Images: David Patterson Photography
House Beautiful's 2020 Whole Home Concept House is ready to party. Me & General Design chose our handpainted tiles that add a graphic punch to this playful, family-friendly lounge and bar. Today we're talking with the husband and wife duo, Cristina Casanas-Judd and General Judd and their magazine cover-worthy design--read more below.
Meet Christina and General!
Tell us a bit about yourselves and your firm!
Cristina: Me & General Design is a full-service interior design studio founded by myself, Cristina Casanas-Judd and General Judd. We are husband and wife entrepreneurs, who consciously design interior environments to elevate the human spirit. We also create unique custom products such as SWICK Board, a surfboard speaker and our SO GOOD Collection of wallpaper in collaboration with Wolf Gordon.
Tile Shown: Fallow in Cool Motif
Where do you call home base?
Cristina: We are based in Brooklyn, NY.
How did you get your start?
General: Cristina started her interior design career in TV and film as a Set Decorator on the 1st Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. While at an industry event a real-estate agent asked Cristina if she would be interested in designing model condos on the side. A few models and 9 feature films later Cristina was presented with a huge residential project while pregnant with our second daughter and decided to go off on her own and pulled me alongside her. And since I had worked as a set dresser in film and TV for almost ten years prior to becoming an actor, this was right up my alley. At the time I was a blue man in Blue Man Group and did shows at night and design during the day. It was perfect and still is today.
What types of projects do you typically work on?
Cristina: We mainly work in residential but definitely have designed for commercial as well. Having begun our design business with large-scale multi-residential projects has prepared us for larger commercial projects, like hotels and restaurants which we hope to get more of, along with luxury private homes.
How did you hear about Fireclay Tile?
Cristina: We’ve always loved Fireclay and were over the moon with excitement to have Fireclay step in and support our House Beautiful project.
What did you enjoy most about the experience?
General: The customization and selection of the colors and glazes are so amazing and so much fun, it’s like being a kid again. And of course the top-notch customer service we receive at Fireclay.
Tile Shown: Fallow in Cool Motif
What are some of your favorite Fireclay products?
Cristina: We absolutely love all of Fireclay products but I have to say I have a soft spot for the new Desert Collection. The colors are phenomenal. We already have specified them for two current projects.
Tile Shown: The Desert Collection
Why do you love tile?
General: Tile is forever. Created from the earth by one of the oldest processes known to mankind. And now we have the pleasure to customize the colors, shapes glazes etc.
More About the Project...
How did you get involved in the House Beautiful Whole Concept Home? What was the process like?
Cristina: We received an email out of the blue from Joanna Saltz, editorial director at House Beautiful. We had no prior relationship with House Beautiful up until this and were surprised and excited by the email. After speaking with Jo and Carisha Swanson on the phone, we immediately jumped on. As our first concept house, we couldn’t have been more pleased with the experience and definitely the final results.
How did you feel when your room got the cover of House Beautiful?
Cristina: We were literally doing cartwheels when Carisha and Jo told us! We are so thankful to everyone that supported us on the project. It’s such a huge honor for Me and General Design to be recognized for our work with being selected as one of two covers for the November 2020 issue of House Beautiful. WOW!
Can you tell me about the bar area, what made you choose this room in the house?
Cristina: House Beautiful actually selects the spaces for each designer which for us was the media room and bar. Which couldn’t have been a better fit.
What type of look or aesthetic were you going for?
General: Something fresh that connoted a family vibe yet for adults as well. Relaxed Colorado lifestyle with a twist.
How did you come up with your color scheme and design?
General: Cristina is a master at selecting colors and chose the blue for the bar (Benjamin Moore Great Falls 172-C6) as a nod to the natural outdoors even if the Colorado setting of the home was nowhere near water.
We wanted to create a layered, natural, cozy vibe with just the right amount of earth-toned hues, rich textures, offset with bold color and greens. What better backdrop for our M&GD custom-designed SWICK Board (life-size surfboard speaker) hanging in the bar.
What made you choose Fallow in Cool Motif?
General: We shared our space with a now good friend, designer Noz Nozawa. Because the entire room was wide open without defining walls to separate the two spaces we both decided certain design elements should complement each other and we both agreed on Fallow.
And how about the custom inverse in this pattern that you created with our Color-it Tool?
General: Cristina came up with the idea to inverse the tile colors on the floor to what was on the backsplash as a subtle but effective play on design. She loves things like that to see if people notice.
How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges?
General: The team at Nicholas Custom Homes did the install, which we saw virtually. We had no challenges with the tile install but had a few other hiccups but nothing that couldn’t be resolved.
What was it like designing from and a distance AND during a global pandemic?
General: It was very difficult at the beginning of the pandemic. We had just transitioned from a studio space into our home studio and was getting used to working fully remote with our team members alongside homeschooling. After getting a handle on it the design process for the Whole Home Colorado was rolling. The only remaining issue was not being able to be on-site as we would have normally done if there was not a pandemic. So when we finally arrived to install we were happily surprised especially how the Fallow Fireclay tile in black and white took over the bar!
What Fireclay products would you love to use in future projects?Cristina: Hmmmm…so many I want to use! As I mentioned earlier I’m in love with the tonality of the new Desert Collection and have already proposed it for two current projects. Fingers crossed!
Love this bold design? You can have your own Fallow Tiles fast with Quick Ship. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to you shortly.