Meet Ariana Lovato, Owner of Honeycomb Home Design

Living in Pismo Beach, where we connect you with some of our favorite people who live and work on the Central Coast. Those community and business leaders who make living on the Coast such a unique and diverse experience.

Episode #13

Ariana Lovato, the Owner of Honeycomb Home Design

Ariana Lovato, the Owner of Honeycomb Home Design, joins Ashlea Foster Boyer, Shannon Bowdey & Jordan Hamm on Living In Pismo Beach.

Ashlea Boyer:

So hey, Jordan, how’s it going? You’re looking very, very awake for a move.

Jordan Hamm:

It might be makeup because I’m a little bit exhausted. But yeah, we moved over the weekend and we’re excited for our new house, but it was a lot in one weekend to get everything. We moved the trampoline, two kayaks, four surfboards.

Ashlea Boyer:

The part that I hate about it is that I feel like the cupboards are, this is probably dating me, but Shannon will know the reference, gremlins, you’re not supposed to feed them after midnight or put water on them, and I swear at some point in every move, you will go to a cupboard, and in my head I’m like, “I have packed this cupboard and it is full again.” It’s like they just keep repropagating.

Jordan Hamm:

Yep, it just keeps going. I know. We still have two more van loads that we have to [inaudible 00:01:17] just with yard toys and whatnot.

Ashlea Boyer:

And it’s about that last car load that it’s like, “Do I really want that stuff?”

Jordan Hamm:

I’m already there. I would just leave it if I knew people living there didn’t want it.

Ashlea Boyer:

Yeah. Alright, well, I’m excited about today’s guest. She’s someone that I’ve always wanted to talk to more about her designs and if anybody wants to see some amazing designs all around this county and northern Santa Barbara County and probably other places as well, honeycombhomedesign.com, and our guest is central coast based interior designer, Ariana Afshar Lovato, and she has always had a spark for design and all things creative. She earned degrees in interior design from the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, as well as in business administration from the University of La Verne.

Jordan Hamm:

After graduation, she began her career with an internship for a successful local interior designer, where she went on to earn a spot as an assistant designer, managing large scale projects on her own. Following that she spent five years working for a design build firm in product design and development, and even online interior design before going out on her own.

Shannon Bowdey:

In 2016, Ariana founded Honeycomb Home Design, an interior design studio in Shell Beach. Honeycomb Home Design has as a simple mission, creating timeless interiors with a modern edge. When she isn’t pursuing her love for design, Ariana’s spending time with her husband, Matthew and their four pugs, Molly, [Lilly 00:00:02:57], Walter and Tux.

Ashlea Boyer:

Alright, well, let’s welcome in Ariana.

Shannon Bowdey:

You recently read a blog about how COVID-19 is shaping the future of interior design. What are the new focuses in design now that we are sheltering at home going on for months?

Ariana Lovato:

It’s been a long four months, has it? [crosstalk 00:03:19] But yeah, I mean, it’s been really interesting being in the design side of this to see how people are reacting to being stuck at home more.

Ashlea Boyer:

We all hate our homes now.

Ariana Lovato:

Yeah. I am getting a call every other week saying, “I can’t stand to look at this.” But it goes so much deeper than just updating pink color and stuff like that. It really goes into, and in fact COVID is really going to change the way that we design moving forward, incorporating some of these places where we can decontaminate and incorporating actual offices within our homes because I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So that really has been the biggest shift and now we’re going into this distance learning and homeschooling, so all of these families that may not have a dedicated room for an office, have to now create a space for their kids to be able to learn. And so that’s really been the biggest shift in all of this.

And in our blog posts, we talked about a home office that we created for a psychologist that did a lot of virtual stuff, this was three years ago. So creating spaces within your home that you can close off if possible, or at least giving you a place that is not distracting and not as well organized, is really going to be at the ticket to make a successful distance learning or work from home situation.

Ashlea Boyer:

Totally agree.

Ariana Lovato:

So that’s the biggest change.

Ashlea Boyer:

Yeah. Well, Jordan has three littles that she’ll be homeschooling and I have a teenager that I’ll be homeschooling. So I mean, not to say, obviously the teachers are giving us a lot of structure, but we found in the two months leading up to summer that we hadn’t given him a dedicated space. We’re redoing that for less distraction. He can’t be in the same room as the rest of us and the TV and stuff like that. So totally get it.

Jordan Hamm:

When you have four or five other people doing Zoom at the same time, yeah, you have to find spaces for everyone, it’s crazy.

Ariana Lovato:

It’s challenging, but at least this is the way that forces us to do that. It’s incredible when you look at it from a positive standpoint how we were so quickly able to restructure. All of a sudden, we’re all working from home, we all have high speed internet, that’s pretty cool. I think they’ll be some good things from it. It’s just figuring out how to navigate that.

Ashlea Boyer:

Yeah and everybody should go look at that blog post, by the way, [crosstalk 00:05:53], the glass doors with the linen look inside them were gorgeous.

Ariana Lovato:

Yeah. It was fun.

Shannon Bowdey:

I put my office in our hallway, our entry foyer, and that was not a good spot. So I’m turning one of our guest bedrooms into my office, and then we don’t have a gym anymore, so we got a Peloton. So now we have to figure out which room is going to be our exercise room. So yeah, it’s a new configuration.

Ariana Lovato:

I have my Peloton in my living room, legit, it’s there, it’s out-

Shannon Bowdey:

Mine is right here next to me in my office.

Ariana Lovato:

At least they’re cute, [crosstalk 00:06:27] but yeah it’s like at this point you have to really maximize the space that you have.

Shannon Bowdey:

Totally.

Jordan Hamm:

Seems like you’re making homes just very functional right now, which is nice. They aren’t as pretty, but you can make things pretty and also functional. So lots of creativity.

Ariana Lovato:

I think the more people are spending time in their home and kind of understanding their habits and like their traffic patterns like where people tend to hang out or where people tend to dump things that’s really shaping and directing a lot of this too. And having places where you can organize and you can put things away that’s going to be a huge thing. And decluttering, I feel like people are doing a lot of the declutter, which is good.

Ashlea Boyer:

Oh yes.

Jordan Hamm:

So I know that mudrooms are common in areas that have more significant weather like rain and snow, but what about areas like here that average weather is 72 degrees, how can adapt that?

Ariana Lovato:

I mean, if you say the word mudroom in the central coast, people think you’re crazy. It’s like, what is a mudroom?

Ashlea Boyer:

Similar to coat closet. Why do I need a coat closet? It’s a vacuum closet in California.

Ariana Lovato:

Exactly. It’s where all the crap goes is what it is, wrapping paper and all that stuff.

But it’s interesting because you will see more of these mudrooms. I’m going to call them like decontamination rooms, but that sounds so [crosstalk 00:07:58], but that’s really what they’re going to be, are spaces in between the garage and the rest of the house because, typically, people come in through the garage with family members. They can take off their shoes, they can put their groceries down, they can decontaminate the bags of the groceries, take off your coats. It’s a space where you can actually like unrobe and then go in so you’re not carrying any of these pathogens or these deadly bacteria inside with you. That’s going to be the biggest thing. People are not going to wear shoes inside anymore. I know Eastern cultures it’s not common, but here we kind of wear them inside the house. That’s going to change because we can see that they track so much. So I’m working on several new builds right now where we are incorporating a mudroom, but it is a space to decontaminate and to properly desanitize things.

Shannon Bowdey:

Okay. My next question you kind of answered that already, but you can just elaborate. What features can be added to a home to make it more sanitary or easier to sanitize, but also be comfortable and beautiful.

Ariana Lovato:

I think that’s a great question because now our spaces have so many hats that they’re wearing now. They have to be comfortable. They have to be inviting. They have to be conducive to a work environment. So now we’re paying attention to the types of textures and materials that we’re putting within a home. So for example, when you have like three people on Zoom, it can get really loud, especially if you have wood floors and maybe tall ceilings. So I’ve even talked to some clients about installing some acoustic panels so that helps sound deafening. Even just using a canvas art piece, that in itself will help kind of deafen the sound, especially in these older homes that don’t have a lot of insulation.

So you’re going to see a big trend of using antimicrobial materials. So like an engineered quartz for countertops because they’re non-porous so bacteria is not going to get into them. Same thing with floors. If you have a luxury vinyl plank floor, which is the new vinyl, but it’s like one of the planks it’s very easy to clean and wipe down and lock so that’s going to be a big thing as well in the future and just paying attention to the types of materials that you’re putting in. A lot more warmth in these materials, texture, but not overbearing and nothing too heavy.

Ashlea Boyer:

Awesome. Well, I know our team is passionate about our community involvement and we love how you are as well. Tell us a little bit about all that you do to give back through the organizations, like Girls Going Greater and the Honeycomb Gives Back initiative.

Ariana Lovato:

Yeah. So Honeycomb Gives Back was something I started last year and what kind of prompted it is I had a client I was helping with their kitchen remodel and their son had cerebral palsy. And he was just like the cutest, sweetest thing. And I’m like thinking, alright, well what could I do to make his move a lot easier? They were moving into this home. It was a new space. It’s uncomfortable. And I thought, okay, if I could design it and pick out furniture and panes and window treatments and how can I make his life easier? And so I actually rallied a few people, [inaudible 00:11:23] painting donated paint, my stepdad and my stepbrother did all of the work that we needed to do inside as far as all the carpentry and all of that.

And I had window treatments donated that are remote controlled. So they’re really easy for him to open and close with blackout so he can sleep better, and then giving him an actual desk space. So he had a huge 12 foot closet and we shrunk that down and ate into it and that’s where his little desk niche is now. So distance learning for him is easy. He has a dedicated space for it. So it was just really cool to be a part of that and just to give back, and I was really surprised at how many people in the area like want to do that, they just don’t know how to do it. So that was cool. That was really cool. And I’m hoping to do one of those projects every year. I haven’t done anything this year yet just because of everything going on, but would love to do another one and kind of keeping a lookout if there’s any family in need for that, I would be happy to start planning at least.

Shannon Bowdey:

Yeah. That’s awesome.

Ariana Lovato:

Yeah, it was fun. And then Girls Going Greater is a group that I got involved with a couple of years ago. I was brought on to help with their social media and then I was asked to be the president last year. And every year they have two events where they basically highlight a local nonprofit and it’s usually kind of the underdog like no one really knows about them, but we take the time to give them awareness. And we usually yield about 100 people at our events and then we do raise money for their cause and it’s just a fun time. And given the circumstances, we haven’t been able to have an event, but we did raise money for Jack’s Helping Hand. They’re families that were in need. A lot of North County families needed food during the past few months. And so together, we raised about $3,000 for them and that was awesome.

Ashlea Boyer:

That’s fantastic.

Ariana Lovato:

Yeah. And we’re hoping to actually partner with Dana who runs the Surfing Goats. So we haven’t announced this yet actually, but I’m just going to announce it. So we’re hoping to collaborate with him on a camp either in August or September for children with special needs. So it’s just either a one or two day camp. He gets children out there in wheelchairs and his team is just so amazing the way that they work with these kids. So we’re hoping to partner with him. We do need to raise about $3,000 to get at least 20 kids in the camp, but that’s something we’re hoping to do this year. And it’s a safe, socially distanced safe activity.

Ashlea Boyer:

Outside fresh air. Yeah.

Ariana Lovato:

Exactly. And it’s Pismo and it’s the Surfing Goats. [crosstalk 00:14:07]. I think that’s just so cool.

Ashlea Boyer:

And if he can teach a goat to surf, I think he can teach anyone to surf.

Ariana Lovato:

Like you cannot see that and not laugh … a fun time.

Ashlea Boyer:

I love how he’s like a tourist attraction because when he’s at Trader Joe’s there’s usually five people taking pictures of him.

Ariana Lovato:

Exactly. Yeah. Or you’ll see him, his goats just tied to his car and you’re like, “What?”

Ashlea Boyer:

“Did I just see that?” Exactly.

Jordan Hamm:

You think he’s ever brought his car to the carwash? Every time I see him, I always wonder like-

Ariana Lovato:

I don’t think so. [crosstalk 00:14:41]. He has like a Prius actually. [crosstalk 00:14:46].

Jordan Hamm:

And I’ve seen the goats get out of it like it’s the craziest thing just seeing that, but then for them to get on the water. It’s so cool.

Ariana Lovato:

And they’re out there with the kids. I mean, the reason we’re doing it is because Tyler, who is on the board for Girls Going Greater, her daughter is in the camp and so she like brought it up and I’m like this is fun. It’s just fun.

Ashlea Boyer:

Oh yeah. [crosstalk 00:15:08].

Ariana Lovato:

We’re excited about that.

Ashlea Boyer:

That’s awesome. Fantastic. Well, [crosstalk 00:00:15:14].

Jordan Hamm:

I’m sorry. Go ahead.

Ashlea Boyer:

No, that’s fine. Go ahead, Jordan.

Jordan Hamm:

Yeah. I just wanted to say thank you so much. This has been so wonderful. We’ve loved getting to know you better and just learn more about your design style and how you’re creating the new normal here.

Ariana Lovato:

Thank you.

Jordan Hamm:

Thanks for being our guest.

Ariana Lovato:

I appreciate it. Thank you so much.

Ashlea Boyer:

We’re looking forward to visiting your location and hoping that the paving gets done in the next few days and yes fingers crossed.

Ariana Lovato:

Yeah, come on over and have some coffee or wine. It would be great, it would be great to meet you guys in person.

Jordan Hamm:

We would love it.

Ashlea Boyer:

Looking forward to that. Well, thank you so much.

Ariana Lovato:

Thank you guys. Have a great day. [crosstalk 00:15:59]

Ashlea Boyer:

This is Ashlea Boyer.

Jordan Hamm:

Jordan Hamm.

Shannon Bowdey:

And Shannon Bowdey.

In unison, Ashlea Boyer/Jordan Hamm/Shannon Bowdey:

All: With the Pismo Beach homes team.

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