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Designers Talk Tech and Design


Top interior designers Catherine Kwong, Gary Hutton, Jay Jeffers and Eche Martinez reveal details of their creative process and strategic thinking.

We asked, “Designers can now out-source many of their tech requirements and advances, such as virtual reality design presentations, photography tech, and communicating with clients and access to information. How are you using it? or not using it?”

Jay Jeffers


Pinterest has most definitely made my tear sheets from binders and magazine references obsolete. It is a really is a fantastic way to gather inspiration for a specific client, a specific project, products, furniture, etc.. Clients share information with us; we share information with them and we share information amongst the design team.  It is a great jumping off point for a project. 

Instagram is also amazing.  In the beginning, for me it was really just about beautiful inspiration on travels, fun times with friends, and visually communicating to my followers.  Now, we post products from my store on Instagram and see results in the form of calls from people inquiring. For the design studio, I have found artists, vintage furniture pieces, new fabrics and all sorts of fantastic products that I may not have seen otherwise.

We still prefer the look and feel of hand renderings.  It gives the clients a more magical sense of how their home is going to feel. It gets the message across in terms of materials and look and feel, but in a more romantic way. However, our renderer does begin with a SketchUp model to get the scale right and might import rug and wallpaper patterns from Photoshop.  The majority of the rendering is then hand drawn and embellished.


Entry Way by Jay Jeffers


Master Bedroom by Jay Jeffers



Eche Martinez

In later stages of the design process, we’ve had great success using digital assets for presentation to clients as they can be accessed remotely. We send mood boards through Apple’s iCloud, and “private” Pinterest boards to clients for review. The best thing about these applications is how intuitive and easy they are to use.

We do all drafting and freehand renderings for presentations at our office as there is a need for quick turn-around time and rapid editing.  We outsource all of our photo editing, branding, website management and collateral materials to a branding and web design firm based outside of the U.S.  This has helped us produce an array of marketing materials of good quality at a fraction of the cost it would by doing it locally.


Bedroom by Eche Martinez



Jay Jeffers and Eche Martinez will participate in a discussion of their work and the influence of technology on what they are doing on June 16, 1-3:30 pm, at UC Berkeley Extension, San Francisco Campus, 155 Main Street, 6th Floor. Get tickets here!

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