Floor Coverings International Arch City is thrilled to interview James Angus as part of our Designer Influencer Interview Series. James and his partner Jamie run the popular design blog The Cavender Diary. You can follow The Cavender Diary on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Houzz.
Please tell us a little about yourself
Howdy. I’m James Angus. I’ve spent most of my life in the great state of Texas, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t like to travel. Aspen, Santa Fe, Key West or any ol’ island in the Caribbean will do just fine. My plan to be a chef backfired when I realized that I didn’t really like working in restaurants. No big deal. I just focused on my second favorite thing…..clothes……and started a career in fashion. Almost 30 years (and a few big-named designers on my resume) later, I’m pretty glad that I’m not stuck in a hot kitchen every night.
Why did you decide to start a blog?
I started blogging when my partner, Jamie, and I were searching for our first house to buy. Because we were constantly bombarded with questions from family and friends I decided to keep everyone up to date with a blog. Once we found our almost-perfect house, we kept blogging about the moving process, and eventually remodeled to make it the perfect home for us. It just keeps rolling from there. Now, family and friends that live elsewhere (and plenty of total strangers too) can see how we decorate for Christmas, or read about the adventures of our rescued Doberman – Harley Davidson…or even hound us about how slow our bathroom remodel is going.
How would you describe your design style?
Our style is pretty organic……it just happened. We both grew up in Texas, so there is quite a bit of Texas influence in our house; like the framed Texas flag, a few cowhides here and there, and we even have a longhorn mount in the garage. Jamie showed horses in his youth, so I’ve framed several of his prize buckles in shadow boxes. The colorful American pottery I’ve been hoarding for decades. Pedigreed furniture pieces by George Nelson, Mies van der Rohe and Eileen Gray just seem to blend with our Navajo rugs, vintage magician posters and rusty Tonka toys. My theory is,”Don’t worry about a style, just surround yourself with the things that make you happy.” Can “Modern-Industrial-Western-Flea Market” really be a design style? Must be, because it works for me.
Where do you find most of your inspiration?
I work for Ralph Lauren as a creative manager (that means I design the window displays), so I bring a lot of my work home with me. Literally. Pieces of old sets have become accent walls and I can’t bare to throw fabric scraps away when I can sew a pillow in 10 minutes. That’s probably why I have so many pillows. Because my job is constantly changing with the seasons…so does my decor.
Tell us about a recent project you’re proud of
I’ve been working with industrial plumbing pipes a lot lately. Almost every room in our house has pipe in it in some way. Our curtain rods are pipes. We needed firewood storage in the den, so I made a rolling log holder. There was a big blank wall in the living room, so I built a console from pipe and pine planks. I’ve even created a few light fixtures. Not to brag, but I just finished writing a book on building with industrial pipes. Should be available in November.