Design & Denim Talk With Michael Woodcock

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Michael Woodcock is an England born designer based in Los Angeles, California. He and business partner and artist, Lara Apponyi, are the duo behind Work + Sea, an interior and product design studio. The two blend a sophisticated world traveler aesthetic with a cheeky whimsy all their own. We sat down with Michael at the Work + Sea home/office space in Silverlake, to get his thoughts on our 110 Skinny Jean and learn how he has crafted a home for himself. 
"I am lucky to be able to make things and design spaces to help people love their homes and live a happier life." _Michael Woodcock
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Michael is wearing: Aspen Suede Bomber, 110 Skinny Jean
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What did you want to be when you were a kid and what inspired you to pursue your career?
I have wanted to design since I was 14. I grew up moving houses all the time so I was always getting to set up my furniture in new spaces. When I was 14 my parents renovated a house and I got to design my own room and bathroom. I chose a dark teal wall color with bamboo blinds and then hung relics from my travels, and gifts my dad would bring me back from his travels, everywhere. I had a salt water fish tank and I painted Indonesian surfing slogans on the walls. It was so much fun I knew I had to do it when I grew up.
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Where do you draw inspiration from? Are there any specific references you pull from?
My favorite place to look for inspiration is in stately homes in England. I can spend hours wandering around old aristocratic houses that have fallen and now belong to the National Trust. They are preserved exactly how they were and there are stories about the scandals and the families who lived there, and how the rooms have evolved to suit the needs of their parties. It’s really exciting, because in that era, the Pre-World War I, era of aristocratic design, there’s a lot of focus on travel and quality. They were all about color and texture, because it was the time when mills and looms were really starting to explore new possibilities.
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Do you have a specific design process you always use?
My business is half interior design and half product design. When I’m doing interior design work I am always open to what my client is looking for, either they have a new house or they want to update. I would never put them outside of their own comfort zone because they have to live in it, but they’re usually pretty open.
How would you describe Work + Sea’s aesthetic?
We like to make spaces that feel unexpected and storied, deep in history and context, but also feel appropriate, comfortable, and well pointed.
How did you meet your business partner, Lara Apponyi?
We met at an architecture firm and we completed a couple of residential interiors and did a couple of hotel projects together, then decided to start our own company. It was really organic and spur of the moment.
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Michael is Wearing: 110 Skinny Jean
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Many artists find inspiration in other mediums, do find that’s true for you?
Definitely art and fashion, they are the neighboring fields that inspire me.
What are the main elements a home needs to make it your own?
A home needs things that remind you of your story. It should show off the things you love. I am all about editing, you can’t display every single knick knack but if something is beautiful and has a memory attached then put it out and it will make you feel like you’re home.
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Michael is wearing: Bear Cardigan
How do you describe your personal style?
Vintage, boating meets outdoor-sporty.
Do you have a personal style icon right now?
Old movie stars like James Dean and Elvis. I'm really into a good pair of jeans and a white tee.
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Michael is wearing: 110 Skinny Jean
Speaking of jeans, what are your thoughts on the 110 jean?
The stretch is amazing! It's rare to find a comfortable skinny jean you can move in, and this one hits the mark.
 
Do you have any specific style touches?
I like to cut the hem off my jeans. I also like socks with all shoes and not buttoning my shirt up all the way.
Keep up with Michael Woodcock on Instagram: @m_woodcock, @workandsea
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