To kick off week four of the quarantine, Interior Design is continuing on with the Instagram Live chats hosted by Editor in Chief Cindy Allen. Royce Epstein, A&D Design Director at Mohawk Group, joined Cindy—who was the last person she saw pre-social distancing—from her home in South Philadelphia. Epstein expressed a lot of hope and light as she spoke about her three loves: art, design, and rock ‘n roll.
Having worked from home since her move back to Philadelphia from New York three years ago, Epstein's design studio doubles as a music studio, allowing for her to mix work and play. The “pivot,” as she prefers to call it, to working remotely has been successful, as she would only visit Mohawk's Georgia office as needed while the majority of her time is spent out in the field, talking with clients. What she misses most from the road is all of the art and design industry events and the community members, who often inspire innovation. Epstein cites her 20 years of experience as an interior designer as well as her childhood spent with books about music, design, and art history as the reason why she is in her element doing work outside of an office.
Presiding over Epstein’s studio is a print of David Bowie, her favorite icon and source of inspiration. “David Bowie put a visual to music, he didn’t do anything without a concept,” she explained while talking about how her source for design and music come from the same place. Epstein and her boyfriend both play guitar in their band, Black Helvetica, who played a gig in their living room for Facebook Live the night before. “We can create our own good times,” she said about this moment and how she's spending her time. “Take time to have slow moments, be creative, and think strategically....What can I make that’s meaningful during this time,” she encouraged everyone to think large and small—whether it's taking up a new hobby or making your own face mask.
Being a cancer survivor and someone who lives with asthma and diabetes, Epstein is at high risk to contract the coronavirus. Nevertheless, she knows that this is temporary and urges people to remember that. In fact, it's her mantra! That and avanti, an Italian word that means to go forward. “Anything in life can be a detractor,” she said, but people cannot get stuck, we must always move onwards.
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