actually, also mentioned this recently. “you’re really good at what you do cause you’re so easy to talk to,” and “i feel like i just tell you everything.”

wait, what?

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california home + design: beverly chill

for the winter issue of california home + design, i spoke to haus of design’s clint nicholas and lene schneider about a project they created in beverly hills that’s the very definition of southern california elegance and glamor, plush with luxury fabrics, muted tones, dramatic lighting and blue-chip art. The elusive designers have been under the radar for a while. they’re only just starting to allow their work to be published so this was a giant coup! unassuming and humble, they’re the very definition of cool: talented people just doing their work and happy to be able to have a chance to flex their creative muscles and make a living doing it!

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the writing life: loneliness

I’m often asked, by people who are just starting out in the freelance world, if I get lonely. “I need the watercolor conversation,” somebody said to me the other night. It’s something I wondered — and worried — about too when I fell into this line of work. Especially since, according to a good friend, I’m “extroverted AF,” a comment I found surprising given how shy I can feel at parties. The fact that I’m also what Marjorie Hillis calls a “live-aloner” compounded my fear. The short answer is no, I’m not lonely. And I credit interviewing people, one of my favorite parts of my job, for that.

Let me say, right off the bat, that I’m not someone to look to if you’re the kind of person who likes to walk into a situation fully prepared. That’s definitely not my M.O. I’m a little bit — okay a lot bit — of a free faller. Not that I don’t do my homework. I do. But I take a similar approach to how I handled things in high school, for better or worse; if I don’t know it now, there’s no way I can learn it all before the test. Luckily, a big part of interviewing, I find, is knowing enough to be able to ask intelligent questions, curious enough to keep asking until you get the answer and, smart enough to admit you don’t know everything. In fact, I’ve been told that people enjoy talking to me because I seem genuinely interested in their lives. It’s not an act! I am. In fact, I failed the Myers Briggs portion of the Director’s Guild test to be a Second Assistant Director precisely because of this trait. “Would you enjoy the work of a forest ranger?,” read one question, “Would you enjoy the work of a nurse?,” another one posed. I answered yes to both questions (the correct answer was no). While I wouldn’t chose to do that work every day, I’m intrigued by what their work entails, why and how someone would chose those careers and what they love — and hate — most about their work. I’d definitely be interested in trailing them for a day to observe them in their element. Wouldn’t you? I find people endlessly fascinating so I could I ever be lonely.

weddings california: a labor of love

In which I ask celebrity events and wedding planner Stefanie Cove how insane her own wedding would be (not at all) and if her life is like the movie (it’s not — except for the earpieces.) For one

weddings california: hit list

In which Lindsey Pennington shares how she combined her negotiating and design skills into a launching a bespoke wedding registry service. Talk about playing to your strengths.
Read the full story here.

interiors california: a study in contrasts

And last, but definitely not least, there’s this piece for the Summer 2017 of Interiors California which profiles Blackman Cruz‘s latest collection, Dichotomy 2. What! You haven’t visited them yet? If you like sexy, beautifully crafted furniture and home accessories, get ready to drool.

Read the full article here.

interiors california: agency of change

For the summer issue of Interiors California I wrote three pieces. As well as the cover, I also wrote this piece: an interview with Klein Agency. BTW, their leather sofa? Ingeniously designed. It’s on my wish list. Of course, I first need a house to put it in!

read the full article here

interiors california: power play

The cover story for the fall 2017 issue of Interiors California! I loved this home from the moment I stepped inside. In fact, this may be one of the few times I’ve toured a space and felt jealous; I want this home! Safura Salek of Mass Studio, the designer, did an amazing job of not just furnishing the home but creating a place that vibrates seamlessly between public and private, that works as well for an intimate gathering as it does for a raucous event. Photographer Bethany Nauert did a great job of capturing its many variations. Kudos to editor Laura Eckstein. She’s a dream to work with.

To read the full article, click here.

moderator for wine & design’s 1st event as los angeles editor-at-large for ca home + design


last night, acting as editor-at-large los angeles for ca home + design, i moderated wine & design’s first-in-a-series-of-design-events at the mondrian hotel. the panel was called “deconstructing design”; i felt it would be fun and helpful if we talked about “how to be creative when being creative is your job”, especially in the wake of mashable posting this piece on young urban creatives aka yuc-ies. created by michelle leshem of supermarket creative and annie wharton of annie wharton art consulting, and presented by ca home + design under the los angeles design festival umbrella, it featured furniture, interior and production designer for kelly wearstler, maureeen baine; furniture designer thomas hayes; textile designer nicole de leon; and, cassie sanchez, senior interior design associate at gensler. secret agent pr posted this picture of me re-reading my notes on their instagram. thanks everyone, i had fun (even though i had a bad case of stage fright when we started)

guest on VoiceAmerica’s Matters of Design


I flipped the tables on uber-talented interior designer and host of Matters of Design on VoiceAmerica Demitri Christian Sgourakis. I was the guest but instead I decided to ask the questions. It was fun but very unnerving to hear myself! Apparently I sound like a six year old with a sore throat and missed my calling in doing cartoon voices? You can hear the whole show via podcast by clicking here
or just listen here: Demitri’s a great interview and a great person with a vast store of knowledge that ranges from feng shui to furniture to gardening! You can learn more about him here.