designTech, 30 Years and Counting
By the Editors
You may be unfamiliar with their name, but if you live in Sacramento, you’ve certainly seen their work. For the last 30 years, local interior design team, designTECH, has been beautifying some of our favorite – and Sacramento’s most iconic – restaurants, bars, offices, and buildings. The team is led by veteran designer and the firm’s principal, Steve Jones, with six powerful female staff.
To celebrate their 30th year in business, we sat down with the (mostly female!) team to learn more about what they do and where they draw inspiration from.
What work can we see around town that’s yours that we might not know about? Broderick Midtown, The Diplomat, and the new Capitol Hop Shop.
Most anticipated emerging project that you’re working on and that you’re excited to see blossom? We’re working on a complete remodel for California Medical Association that will be a huge upgrade for their staff. They are a downtown company moving locations, and we were able to provide them with design services with a modern but not trendy atmosphere. They plan on staying in their new space for 15+ years, and we take pride in providing long lasting design.
Interior trends that your happy to see go? Reclaimed wood that is extra distressed. It had a big moment. But now its time for a cleaner vibes.
What do you forecast to be the next trend? More and more we are seeing very feminine vibes (think Beast and Bounty, Paragary’s), and I think its here to stay for a while. Coming around the corner, I think we will see less all white designs, and more saturated colors in our palates.
If you were to establish a design tour what three hotspots would you recommend? Well, once The Bank opens at 7th and J streets, that will definitely be one not to be missed. Until then, I would say the southern food favorite South, DeVeres, and the new Downtown Commons adjacent to the Kings Arena.
What work can we see around town that’s yours that we might not now about? As our firm has been in business for a long time (30 years this year!) there are several places you’ve been in that you wouldn’t know are ours. We worked on River City Brewing Co., Mesa Mercado, The Patriot, and Jaynee Cakes; all located in the new(ish) Milagro Centre. The new Diplomat in the old Chops location across from the State Capital (which we worked on the Statehouse inside the Capital.) Both Brasserie Capitale and Mayahuel – across the street from each other on K Street (design spanning a few years in between with heavily influenced themes from the respective owners.) Funny what is most memorable to me is the Arco Arena, in 1988, was dT’s first big job with Architect Rann Haight. We were asked back to assist him in updating selected spaces before the Kings made their big move to the Golden 1 Center in 2013. As a Sacramento native that was huge to me.One Speed!
Other local women in any other industry that you admire? Honestly? Women like Beth Jones and Lynda Jolley who run JayJay Art Gallery. Libby Sanchez, Legislative Advocate. Rachel Smith, Public Relations. Kathi Riley Smith, Restaurant/Food Consultant. Andrea Close, Attorney. The women I work with daily at dT! Women who are smart, driven, talented, and fun to be around. Isn’t that what it is all about? Leaving people with a lasting impression? Feeling good after spending time with them? That is the best part of life. I think these women embody that. One could only hope to be up there….
When you’re not at work where can you be found? The summer? My pool. Trips to San Francisco. Wherever my husband happens to be working at the time. Winter? My fireplace. I’m a Taurus, we like comfort.
Interior trends that your happy to see go? BAD ART this is an ongoing battle though.
What do you forecast to be the next design trend? I foresee more greenery being utilized inside buildings. I also anticipate a lot more tech coming forth. With these advancements I do think consumers and individuals will be seeking comfort in spaces that are too sterile and too tech driven. The balance of the industrial and the natural, the technology and the archaic. It’s so exciting.
What work can we see around town that’s yours that we might not now about? Broderick – Midtown, Capitol Hop Shop, Statehouse at the State Capitol.
Other local women in any other industry that you admire? I completely admire a friend of mine, Kelly Boyles. She’s the owner of Milkhouse Shakes (opening in Old Sacramento this year). She took a chance and won the “Calling all Dreamers” competition last year and is absolutely killing it. Aside from the delicious shakes (strawberry is my favorite) and overflowing ambition, she’s the sweetest gal with a contagious smile and bright outlook on life.
What local business do you order takeout from the most? Selland’s is certainly a favorite and right around the corner from our office. The other is definitely the Coconut on T – whenever someone mentions it, we all end up ordering it for lunch.
If you were to establish a design tour what three hotspots would you recommend? I always love taking guests to Temple at 22nd + K, Paragary’s and Cafeteria. Great designs and great food.
What local business do you order takeout from the most? Selland’s Market, Nopalito’s (both East Sac haunts)
When you’re not at work where can you be found? CSUS (teaching), American River Parkway
Interior trends that your happy to see go? Horizontal barn wood at restaurant order counters
If you were to establish a design tour what three hotspots would you recommend?
- Golden 1 Arena – the world’s very first LEED Platinum Sports Stadium
- Crocker Art Museum – juxtaposition of modern architecture with 1800’s California architecture (think IM Pei’s Pyramid courtyard in the middle of 1800’s Louvre museum)
- DOCO/downtown/midtown – to see the diversity of design product
Most anticipated emerging project that you’re working on and that you’re excited to see blossom? Porter Co. has been an exciting one for us to work on. It’s a relatively small office full of fun personalities who were open to BIG design choices. We always strive for design to be a reflection of our clients personalities, and couldn’t be happier with how this one is turning out!
What local business do you order takeout from the most? Selland’s. We love that it’s right in the neighborhood walkable.
When your not at work where can you be found? In the school drop off line, and that’s probably happening in my yoga pants It’s not glamorous, but it’s important, and we are thankful for an employer that supports a work and family life balance.
Sac has been noted as a little sister city, who do you think is our big sister? San Francisco I suppose. I think that naturally happens with it being the closest big city. That said, I’d argue that Sacramento is the under rated little sister! We may be a smaller community but have a lot to offer in innovative design and culture.
Most anticipated emerging project that you’re working on and that you’re excited to see blossom? I am most excited about Boulevard 41, Broderick Folsom, and Back Bistro, up and coming restaurants in El Dorado Hills and Folsom that we did interior design and construction documents for. Back Bistro is located in Palladio and has been open for a little over a month. Boulevard 41 is in the El Dorado Hills Town Center, and just opened last week. Broderick Folsom is located right off the Bidwell exit, and we hope it opens sometime this year. I live up the hill, so it’s nice to see some of our work spreading to surrounding areas of Sacramento.
When you’re not at work where can you be found? When not at work, I am almost always found on the golf course. Golf is an excellent sport for marketing and business meetings, as you have a lot of opportunity to socialize, market yourself and your business, and even meet new people on the course. However, you don’t often see a lot of women on the golf course. Although golf is becoming more popular for women in the last couple of decades, it is still something I would love to see more of, especially in business. DesignTECH has recently been a sponsor at an industry charity golf tournament, with plans to be included in more in the future.
Sac has been noted as a little sister city, who do you think is our big sister? San Francisco has to be our big sister. They are leaders in the design industry, and they are so close in distance to us. However, we are proud to say that we are able to compete with design firms in San Francisco.
What work can we see around town that’s yours that we might not now about? There are a few new spots that recently opened. . . Capital Hop Shop – excellent location near Sacramento Memorial Auditorium to grab a beer with a casual “garage” vibe. If you’re up in Folsom, Back Bistro is a wine bar we just wrapped up with Architect Mitch Bjorgum that has an excellent wine selection, great food and a comfortably elegant atmosphere.
What local business do you order takeout from the most? My other job is “mom” so we definitely take advantage of Ma Jongs curbside pick-up. Food is quick, my girls love it, and you don’t have to worry about parking.
When your not at work where can you be found? In Land Park with my girls. We are so lucky to live in a city that has so much to offer – beautiful parks for play, picnics, the zoo – all within walking distance.
If you were to establish a design tour what three hotspots would you recommend? There’s so much going on with the R Street Corridor so this is a must visit spot. You get a little bit of history with the older buildings and the new design. Second spot would have to be East Sac or Land Park neighborhoods. With the huge trees and quaint homes, you definitely feel like you’re transported to another time. The last spot I would recommend is getting out on the river in Old Sac. You really gain a new perspective of the City from the water.
For more information about designTech and their current projects, please visit: https://www.designtech-ids.com/