Friday Five with Marcia Zia-Priven

Marcia Zia has been the Creative Director and Managing Partner for Zia-Priven Inc. since its inception in 1999. She and husband Paul Priven, left the entertainment industry (Marcia, an Emmy nominated Set Decorator and Paul, an Assistant Director) to pursue their passion to create extraordinary lighting.

She also designs numerous collections for Stonegate Designs and Robert Abbey with her Mercer chandelier winning Stonegate their first ever Arts Award in 2009. Her 10ft-tall Troy Ping Pong Ball chandelier also received wide acclaim in over 50 publications internationally.

The Zia-Priven aesthetic is classically modern mixed in with a bit of the couple’s Hollywood roots. Her latest collections Tempest and Solano introduce her new obsession, hand blown glass, and a style she refers to as “Industrial Glamour.” Currently Marcia is exploring her love for sculptural and geometric forms for the next ZP collection.

Zia-Priven has been privileged to work with some of the world’s foremost interior designers including Jamie Drake, Mark Zeff, Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and Geoffrey Bradfied. Past and current projects include the Fontainebleau Hotel Miami, Ritz-Carlton Toronto, Four Seasons Resort Santa Barbara and the Wynn Macao including many high profile residences. Their work has been featured in numerous design publications as well as a live interview on the Early Show. Marcia is a Hollywood-to-NYC-to-Santa Monica transplant where she lives with her husband Paul and their two cats, Simon and Lulu. You can follow her on Twitter where she chats about interiors, designers, fabulous lighting and offers advice to anyone with lighting or design questions.

Picking my favorite 5 has been a lot of fun albeit somewhat painful narrowing them down! For something to be a “favorite” of mine, it’s not just what it is or who they are, but also the richness of the story behind them.

1. Pamela Sunday Ceramic Sculptures
These wonderfully bizarre, ceramic sculptures (my favorites are the Globoid and the Oculus) are lovingly hand built by Brooklyn based sculptor, Pamela Sunday. After a background in Wall Street banking and fashion advertising, she broke free and discovered her love of clay. Each complex piece can take anywhere from 4 weeks to 3 months to complete depending on the complexity and size of the form. As Pamela says herself, “My process is somewhat obsessive and time consuming.” And it shows. I think they’re magnificent. Sculptures range in sizes from 8′ up to 20″.

Yes, it’s quite a mouthful but every bite is so satisfying. Well known interior designer, Lee Melahn, half of the highly respected and talented design team Shaver/Melahn, has done something quite remarkable. He has written a blog that I find so raw and honest, inspiring, often hilarious, and yet at times painfully heart-breaking that it must be included on my list.

Lee, his partner Rick, and 13-year-old daughter Emmy were at the top of the design world with a hefty bank account, several homes and traveled the globe extensively. Then slowly but surely they were hit by the faltering economy. Hard. The fact that this can happen to the biggest and the brightest is utterly eye-opening and shows it can happen to ANY of us. We read as the Shaver/Melahns slowly begin to pull themselves up and out or as Lee sums it up, it is “A guide to what we’ve done to get ourselves here and then what we’re doing to get ourselves out.” Lee even offers design advice throughout and some great DIY tips.

Very David Sedaris in style with some Dooce thrown in, Lee’s biting wit and unhinged honesty often have me laughing out loud while fighting back tears, amounting to what I believe is one of the most beautifully written blogs. I encourage you to follow their journey from the very beginning starting in August ’09. As I watch them climb their way back up the ladder (with his readers rooting all the way!), I cannot help but feel he is also carrying us on his shoulders. Go Lee!

3. Herve van der Straeten
I’ve had a virtual affair with this Parisian’s creations for some time now, rightfully considered among the top designers internationally. And, for the first time, his designs have made it to the States. The jewelry is bold, asymmetrical and well, so French. His furniture is sleek and sculptural. And his lighting makes me wish I had designed it. Thankfully, his jewelry is now available at Neiman Marcus, Beverly Hills and his furniture is exhibiting at the Ralph Pucci gallery at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood through June. For jewelry lovers outside of LA, there are several websites that carry some limited pieces like Blue Velvet Boutique and Farfallina.

4. The Hotel Albergo del Senato
My favorite hotel in the heart of Rome. Friendly staff, great service, perfect location with amazing views of the 2000-year-old and architecturally outstanding Pantheon. We had a lovely terrace off our suite overlooking the bustling Piazza Della Rotunda where we relaxed over wine each night, taking in the sights and sounds of The Ancient City. There’s nothing as sweet as drifting off to sleep with the distant sound of opera sung below.

5. What inspires me more than anything? I apologize in advance for the schmaltz, but I’ve got to be honest. None other than my husband, my partner and the Priven to my Zia: Paul. I adore him. He is kind, brilliant and funny and the best person I know. After 12 years together, there is no one else I would rather spend the day with or could ever imagine working with. A crazy synergy takes place when we brainstorm together with ideas and creativity a-blazing that just couldn’t happen on our own. And I swear, not one day passes without him making me laugh. I love you, Sweetie.

Jaime Derringer, Founder + Executive Editor of Design Milk, is a Jersey girl living in SoCal. She dreams about funky, artistic jewelry + having enough free time to enjoy some of her favorite things—running, reading, making music, and drawing.