Creative Designer Elizabeth Moore
With some wacky new products (think chairs gone wild) and a nose for what's the next big trend (think red on red), Elizabeth Moore is a designer to watch.
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Elizabeth Moore's mantra is "Think outside the box." Maybe because she moved 17 times before she was 20, first as a bohemian art student in Europe, and then as a set and wardrobe designer for Prince and Stevie Nicks. Since 1984, Moore has worked as a production designer in the film industry for celebrity clients and as an artist — a sculptor, painter, photographer and designer — who has shown and sold her art internationally.
Now the designer has her hands in a number of creative endeavors through her firm, Froote — from funky wallpapers, furnishings, accessories and artwork to fresh interiors that are stylish and functional. She is definitely a design mover and shaker to watch. HGTV.com talked to Moore in her L.A. studio.
How did you get started in design?
I got a bachelor's degree from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and when I came back from studying in Europe I wasn't aware of the current pop scene. But a friend of mine was catering for a band in St. Paul, Minn., and I joined her, flipping burgers for the crew. I didn't know who Prince was, really; I was like, "Who's the guy with the ruffles?"
The production manager asked me if I could sew. They were traveling around the world for the Purple Rain tour and needed a wardrobe person. I was a traveler at heart so I went along! Then at some point they asked me to start decorating the stage and after-hours parties. I really learned to respect Prince for his artistry and commitment to his craft. He's really creative. And I got interested in the art of design.
Why do you do what you do?
I do what I do because I'm a really visual person. I was born to place objects. I think it makes the world more harmonious to be surrounded by pleasing things.
When do you know what you're doing is working?
When it feels good. When you experience an environment that helps you feel better connected to your world.
What's the most fun part of the job?
I love the design process. I love the midway point and looking back and reflecting on the first conversation with the client or about the project — the beginning of the creation.
Were you designing things as a child?
I moved all over the U.S. and lived mostly in the Midwest and on the East Coast. When you move a lot, there are always those periods when you don't know anybody. So I remember doing things like painting and making candles. One of the highlights of moving so much was being able to pick out my own wallpaper for my own room. I was the oldest of four kids so I always got my own bedroom; my mother was the home decorator. So she always said, "OK, you have a new room so you can pick out new wallpaper." It was like, lose all of your friends, but get new wallpaper. That became a cherished tradition. So I'd pick out new bedding and wallpaper and create my own environment. I was always changing my room. I usually had groovy wallpaper. One time I wanted those big red three-foot lips, but they didn't have them in stock, so I went with black and white trees.
How did all that moving affect how you design?
Well, the good thing is that I can go into a new environment and feel like I'm at home. Every new environment is a new experience, and I'm ready for it. And I still have that spirit of moving on, of being an explorer
Peter Gallagher creates a collage design from his contemporary screen fragment series.