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About John James


My father built swimming pools. I think his favorite part was the inevitable landscaping jobs that came along with this rite of passage for southern California homeowners. I would tag along, insisting on McDonald’s as my fee as he drove me, often at great speeds through modest middle class neighborhoods en route to his job sites.

Orange trees were then stitched along the 405 and 91 freeways, with rows and rows of tomatoes as far as the eye could see. I would stare out the window, finding that magical spot where all of the rows of tomatoes offered a single and perfectly defined vanishing point

My first awakening to the beauty of the natural world, however, was in kindergarten. Mrs. Rubenknacker had us place radish seeds on a bed of whetted cotton that sat in a styrofoam cup. We were instructed to simply wait, and of course to keep the cotton damp. Daily, I would climb up on the bright orange crushed velvet swivel chair in our living room and stair down into that botanical chalice, exuberant and impatient in equal measure.  

Then it happened. The first root had hatched from the seed, curious and hairy, white and distinct providing me instantly with a memory as vivid now as then. 

From that moment on, I have planted and plucked and pruned my way through life, chasing that feeling of discovery and wonder at the bracing power of the natural world. I find it all the time. 

And while it is great fun to design elegant weddings and galas, to be playful with theme parties and to decorate in ways that camouflage and coerce, my best designs, the best decor and the best events are those in harmony with nature, using elements therein, creating luminous and enchanting spaces.

“You redefine enchantment!” is something I have had the pleasure of hearing clients say about my work. I like that. Enchantment Redefined: both the goal andI dare saythe achievement. 
 

I hope you enjoy these thoughtfully collected items and that they bring you joy and comfort.

 

With a smile,