By Janice Harris
While there are a few fashionable and emerging trends everyone’s talking about here at the 2018 Dwell on Design trade event in Los Angeles, CA, one of the hottest installations came courtesy of Method Homes. Right in the middle of the showroom floor sits one of Method Home’s newest custom prefab homes, which is set to go to its new owner after the show commences. The space oozes modern luxury yet simple perfection, and the House Tipster team couldn’t wait to learn more about it.
Thankfully, we got to connect with Method Homes’s Co-Founder Brian Abramson and the designer Jennifer Farrell thanks to world-renowned designer and show expert, Christopher Grubb. Christopher sat down with Brian and Jennifer in the middle of their event installation and discussed the product and current design and prefab trends homeowners can expect in the coming years.
We’re putting the final touches on our video coverage of the interview in the coming days, but in the meantime, check out some highlights from the invigorating interview.
Christopher Grubb (C.G.): One thing that’s really hot right now is modular homes, and your model is a real standout here at Dwell on Design. Brian, can you tell us about your company, Method Homes?
Brian Abramson (B.A.): Method Homes is an architectural prefab manufacturer. We build custom homes and pre-designed models. In total, we offer eight series with five different architectural partners, and each series has up to five different models. Above all, we specialize in architectural custom detailing and sustainability. Everything we build is done off-site, and then we truck it to the site for the final installation.
We are seeing more and more interest in houses being built this way because there’s a large labor shortage up and down the west coast.
C.G.: It’s an interesting idea to make these houses off-site. When you install, is everything ready to go on day one?
B.A.: While almost the entire home is ready to live in when we install, there are some fixtures that are typically added after we truck the home to its final location. In most cases, everything from the lighting, to the plumbing, tile, and cabinets are all already installed. However, as we get into larger houses, there are more components to finish on-site.
C.G.: Tell us about your models. Can buyers customize their home?
B.A.: We have pre-designed floor plans that can be customized on-site and to the buyer’s needs. Also, we have pre-designed specs, and clients are encouraged to deviate from that if they want. Typically, people like to choose the specifics in their home and we encourage that.
C.G.: When it comes to modular homes, there are many preconceived notions out there. What’s your take on these opinions?
B.A.: People sometimes confuse modular homes with trailers, but there is no difference between an on-site home and a modular one from a quality or engineering standpoint. At the end of the day, we’re building the same product as a site-built home, except we’re doing it off-site. We absolutely build to local building codes, including hurricane, earthquake and snow codes.
C.G.: I’ve known you, Jennifer, for a long time, it’s so nice to talk with you here at Dwell on Design. I see you lent your expertise to the interior designs of this Method Home model. Can you talk about your career and firm?
Jennifer Ferrell (J.F.): My company Jennifer Farrell Designs, has been in business for 17 years, and we offer high-end residential interior design and fashion. I also have a TV-life, where we do these big, bold, and crazy designs on home makeover shows.
I always like to ask myself, "How do we combine the drama of TV with the luxury of real life?" And that’s what I like about Method Homes. They’re about the unity of being exciting and creative, but also beautiful, elegant, and tranquil.
C.G.: The theme of this Method Home is “Modern Organics.” What was the inspiration for that theme? How did you partner to complete this design?
J.F.: What’s exciting about this project is that we did it in real-time. For starters, Method Homes gave me a great canvas to work with. And there was no long lead time to create. Suddenly, we have a house in the L.A. Convention Center, and we have 48 hours to design the space. I knew I wanted to make this space feel energizing, natural and exciting. And even though it’s unique, I think anyone can envision themselves in this home.
C.G.: Are there any items, products, or decorations in this house that you’re particularly excited about?
J.F.: One of my favorite pieces in the home is this beautiful mural in the great room. It’s from a Norwegian artist, Tom Haga, who is represented by Resource Furniture. The drama and impact of this piece are so exciting and natural at the same time.
C.G.: Who are some of the other vendors you work with, or that you would recommend to House Tipster’s audience?
J.F.: I love Minted because they are so well-curated. Although a lot of people know them for their invitations, they also offer a beautiful collection of artwork and I love to work with them. Between the Sheets actually did the bedding for the master bedroom in this Method Home model, and it’s the most luxurious bedding you could ever imagine.
I believe that, if you work with great people, great things happen. You’re only as good as the people creating with you.
C.G.: Jennifer, we’re always interested in trends. As a professional, what are the colors and materials you see out there?
J.F.: I’m definitely seeing this theme of modern organics, although people like myself are looking for more color. I don’t think that color has to be overwhelming or intense-- you can actually combine tranquility with color and use bold, rich colors in a soothing way. Although it’d be nice to have an all-white house, it isn’t practical. You can, and should, combine, color, texture, and patterns to make your space, above all else, livable.
We want to extend our gratitude to Christopher Grubb, Brian Abramson, and Jennifer Farrell for their time, expertise, and insight. Stay tuned for the video on Tipster TV where you can see this breathtaking modular home by Method Homes up close and personal.