California designer John Sharp is multifaceted. His design studio is based in experiential concepts, using “highly expressive interiors and imaginative landscapes” to convey his unique point of view–think memorable outdoor spaces, art-driven designs, and constant inspiration. Having worked with top celebrities including Sophia Bush and Charlie Carver, his star is only rising. Sharp’s work on the landscape at the iconic Garcia House, designed by architect John Lautner in 1962, is both innovative and deeply respectful to the home’s unique history. (Take a peek here.) Needless to say, his own star is rising and we can’t wait to see what he does next. Today, he tackles our #5MinutesWith Q&A.
MY LIGHT BULB MOMENT:
First light at a Sunday vintage market. The initial rush into an estate sale. Rummaging old stores in Americana towns looking for artifacts from the past and relics to tell a story in the future. Visiting the grow fields of a plant nursery to source the perfect specimen. Hand sourcing is one of the keys to my designs. I am a man of tactility; I know I’ve found the right pairing for a space when I can see and feel it with my own eyes.
I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
I usually lay in bed walking myself through a space that I am working on. Sometimes it feels like running through flash cards. It’s kinda a Queen’s Gambit moment in which I can walk through an environment or landscape in my head or see it projected out in front of me. After the birds call me to gather myself, I pop up for coffee on the beach with my 10 year old sidekick, a German Shorthaired Pointer, Harper.
Creating the ultimate synergy in a space–zones to gather, light casting the right mood, fragrance telling a sexy scent story, fresh flora (sometimes too much flora), nostalgic tunes, layers of unique objects and furniture selected with intention and arranged to encourage connection.
YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
Low-key hoarder vibes over here. A cactus, a gemstone, a vintage object I am so jazzed to have come across…
MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
A land art series with the National Parks.
THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN LOS ANGELES:
The southwest. There’s a special place in the East Mountains somewhere that I also call home but I want to keep that place private for now.
WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
An open road portal–I hop in the car and cruise up the California coast. Or away from the coast. I’ve driven across the US a dozen or more times. I come alive in the desert at night, waking up with the clouds for a mountain morning, or any adventure with open windows and an open heart.
ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
Feel each moment. Be totally in it. Someone gave me this advice and I am still letting it land. In today’s world we are almost trained to be already considering the next. Every bit of wisdom we need can be found in the experience we are having if we stay present walking through its unfolding.
IN 5 YEARS, FIND ME:
Off the map for a bit. Maybe taking commissions via postcard in some remote location with a community of people that I am able to support, grow, and exchange with.
ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Romantic Realism. Casting each moment with a glow that echoes our soul beat, while staying conscious of the world we live in and how we as people must co-exist in our own and each other’s narratives–collectively, and in collaboration.