A home is a place of solace, safety, and comfort. That is why it’s perfectly understandable that people want the interior of their homes designed as fashionable as possible according to their taste. In this episode, Dani Behr and Tara Joseph interview the President of Everick Brown Design, Everick Brown, and CEO Lisa Brown as they share their personal story along with the history of their company. Having been around the globe, they describe the differences in aesthetics of the places they’ve worked on. Learn the ins and outs of interior designing straight from their experiences with different types of clients all the way to absorbing inspiration.
Listen to the podcast here:
Fashionable Interior Designs: Designing The West And The East Coast
With Special Guests Everick And Lisa Brown Of Everick Brown Design
We’ve got another brand-new episode for you and I’d like to think of this in life, style and everything fabulous or those realms. Who do we have, Tara?
Our guests are truly the dynamic duo, combining their amazing creativity on the one hand with marketing expertise on the other. Please welcome to the show from Everick Brown Design, Everick and Lisa Brown. First of all, tell us, where are you? We like to know where everyone is.
We are in our home in New York in Northern Westchester.
Are you guys from there? Let’s get a little bit of a backstory. Where are you both from? How did you meet? Because your story is fantastic. Let’s get that out.
We’re originally born, bred and raised in Los Angeles and we met in the fifth grade in elementary school. We went to elementary, junior high and high school together and then parted our ways for college and other lives. We reacquainted twenty years later. Lisa crashed into my high school reunion.
He is ahead of me and much older, so I crashed.
Did you know he was going to be there?
Honestly, and I hate to say this in front of him, I hadn’t thought of him in twenty years.
Why would you? You both have moved on and had all the marriages.
I walked in and as soon as I walked in, somebody said to me, “Everick Brown is here,” and then it was like, “Whoa.”
How did he look?
Can I tell you that when I saw him, I was like, “What?”
Did you think the same thing, Rick?
Did you guys improve with age?
Definitely. This is the ’80s at a high school. I had a shag and I had a Mustang.
Did you ever do the Jheri curl?
My mother wouldn’t allow Jheri curl.
He was my ideal fantasy man. He had everything going for him and he still does. He’s beautiful, but that night, I was like, “Did I just dream him up?” I knew there had to be something wrong. He’s got to be only dating wolves or men that want to be women.
For our readers, Everick and Lisa are both gorgeous.
Rick is dapper, well-dressed and stylish. I’m thinking when you first knew each other from school in the ‘80s, the ‘80s fashion was out there. We all thought we looked cool as hell like that, but when we look back on the pictures, not so much. He’s still super dapper and probably more refined with age, right Lisa?
I would agree. Though at the time, he would have been considered the best body. He’s gotten most athletic. All the girls wanted him. He was dating somebody probably older when I was way too young and unsophisticated for him at the time.
When you were with your other partners, you both had children and then you became this fabulous blended family. Is that right?
That’s what we did.
How many kids have you got between you all?
We have three. I have one and Everick has two. We were for over ten years, just going back and forth between LA and New York and waiting for them to grow up and go to college.
Were you based in New York, Lisa and Everick was over here?
No, it was the reverse. I was in New York and I’ve been in New York for 30 years.
You waited for your child to grow up and go to college and then you moved to the East Coast with Rick?
Exactly. The timing was perfect. His youngest was the same age as my son, so all kids were in college.
Left at the same time, how wonderful. You were finally empty nesters all at the same time. That’s probably the first time you guys had time alone together for just the two of you, right?
For an extended period of time, we go back and forth since LA is also home to Everick. He was always in LA. Every three weeks, we would go back and forth and then during the summer and spring break, whenever there’s a school break, my son and I would come and we’d spend extended time together.
There are many blended families and everybody’s divorced, especially in LA for the most part. Everybody, the second time around, typically is in a blended family situation. What advice can you give? How was your experience with blending the kids and you being a co-parent of somebody else’s children or vice versa? What good stories and any good advice that you can give? Because clearly, you’ve made it work.
You can’t force it. I found that you have to wait for the kids to come to you and come around. We have similar values and morals and certainly, we agree on how kids should be raised. Both of us found that you’re a little less tolerant of each other’s kids, so you have to allow that space.
I’m not sure I would describe it that way. I don’t know that it’s tolerant. What you have to be is respectful of the other person. What happens when you blend a family is you have different strategies on how you raise your kids. If you don’t respect the other, that’s when you start creating issues and tension.
I come from a blended family and from when I was three, my parents got divorced. They each remarried their various partners. It can be quite a challenge. It can take many years for the children and the respective step-parents to all feel that they’re one in the same family. You get there eventually, but it can take a minute.
We’re there now.
We are there now, too, 40 years later.
One time, my bonus daughter sent me a message that she loves our relationship and how close we are now. I said, “You did that.” She did that work because I waited patiently and I was here when she was ready.
You can’t force it, you’re right. They have to be ready in their own time to be accepting and it depends on the ages of the children. If they go through that hideous, awful, nightmare teenage phase where they hate the world and everyone around it anyway, it’s not going to help.As long as you know you're making a mistake and you acknowledge it, it’s okay. Click To Tweet
They have another parent, so they’re not looking for an extra. They’re looking for a dad.
They’re trying to get rid of their parents so what’s another extra? They’re like, “I got someone else now on me.” Moving on the parenting thing, tell us what do you do.
Tell us how you ended up working together as part of this great company.
I founded Everick Brown Design years ago, which was piggyback on a business I had founded ten years prior to that. It’s been many years in the making. I started off with two home furnishing stores, which morphed into an interior design business. I had been working on my business and Lisa was helping. She came in and has helped bring a lot of structure to the business. I don’t know how long ago that was.
I was working from Los Angeles, helping him with administrative work. Either creating proposals, reaching out to clients and keeping in touch and whatever I could do from there. When I was here, I would go in with him on different projects, but we were able to pull it together once I moved here permanently.
The business is complex. We do both residential and commercial. We do what we coined as experiential, where we do events. There are a lot of moving parts to the business. Lisa is good at connecting with people and closing deals and so forth, which allows me the freedom to be creative, which is where the fun comes in. She’s like, “I need you to finish this now.” I’m like, “Creative juices aren’t flowing,” and she’s like, “There’s no time for creative juices.”
Wasn’t that a bit of a good cop, bad cop dynamic?
It can be. We work well together but we stay in each other’s lanes. I stay in my lane and he stays in his. He is the creative one and it does help that with clients. He is the face of the creative and that I’m the face of, “You always learn.”
When you’re working together, do you tend to leave to work at 6:00 AM and when you’re at home, you forget about work? Was it always work as part of your relationship as well?
Always work but I love my work, so I don’t always look at it as work but in addition to that, I flow at night. The reason why I flow at night is that I don’t have a lot of interruptions.
There are no distractions when you get in bed.
That is hard, which is turning it off.
Does that ever become difficult if you’re living together, working together, best friends together and everything together? Does it ever become a bit overwhelming or it’s always just fabulous?
It’s always fabulous.
What relationship is ever just fabulous?
First of all, we have some work to do as far as setting some boundaries because I’m such an intense person when it comes to getting things done and he’s more relaxed. I will pull my laptop into bed and say, “We got to do this,” because you have your phone and your laptop right there next to the bed and that’s probably not a good idea that we do that. I would say that for work, it’s fine. For relationships, it’s probably not just a great idea. Luckily, we have a great foundation and we’ve been doing this for long that it works out fine, but in the long-term, we need to probably improve those boundaries and say, “Work is between these hours.” We don’t do that right now. We can’t afford to do that right now. We have to work as hard as we can.
Our day blends in a different way. Most people are from 9:00 to 5:00 or 9:00 to 7:00, we might go from 9:00 to 12:00 and then come back from 5:00 to 10:00. There are times during the day when we might go out for a run, eat or take a break and laugh. When you’re on a calendar or a structure like that, it’s easier to blend it, so I wouldn’t say we’re working 8:00 in the morning until 1:00 in the morning.
Unless we’re working with an event that has a deadline. We did an event with Spike Lee, and that was 24/7. We were working for three weeks and it’s crazy. He slept maybe every other day for three hours. We have been in those situations but when we are together. We’re out with field and in different design events, we flow well together. We have a great yin and yang and we flow well in groups and when we’re trying to develop relationships and network. That’s where our relationship and the foundation of our friendship, going back to fifth grade, shines because we definitely blend well together.
You’re familiar with each other that you know you can finish each other’s sentences. You know exactly how one is thinking before they say anything. Tell us about the design and what your style is. Enlighten the readers of whoever the ground is. What’s your brand?
My style, self-described is what I call modern classic with a global perspective. I always say that includes everything but it’s specific to me. The global for me if you were talking about what my passions are, it’s primitive art, both Asian and African. As I work with clients, it could be South American and it could be aboriginal. It could be something from Ireland.
You are bringing a little flavor into the mix.
I love to travel and I love to incorporate those pieces of my life or my client’s life into my work. At the end of the day, what I’m trying to do is create an environment that is both functional, creative and that my clients love.
You mentioned when we’ve spoken to you in the past that you’ve sometimes gone into a situation where you’ve had crazy requests. Everyone wants something in blue or everyone wants something in orange. Tell us something about that because it was interesting instead of crazy.
Everick does a beautiful job of creating a home that doesn’t feel like, “A designer was clearly here.” It feels like a home that’s elevated with your style and the home that the client wanted. He can go in, move some things around and all of a sudden, it opens up the room and you’re seeing the view that you should be seeing. Sometimes, clients have specific tastes that we have to try to give them exactly what they want. We don’t always agree and it might not be a style that is pleasing to us but we’re there to please the client. We’ve had clients who love blue and everything had to be blue, literally every vase, rug and pillow.
The ottoman had to be blue.
Is it different shades of blue or all the same blue?
Fifty shades of blue.
Is this person only dressed in blue as well?
No. This particular client, both the husband and wife, had to agree in order for them to make a decision. Honestly, the husband had better taste. If the husband wanted it and the wife didn’t or vice versa, they didn’t do it.
I’m in the real estate industry as well and we get this all the time. Typically, on the property purchasing or selling side, the wife makes the emotional choice because she gets the final say if it fits in the budget. Typically, the husband will decide on the budget or the wife will be like, “I love this,” and he’ll look at me like, “Forget about it. It’s not going to happen.” There’s always one in the relationship that approves the finances. Typically, in a heterosexual relationship, the guy’s the one looking at the wife going, “It’s not happening. It’s too expensive. Show us something else.”
It’s pretty much the same.
It is funny though when you have a couple who is the decision-maker and the taste is apparent. They have no clue and you’re looking at the partner going, “Do you want to have a word? This is not a good look. Do you want to say something here?” Do you find those designers that are much set in their ways and you’re constantly trying to convince them to go with your way of design and your choices? Is it a matter of you’re constantly compromising and just saying, “Okay, whatever you want?”
He’ll say to a client, “I’m not going to allow you to make a mistake. I will tell you that if you want that, then we’ll get it. I don’t think it is right for the room, but if you want it, we’ll get it.”
As long as you know you’re making a mistake and you acknowledge it, then I bless it.
They’ll come back and tell me, “What did you do? Why did you let me by the blue ottoman?”
You’ve mentioned Spike Lee, who other celebs you work with? We always like to know.
Let’s talk about the clients in general. What type of clients do you work with, including celebs? Also, how do you get your clients?
We get most of our clients through referrals. We consider our business to be a referral-based business. Some of our interesting clients are Nō Studios, which is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. That’s John Ridley, the filmmaker of 12 Years a Slave, Oscar winner. For the US Open, under the helm of Katrina Adams, the president.
We did the president’s suite of the US Open. A lot of times because we’re in New York, a lot of people might be behind the scenes. We also work in LA so we have some people in LA.
I’m working with Leah Daughtry, who headed up the DNC under Obama’s era.
We did Billy Dee Williams because I grew up with him being part of the family.
Michael Boatman who’s an actor on The Good Fight and we’re working with them, which are some interesting people, the other interesting clients are attorneys. We have a client for many years who is in the music industry and the attorney represents a lot of Hip Hop and R&B clients.
I would say any client that has a good space and pays would be a good client. Is there anyone that is aspirational clients and jobs? Is there any space that you would love to get your hands on or any type of client that you’d love to work with?
I’d do a hotel.Picking the correct accessories to define a home is like fashion. You need to find the right one to make it boom. Click To Tweet
I would love to do a hotel. In fact, I was in a boutique hotel that was a renovated motel. I thought, “This would be cool.” The reason why I want to get my hands on the hotel is that you’re not only doing bedrooms and interiors, but you get an opportunity to do common spaces like restaurants, lounges and the likes. It’s a good variety. My dream job would be a hotel.
We’re doing an event in Martha’s Vineyard. We’re doing a bed and breakfast for fourteen rooms. We were helping out the Martha’s Vineyard African-American Film Festival so that gave us some exposure. We have some friends with homes on the island, so we’re starting to do some work.
A B&B is a good prelude to a hotel. It’s a good way to start.
Have there been other designers that have inspired you over the years, Rick? Who do you love? Who do you know as growing up into a young guy? Who did you look at and think, “Wow?”
Clodagh does a lot of organic and sustainable environment. She’s somebody that I’ve inspired been inspired by also, Peter Marino, who is an architect. I love what he does. He’s fun and over the top with his words. He’s inspirational. Kelly Wearstler is fun. I have a tendency not to do as whimsical but there’s a certain place where we overlap. She does a lot of art and artifacts. The furniture line is fun.
Is that something you guys aspire to eventually have? Is that your product, accessory line or range of home goods? Is that something in the Everick ground plan?
We already have a name for it. It’s called Objects and Accents. I have a real passion for home decor and accessories by the way. One, it’s like fashion. The accessories define the look in a room and they do the same for fashion. You can put on a navy-blue suit. It’s not until you put on your tie and cufflinks that you begin to jazz that up and make it unique. The same thing happens in a home with accessories. For me, that’s been a passion. When I started my two stores many years ago, that’s what they were, home furnishings accessories stores.
The show is La La Landed so we’re LA-based. What would you find the biggest differences between the East and West Coast as far as not just design requests from clients, but the aesthetics?
Which do you prefer?
What are the fundamental differences?
The West Coast is probably a little more casual versus the East Coast. East Coast is probably a little more cultural.
That’s weather-dependent, would you say? Because we are in this sunny blue sky and constant summer vibe.
I think he’s right. The East Coast isn’t generally much more cultural than the West Coast.
I’m just saying that it’s more casual in LA because it’s this indoor-outdoor living and people are in shorts and flip flops. They’re not in a suit, tie and buttoned-up shirt and going to Wall Street. It’s a different lifestyle.
Do you miss living here, Rick and Lisa?
I don’t. He does.
I don’t know if I miss it, but I like LA and I like both for different reasons.
I love living in New York. It is more fun.
I’ve been to New York many times but whenever I go, I find it difficult to get my head around everything because there’s so much to do. There are many ways to turn. I feel a bit overwhelmed so for me, I’m much more of a West Coast girl. 100%, which is odd because a lot of Europeans love New York. It has an affinity with London.
You cannot be anywhere in the world like the energy of New York, but for living on an all-year-round basis, there’s nowhere like LA.
That defines the difference between the two coasts. LA is not only is it more casual but has a tendency to be maybe more modern and more contemporary than New York. In New York, you’ll find much more classic to update a traditional look. Whereas when you go to the West Coast for me, it’s more updated to contemporary modern.
Tell us, what do you do when you’re not working? I know you work 24/7, but there must be a few moments when you’re not. Do you travel? Do you like to explore the world?
That’s our favorite thing to do.
Where’d you go?
Ideally, we would just travel. We got back from Italy. We went to Florence and to Lake Como between Christmas and New Year.
I went to Paris to London and then I came home. From there, I went to Boston, then to Los Angeles. We went to Philadelphia and in Martha’s Vineyard. That’s just for 3 or 4 weeks.
We also went to Guatemala.
You must get some great design ideas from all the travels.
In fact, our Italy trip was my trip to Lisa to say, “This is where I got my inspiration.” I love being in Italy, where people live in buildings that are 500 to 1,000 years old, but they have modern aesthetics. There’s always this juxtaposition of modern and classic. The textiles, colors, terrain and architecture is amazing.
How they appreciate it and live with it, they want it and they want it out. It didn’t matter that it was freezing outside, you sat outside.
It’s 25 degrees and the Europeans are out smoking and eating.
Do you know why? Because we’re nosy we and love to watch everyone.
People are used to raining that as soon as there’s no rain, you’ll be outside. You have the roof of your car down.
People just love to enjoy the weather.
I remember probably in the ‘80s, I was on my way to Paris and about three months before I started listening to French trying to pick up a little bit of language, the first things they say is when you’re at a cafe, you’re sitting outside and people are watching, it is exactly that.
If you noticed and it’s clearly for people watching because all the seats are facing the street. They’re not facing each other. Clearly, it’s not about who you’re with. It’s about who you’re going to see or be seen.
We love the French and people say, “I don’t like the French. They’re rude.” I’m like, “No, they’re not.” They treat each other the same way they treat you. I’ve never had anyone be anything but gracious. We were sitting in a restaurant and this couple came and they moved the tables. The waiter came out and said, “Get out of here.” He made them leave and said, “Don’t move our tables.”
They don’t care. There is no sense of that customer service like you get in the States.
Tell us how people can reach out to you if they want an Everick Brown Design in a home or commercial entity. How do they come to you?
We are EverickBrown.com and Everick Brown everywhere and in Yahoo and Gmail.
If they want to email us, they can email me at Lisa@EverickBrown.com or at Info@EverickBrown.com. They can find you guys and say, “What’s their phone number?” We will go anywhere around the world and do our magic touches.
They’re East Coast to West Coast, everybody. Their design and aesthetic are beautiful, modern and they’re wonderful people. It’s all about relationships, especially in the world of real estate, life, and style. It’s who you like to work with because it’s such a big process and you have to work closely with your designers, your realtors and people you like to hang out with.
You will like this dynamic duo because they are simply the best and a total joy. Thank you to our readers. It’s always wonderful being with you. You can contact us through our website, LaLaLanded.com, if you’ve got any questions for Everick or Lisa, and any questions for Dani or me. Thank you. You will be hearing from us again soon. Until then, keep well.
Thank you to Rick and Lisa for joining us on the show. You’ve guys been a pleasure and we hope to have you back soon.
Thank you so much for having us.
- Everick Brown Design
- Objects and Accents
About Everick Brown and Lisa Brown
Everick Brown is an interior designer with clients throughout the United States and abroad. Based in New York, he launched everick brown design in 2009 to dedicate 100% of his time to creating modern, elegant homes for a discerning clientele.
Prior to everick brown design, he was the founder and proprietor of ebhome, an upscale home furnishings and design studio established in 2000. Located in Mt. Kisco, NY and South Norwalk, CT, his home furnishings store and design studio are a compilation of his life experience as a fashion merchant and connoisseur of fine home furnishings. For over 15 years Everick traveled to Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand as a senior executive, providing merchandising and design expertise for companies like Duty Free Stores, Coach Leatherwear and J. Crew, to name a few.
His stylish studio and celebrated modern interior concepts illustrate his penchant for interior design and simple, elegant living. Everick is inspired by the global influences of all cultures and enjoys collecting primitive artifacts and traveling around the world. He offers an intriguing mix of fashion, design and style and his interiors are self described as, “modern classic with a global perspective”. He’s been acknowledged by the New York Times, Essence Magazine and Black Enterprise, to name a few and has been featured on television where he was a finalist for HGTV’s design Star Casting, season four.
Everick is a graduate of Dartmouth College, resides in Yorktown Heights, NY with his wife and has two children.
Lisa Walker Brown
Brand Ambassador, COO Everick Brown Design
Co-Founder, Objects and Accents Lisa is a sales and marketing expert who has built an impressive career that spans more than 30 years in corporate marketing, residential real estate and small business
A Los Angeles native, Lisa began her career in residential real estate, carving out a high
profile client roster at one of the most prestigious real estate agencies in Beverly Hills
in the 1980s. In the late 80’s, she shifted focus to corporate marketing, working on multimillion-
dollar marketing campaigns with television programmers including HBO,Showtime and Cinemax with Directv and U-verse.
An entrepreneur at heart like her husband Mr. Brown, she opened a FastFrame retail
store in West Hollywood in the early 2000’s, but eventually sold the business and
headed east to help Mr. Brown build Everick Brown Design into the thriving enterprise
you see today.
She not only brings over 30 years of sales and marketing expertise to the table;
she personifies the perfect blend of style and joie de vivre that infuses every Everick
Brown Design project.
Lisa hold a B.A. in Business Administration from the University of Redlands, CA and is a member
of International Furniture and Design Association and New York Association of Women Business
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