New York City designer Brad Ford‘s basket of tricks for an impromptu picnic in the Hollywood Hills
Business travel can sometimes totally suck it hard. Imagine getting to Hawaii for a three day conference only to find out it’s all indoors…three miles from the beach. How about finishing a day long seminar in Las Vegas only to receive an areola surprise from a showgirl……over cocktails with your boss? No thanks.
If I’m in a great city, I prefer to see less of my Inbox and more of the locale. Decor Demon was recently part of a keynote presentation panel at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Fellow panelist/designer Brad Ford and I made a pact to see the California sun between meetings, albeit it 45 minutes or two hours. Determined to experience the Hollywood Hills, relax al fresco AND dine in style, Mr. Ford worked in a mid-afternoon picnic before heading to a networking event. After feverishly raiding the aisles of Target and Whole Foods Market, the New York tastemaker created a place in the sun as well-edited and executed as his flawless body of work.
In a matter of minutes, Brad had it all figured out: natural textures, pops of sunny yellow and menu items both hot and cold—all contained within a carryall basket. He laid his eyes on a wooden bingo set at Target—an excellent means of getting the conversation started between guests—and a nod to Beach Blanket Bingo, a 1965 movie set in cool, breezy, coastal California.
Every event needs flowers, even if it’s only 90 minutes long with a guest list of four. Brad is a master with grocery store floral, miraculously shedding paper-or-plastic pasts for clean, polished looks. He opted for yellow to fit the locale with tulips and daisies. When working with yellow for interiors, the designer recommends Benjamin Moore “Light Yellow” 2022-60.
Reality shows don’t have a monopoly on elimination rounds; they’re a key part of our featured designer’s daily routine. Brad first pulled the supermarket bouquets apart, then mixed filler from some with the budding stems of others. After voting daisies and green grasses off the island, he opted for cut foliage from the tree above him.
Similar to a room, every element of Brad’s picnic played a key role in its on-the-fly design. A summery Dwell Studio blanket, bamboo plates and seagrass basket from Target jump-started Brad’s overall organic tone. Bamboo flatware from Seletti was fancified with a roll of natural twine. Aside from the decorative elements, cuisine was also masterfully worked in. With absolutely no time at all for preparation, Brad dashed into the hot foods section of Whole Foods Market for Roasted Lemon-Herb Chicken, Couscous Salad and a second salad made from arugula. To wash it all down, our designer/host concocted his own version of Sparkling Lemonade.
Beachwood Blanket Bingo
Once the temporary foundation for our on-the-go entertaining was laid, it was time to nosh, picnic-style, above Beachwood Canyon Drive. Brad and I enjoyed the company of my West Coast fashionista friend, Camille [interior designer/makeover show pro] and my photographer’s genetically blessed BFF, David [actor]. Once comfortably seated at our hilltop destination, we realized something sucky: we forgot the bingo prizes.
Indulge in the amazing eye candy that is Brad’s portfolio via his website.
For the blogtastic side of Mr. Brad Ford, click your way over to Design Therapy.