As current ASID LA Chapter President, Frank Slesinski has made great professional
strides since his 2009 graduation from the UCLA Extension ARC-ID Program. He splits
his time between LA and Palm Springs weekly (“usually 2-3 days [a week] in the
desert”), and his projects consist roughly of 80% residential, and 20% commercial. He
credits ASID with helping him get to where his is today, stating “it has literally shaped my career, connected me with wonderful colleagues and resources, and help put me on the map.”
Where did you grow up?
Worcester, Massachusetts about 45 minutes outside Boston.
What attracted you to interior design?
I was always fascinated with beautiful homes; as a boy I rode my bike for hours navigating the neighborhoods of my hometown, dreaming of what lay inside those front doors. Worcester had every style of home: Georgian, Spanish, Colonial, Contemporary, Ultra-modern.
What are you currently working on?
We are currently reimagining a large contemporary home in Nichols Canyon; I would call it, “Bali Modern.” There is an oak tree growing through the home from the front foyer through the upstairs master bedroom and roof to the sky beyond. There is a stunning canopy of green over the house. We are also finishing the renovation of an Hancock Park Spanish bungalow and expanding the roof deck of a luxurious historic gothic-deco condominium building in Hollywood. We completed the first stage of the roof and lobby two years ago. It’s always nice when old clients come back with more work!
What are 3 qualities that got you to where you are today, professionally?
Diligence. Respectfulness. Honesty.
What is one of your biggest challenges?
Work/Life Balance. I think of clients’ projects 24/7, and sometimes it is difficult to pull back and just enjoy the fruits of one’s labor.
What does your typical day look like?
Each day is different. I spend 30% to 40 % of my time on project management; which keeps me on the road several hours most days. The bulk of my time is spent working on client presentations and shopping. Squeezing in time for paperwork is important to keep on top of billing!
Best career advice you’ve gotten?
As current president of the ASID LA Chapter, I would be remiss if I did not say, “join ASID.” I was first a student member, and after graduation - an Allied Member. It has literally shaped my career, connected me with wonderful colleagues and resources, and help put me on the map.
What is one helpful design resource you can recommend to our students as they enter the field?
Once again, ASID membership – get to know their Industry Partners because they are your best resource for product information and expert advice.
Something you wish you knew when first got started designing?
Clients hire you for your talent and point of view – don’t be shy about expressing yourself and knowing the value of what you bring to the table.
Who do you admire and why?
I really admire the late Albert Hadley of the celebrated Parrish Hadley firm in New York. First and foremost for his incredible talent, but also because he was the consummate gentleman and quite humble; he was not afraid of calling himself a “decorator.” His firm nurtured some of the most brilliant designers today whose careers I admire (Bunny Williams, Brian McCarthy, David Steinberg, to name a few).
Describe your personal style.
It may be an overused term, but I would call my personal style “eclectic.” I love mixing different periods – Asian and English pieces with Mid-Century to very Modern. Our homes reflect our experiences and travels, so why limit our expression of how and where we have lived and what interests us?
Where do you go for inspiration?
I take constant inspiration from my surroundings – including those things that “work” and those things that “don’t work.” I’m always curious as to how and why things come together, or not. Travel is always important, as well as my garden, and even Instagram and walking the PDC; you name it.
What is your favorite thing in your own home?
Since you said favorite “thing,” I guess I have to eliminate my husband and two dogs – so I guess would say our large abstract painting by the New York artist, Helen Iranyi.
What is something on your bucket list?
I would love to design a boutique hotel.