#ShowOnTheRoadMG stop number four landed us in sunny Southern California. Laguna Niguel, a seaside town in the heart of Orange County, is as picturesque as they come – palm tree lined streets, blue skies and views that are seemingly endless. Located just a stone’s throw from Laguna Beach, the Laguna Design Center is Southern California’s destination for home furnishings and design expertise. With more than 40 luxury showrooms that cater to all design tastes – traditional to modern, the LDC is one-stop shopping for all design needs. Over 1500 lines of furniture, fabrics, leather, lighting, tile, and art are represented in the center that attracts designers from Orange County, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and San Diego.
Our showroom, Gina B & Company (Suite 136 in the LDC), is owned and operated by designer Robert Spurlock. We spent the morning with Robert getting an inside look at what he does and how Gina B & Company serves its clients.
Tell us about yourself.
I came to work for the original owner of Gina B Furniture in 1997 as a salesperson. I always had a knack for interior design growing up – when I was given to opportunity to work for the company, I took it and ran with it. Soon after starting, I got very involved with the furniture design aspects of the business. In 2007, I was approached by the owner to purchase the company – and that’s what I did! In the 1o years that I have owned the company, many changes have taken place. Two years ago, we expanded from 2300 sq ft to 6300 sq ft. We took the showroom from being a primarily single-brand showroom (my Gina B label) and we’ve curated it into a multiline showroom.
Describe the LDC to us.
There are over 40 design studios in the center – from art galleries to rug studios – we have many multiline showrooms, pretty much anything anyone could ever want or need if involved in a design project. An entire project from top to bottom can be fully curated from the Laguna Design Center. Here at the design center, there are many different price points for design. From very affordable to luxury – Moore & Giles is a true luxury product – and as I like to say, hashtag “living the luxury life!”
Tell us about the design culture in Laguna Beach (Orange County).
People are very much into the coastal/beach aesthetics. A lot of homes in Orange County can be described as “California Coastal”. We serve clients with range of tastes and design styles.
What is it about leather that you are drawn to?
I like the characteristics and the patina that leather takes on. It’s constantly living. No two pieces are going to patina the same because of how people live on them.
What is your favorite Moore & Giles leather?
What do you love most about your job?
I enjoy what I do by the creativeness that goes into each and every piece. Seeing something go from an idea to a sketch to a final product in clients home is very satisfying. The biggest reward is when the room is fully dressed and the clients walk in and see it for the first time – watching their expressions is priceless. When the homeowner is excited about all the things that have been curated for their space – that is a special moment to be a part of.
As part of Gina B’s furniture line, Robert has named 3 pieces; the Sackett, the Brooks, and the Matt after members of the Moore & Giles leadership team.
The Brooks Bench – mixes metal, wood, and leather. It embodies how eclectic and stylish Brooks is in one single piece.
The Matt Chair – uses a hair-on-hide to add some uniqueness to the piece.
The Sackett Chair – is all about the details. We describe this chair as refined and polished.
Best part of living in Laguna?
It’s a laid-back, comfortable environment to live in. There’s so much to do. You can be at the beach and the mountains in the same day. It provides a great lifestyle – what’s not to like?
While you’re in town, we selected a few of our favorite local spots to take in a beautiful view or enjoy a meal on the beach:
Top of the World
The best place in town for 360-degree views of the surrounding areas. Take in sights of the ocean and rugged coastline while atop Alta Laguna Park (the park’s official name). A short drive from the showroom, we highly recommend this scenic drive that leads way to a number of walking/hiking trails in the canyon.
The Deck came highly recommended by many locals, including the staff at our showroom. This place is all about the al fresco dining. The Deck’s large patio makes it feel as though you’re sitting on top of the Pacific, and provides views of the beach that go on forever.
During the visit, our Director of Leather Education, Whitney Tinsley conducted a Leather 101 continuing education course to designers and other industry friends. Our IDCEC approved Leather CEU is an exciting initiative for Moore & Giles. The CEU is a comprehensive leather lesson capturing the history of leather, raw material, the process of leather making and various types of leather. This lesson is intended for everyone interested in learning more about leather. Our intention in launching this CEU is to demystify this timeless material and share our love for it. The online CEU course can be taken here for free.