January 18, 2017

Q&A with Ted Roberts and Judd Lord of ELEVATE

The ELEVATE Design Collective was formed in 2016, when six well-known home accent brands came together to elevate the role of accent products in the interior design conversation.

by New York Spaces

ELEVATE DESIGNERS
ELEVATE Designers.
Judd Lord ELEVATE
Judd Lord.

NYS: What is ELEVATE Design Collective?

A first-of-its-kind alliance, the ELEVATE Design Collective, brought together six industry-leading home design brands Delta® Faucet Company, Formica Corporation, Hunter Fan, JELD-WEN®, KitchenAid® and Schlage®, to highlight home accents within home style and interior design conversations. Anchored in design trends from top industry designers, the ELEVATE Design Collective creates a prominent voice for style-oriented brands in the interior design space, while providing design-driven insight and inspiration to interior designers, architects and remodelers.

ted roberts elevate
Ted Roberts.

NYS: What are your respective backgrounds?

Judd Lord: I've been a designer for more than 22 years and took the industrial design reins at Delta Faucet Company in 2000. My perspective on product design is that it's both an artistic and structural engineering challenge, leaning on inspiration from the details of architecture, cultures and nature to enhance the technical aspects to create functional sculpture. Adhering to this philosophy, my team and I have designed many of the Delta brand's most successful collections. I'm also proud to have been instrumental in laying the groundwork for the Brizo brand portfolio, personally designing several of its marquee product suites.

Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

Ted Roberts: I'm the Style and Design Chief at Allegion leading in-house design efforts while providing aesthetic direction for multiple brands, including Schlage, Kryptonite and LCN. My design experience at Allegion allows me to merge style and design with our tech-focused products. I've previously held industrial design positions at CN Burman, Baldwin Hardware, Masco, and Ingersoll Rand. My designs have won multiple industry awards including Unique and Significant Advancement in the Art of Science and Lighting 2002 from the Illuminating Engineering Society of America, and the 2004 American Building Products Award sponsored by Home Magazine.

NYS: Why did you both decide to team up with ELEVATE Design Collective to redesign a custom SoHo loft?

Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Hunter; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

Judd Lord: The vision for the ELEVATE Design Collective began with Schlage as they recognized an opportunity to bring like-minded, home accent brands together to share a larger statement with the interior design community, design influencers and even consumers on home design styles and trends. Delta was honored to be invited to be an active member within the collective. We saw the benefits of combining voices to be a part of the larger interior design conversation and were excited to be a part of the inaugural program.

Ted Roberts: The design collective was originally created by Schlage in an effort to collaborate with like-minded brands interested in having a voice in the design community. As individual companies we all place high importance on the design of our products and the creation of relevant aesthetics. Together, through the collective, we shared perspectives and ideas as we created something much bigger, and brought those learnings back to our respective organizations.

Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

NYS: What advice would you give to someone trying to emulate the space you designed?

Ted Roberts: Each space is unique and you should start by evaluating your rooms. We had great light in the loft and that became a key element in the design and supported the open clean look. Building on that, Jennifer added key furnishing and eventually looked at every detail in the loft finishing with key accessories to complete the look. The volume of items in the room is important to its success. Be sure to look at the smaller items such and faucets and locks to ensure the space has that finished appearance.

NYS: Do you think decluttering and simplifying spaces is becoming a trend? If so, why or why not?

Judd Lord: Decluttering and simplifying spaces has been trending for several years and continues to gain momentum. Living space footprints continue to shrink as more people move back to urban areas, opt for open floor plans, and express a general desire to come home to a cleaner, less visually cluttered space. All of these factors are driving the trend. There tend to be fewer objects in living spaces which have less ornamentation and busy details yet more intentional purpose. I'd urge consumers to not think of simplification as cold, as these spaces can still be warm and inviting via color choices such as Single Malt, warmer finishes and various, simplified, understated textures.

Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

Ted Roberts: Today more than ever before we are always connected and busier than ever. Thus, the idea of a

design detox was born, as it's all about creating an environment rooted in simplicity and free from chaos and stress. The goal is to bring an aura of serenity and simplicity to the home so that you have a true space to unwind and relax.

NYS: What do you think a Design Detox does for a spaces' inhabitants?

Ted Roberts: Design Detox does a number of things for inhabitants. First, it allows them to simplify the space in order to provide sanctuary from our modern hectic lifestyles. It also allows inhabitants the opportunity to elevate their current design influences within the home by using minimalist designs and décor to help achieve this look and feel.

Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Jeld-Wen; Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

Judd Lord: As Ted alluded, simplifying the space helps bring a sense of calm to your otherwise busy world. Environments don't have to be sterile. They can be warm, friendly and inviting. Eliminating visual clutter works to provide a better sense of organization and a feeling of escape in some cases, from the world in which we now seem unable to disconnect.

NYS: What should a home provide for its owners?

Judd Lord: To me, home is a state of mind. It's incumbent upon the spaces in which we dwell to provide the best opportunity for achieving a sense of calm, confidence, security, and comfort. From our perspective, kitchens and bathrooms are the two most important rooms in the house. As such, it's so much fun working with water as a design and functional element to help achieve calm and move you to a state of mind that can turn a structure into a home.

Ted Roberts: A home should be a calming sanctuary and also a warm place where inhabitants will feel safe. Good design is a blend of both aesthetics and great function. It's easy to think that style needs to be sacrificed for safety, but we aim to offer door hardware to enhance the look of a home, add another layer of security, and even make it smarter, which at the end of the day means Schlage is opening a lot more than just doors.

NYS: What suggestions would you give to someone who has no idea where to start?

Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

Judd Lord: Sometimes the best thing to do is simply start small. Often times the details make the most impact. Whether replacing the faucet, the towel bars, door hardware, cabinet drawer pulls or knobs, new switch and outlet plates or even adding a cool ceiling fixture, small details can really make a significant impact.

Ted Roberts: Start small! Oftentimes homeowners look at updating their space from the perspective of large investments or pieces, such as new flooring or new appliances, but the small details can really make a difference and they aren't too overwhelming. Door hardware isn't always the first thing on a homeowner's mind, but it's an easy way to simplify your life, especially if you choose an electronic option that completely eliminates the need for keys, which means no more stressing about lost keys. Not to mention, we offer many options for color and style to fit with any decor and add that final touch to your space, room, or home.

NYS: What are some appliances and products that you would each recommend using?

Ted Roberts: I'd recommend door hardware as an easy way to incorporate the Design Detox trend into your home. For this trend it's all about letting texture take center stage by using monochromatic palettes. When it comes to color, use neutrals that shift away from cooler tones in favor of warmer shades, or off neutrals, like deep earthy tones with Southwest influences. This can easily be incorporated with updated countertops, choosing from Formica Corporation's array of options, or even by easily updating your door hardware with a finish that fits into the color palette, like Schlage's Aged Bronze offerings. Or choose furniture, appliances, and even doors dominated by clean lines to help create a calming effect, from KitchenAid's refrigerator, stove and dishwasher options, to pieces like the JELD-WEN® MODA™ Door Collection with contemporary wood doors that feature sleek lines to accentuate clean, square and rectangular décor.

Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Delta Faucet; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

Judd Lord: I recommend using what would normally be considered an accent piece as a statement piece. Consider one-of-a-kind mirrors, lighting, or unique Hunter Fan designs as a muse. Upgrade faucets and accessories with one of the Delta brand's industrial chic or contemporary designs, perhaps in one of the brand's new warmer and unique finish offerings such as Delta Black Stainless or Champagne Bronze.

NYS: Do you foresee another collaboration?

Judd Lord: We embarked upon this collective to showcase home accent brands as more than simple finishing details. Together, our products generate powerful and impactful statements in the home and ideally we want to continue to have a voice in the interior design conversation.

Ted Roberts: We continue to build on the partnership established with the Elevate brands. I enjoyed the experience, and I feel Schlage and the other brands all learned and benefitted from the experience. I look forward to future collaboration and the power of working together.

NYS: What was the experience like?

Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

Judd Lord: The overall experience was very gratifying and a lot of fun. I didn't know what to expect considering there were so many talented and accomplished designers from incredibly strong and respected brands. My biggest surprise was how easy it was to work with everyone. It was just a great group of creative and smart individuals coming together with a common understanding of the goals of the collective.

Ted Roberts: Working with the designers from the Elevate partners was an exciting opportunity. Much to our delight the group gelled from the very beginning and a culture of collaboration quickly evolved between the teams and with Jennifer Schmidt. While we all had slightly different design perspectives (coming from multiple industries), it was reassuring in that our approach to design was so similar. I was especially pleased with the end result. The loft is beautiful and truly depicts the influence of accessories in creating great interior design.

NYS: How did the vision behind ELEVATE Design Collective start and take off?

The ELEVATE Design Collective was formed in 2016, when six well-known home accent brands came together to elevate the role of accent products in the interior design conversation. We wanted to impact the larger interior design conversation through thought leadership and create ongoing relationships with leading interior designers and architects.

NYS: What should consumers know about ELEVATE?

Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.
Loft by Elevate; Photograph by Scott Passfield.

Ted Roberts: The vision to create the ELEVATE Design Collective began with Schlage, a brand of Allegion that has created stylish, innovative door hardware products for more than 95 years. Schlage recognized the opportunity to bring like-minded, home accent brands together to make a larger contribution to the interior design industry and educate influencers and consumers alike on the latest styles and trends in home design. To learn more about the ELEVATE Design Collective, the urban loft and the participating brands, visit ELEVATE Design Collective to receive updates and join the conversation on the ELEVATE Instagram and Facebook pages.

Judd Lord: The most important takeaway to me – and one that I hope comes through to all – is that home accent brands are more than simple finishing details. Together, our products are powerful and impactful statements in the home and ideally we want to continue to have a voice in the interior design conversation.

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