Tag Archives: Interiors

Spotlight on Jennifer Sun


The San Diego City Center Advocacy team recently had a wonderful conversation with our newest co-director, Jennifer Sun. While she is not new to holding a leadership position within IIDA nor to the community (she has been an integral part of the IIDA Fashion Show and a respected designer at FS Design Group for over four years), we thought it would be great to spend some time with Jennifer one-on-one to get to know more about her.

Q: What inspired you to begin a career in design?

A: Since I can remember I have always been creative and like to make things and spaces beautiful and functional.  It wasn’t till my early 30’s did I decide to go to school to make design and architecture my  career choice.

Q: What has been your greatest asset in studying for NCIDQ?

A: I have not started, but once I do, I am very excited to know that San Diego IIDA has a study group  and Christina Garvie (IIDA SOCAL Director of Professional Certifications).  Christina has been running  this group for a couple of years and has a lot of insight and knowledge of the certification process.  I  am planning on taking full advantage of this IIDA perk! 

Q: What has been your biggest challenge in studying for NCIDQ?

A: Qualifying for the test.  My education is non‐traditional for a commercial interior designer.  I have  two associate degrees: one in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising  and another in architecture from Mesa Community college.  I also have a bachelor’s degree in  economics from the University of California San Diego.  This background is considered non‐traditional, therefore NCIDQ requires an alternative review program that requires proof of 5 years of applicable  work experience, a $525 processing fee and an education and dossier review.  Short answer, lots of  additional paper work and money. Wish me luck! 

Q: What is your favorite project you have worked on? 

A: It’s difficult to choose a favorite because so many of the projects I have worked on have been  special or interesting. I have learned that even the most basic tenant improvement can present  unique challenges that must be addressed, resulting in valuable experience and knowledge.  But, if I  had to choose one, it would be Pacific Plaza at Torrey Hills.  The commercial complex was designed by  the architect Brian Paul in the late 90s.  My firm re‐imaged the lobbies, restrooms, elevators,  corridors, courtyard and gym.  I was able to work on the project from the schematic phase through  construction and completion.  It was a wonderful learning experience and the finished product was  very satisfying to all involved.

Q: What led you make the decision to take on a leadership role within IIDA? 

A: A little friendly peer pressure from some of my favorite people in the industry and the desire to  give back to the profession that has brought be so much joy.

Q: Where do you find your inspiration? 

A: In the organic forms and geometric lines that can be found in nature and science. 

Q: What is your absolute favorite thing about San Diego? 

A: The people and ocean.  I grew up in the San Fernando valley, a suburb of Los Angeles, and it was my  dream to be able to live near the water.  San Diego is quite diverse and overall a very warm  community.  There is a lot of love and compassion in this city and many people dedicated to making it  a wonderful place to live. 

Q: Who is your favorite designer or architect? 

A: My grandmother, Nancy Sun.  She is gone now but she was my inspiration to study  architecture.  She was a female architect in New York city from 1960s to the early 1990s and worked  for I. M. Pei.  You should see her hand drawn details and renderings.  Absolutely exquisite. 

Q: How would you describe your design style? 

A: I am not really sure if a have a particular “style”.  I do prefer to design with neutral colors, clean  lines and natural finishes and when appropriate adding pops of whimsy and color with furniture,  accessories and art.  

Q: What do you do to unwind after a long day? 

A: I am very into fitness, so I tend to unwind daily with a workout at the gym or a yoga class. The more  sweat the better! I also enjoy ending the day sewing and snuggling in bed with my cats with a good  book… Thanks for spending some time with us Jennifer. We are so excited to have you as co‐director of the San  Diego City Center of IIDA! 

Bentley, “Born & Raised” in L.A.


Bentley, California’s largest carpet manufacturer, was “Born & Raised” in L.A. in 1979. At the time, L.A. was in the throes of change. The culture was evolving, bringing an edge to the City of Angels. Punk rock invaded the Sunset Strip, a movement that translated to the runway with the eccentric styles of Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. The world of commercial carpet was transforming as Bentley broke industry tradition and opened its L.A. doors, leading the push to bring fashion to the floor.


To this day, Bentley’s SoCal roots inspires everything it does: from its designs to its tufting machinery to its branding and events. Bentley has explored the city center, the outskirts and all the places in-between, including the lost and forgotten. It is constantly reinventing itself, but always using L.A. as its muse – keeping its edgy yet sophisticated vibe that’s reflected in all its broadloom and modular carpet styles.


Bentley has been bringing fashion to the floor for more than three decades (40 years in 2019!), while also leading the industry in sustainability. As a California-based company, it’s always adhered to strict manufacturing and environmental standards. In 1984, Bentley received its first sustainability award. Today, it manufactures in a LEED®-EBOM Gold-certified facility – the first in the industry – and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Energy for its sustainability achievements.

To learn more about Bentley, visit bentleymills.com.

Trend Report: All About Wood

Whether it comes in the form of slats, planks, sheets, or beams, wood has been making a massive comeback in interior environments as well as exterior facades.

Perhaps it is the strength and warmth of the structural building material that appeals to designers. Or maybe we have become nostalgic for the more traditional values of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Whatever the case may be, wood is reappearing in abundance, covering floors, walls, and ceilings—often all at once.


Cultura Bookstore by Studio MK27
Gurume Restaurant by Bernardes Arquitetura
Cappella Granato by Mario Botta
Sokol Blosser Winery by Allied Works Architecture
Brussels Loft by ADN Architectures
Staircase in Hotel Hotel by March Studio
Kiga Restaurant by Cherem Arquitectos
Boulevard de Grenelle Facade by Périphériques


Alison Maguire
Interior Architects


WestEdge Panelist Interview with Tiffany English

IIDA SoCal is pleased to partner with WestEdge Design Fair this year! We’re sponsoring a panel discussion on Friday, October 17th, 2014 on workplace design. The panel will be moderated by Edie Cohen, Interior Design Magazine and will feature a lively discussion with Elizabeth Burow, HLW; Tiffany English, Ware Malcomb; Michelle Ives Ratcovich, AECOM and Alan Young, Gensler. Cocktail hour following the panel discussion.

Tiffany English is the Principal of Interior Architecture & Design in the San Diego office of Ware Malcomb. She not only started the Sacramento branch of the company before moving to Southern California, she is also credited with being the first managing female principal in her office. She is the second female principal within the entire Ware Malcomb company. After graduating from San Jose State she began working in Oakland and San Francisco, transitioned to Sacramento, then was brought to the San Diego office to build there interiors department. Tiffany will be one of the panel speakers at the WestEdge conference on October 17th. She sat down with us to answer a few questions about her career and personal life.

How do you relate to the panel discussion topic “Why do you hate work”?

Tiffany loves what she does and made a point to say that she doesn’t hate work. She has an incredible team to work with and noted that when you love what you do, others around you will feed off of that sentiment. Human interaction is the key, which is what people seek in their office. Of course, everyone always asks for common things like more parking and nearby food.


Who is your favorite designer, past or present?

A wide range of designers influence Tiffany, from the classics like Florence Knoll and Ray and Charles Eames, to people like Bruce Mau who explores the outdoors and lifestyle. She also notes Maxfield Parish and his bold and unapologetic use of color.

Where would we find you on the weekend?

Tiffany has two children so you can often find her at a number of sports games like ice hockey, soccer, and softball. She is an avid reader and a lover of classic films like Casablanca and Gone with the Wind.

What is your favorite destination either international or domestic?

Italy is a destination that is very close to her heart. A recent trip allowed her to integrate into the culture as she visited Umbria and Rome among other stops along the country. She also loves Hong Kong and hopes to add Croatia to her vacation list next year.

What are your plans for the upcoming fall season?

Tiffany spends Christmas in Tahoe with her entire family which is something she looks forward to every year. They spend the time skiing and playing in the snow.

Jaclyn Giuliano, IIDA
Herman Miller