Feb 4, 2014

Meet the Team: Debra Prinzing

Ever wonder who's behind GRAY magazine? Well, we want you to get to know us a little better. That's why we're starting the Meet the Team series. Every week we will be posting a Q&A with one of our fabulous team members so you can get a peek at their inspirations, experience at the magazine, and how they got involved in the design industry. And if you have anymore questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment.

(c) Mary Grace Long photography
photographed at Jello Mold Farm in Skagit Valley

Name: Debra Prinzing

Position at GRAY: Landscape and Culture Editor

What is your favorite part of working for GRAY?

Being able to tell design stories that excite me in the pages of a beautifully-designed, professionally produced publication. I also love collaborating with a team of super creative storytellers to produce the best design publication in our region.

How would you describe the Pacific Northwest design and architecture scene? How is it different from other parts of the country?

People in the Pacific Northwest have a particular relationship to place. We have an emotional connection to our surroundings; we both possess and are possessed by the homes, the rooms, the furnishings, the artwork, and the plant-filled landscapes that we 
create for ourselves.

How did you get into the design industry?
My undergraduate degree is in textiles and for a few years I worked in the fashion industry. My first job out of college was as a junior writer on the staff of Seventeen Magazine in New York. After I returned to Seattle in the early 1990s, I gravitated to business writing at Puget Sound Business Journal. Because of my design background I ended up covering all the creative beats: retail, hospitality, media, marketing, architecture, and graphic design. That experience rooted me as a design journalist. In the past 16 years I have been an independent writer covering residential architecture, interiors, landscaping and floral design, including as a design columnist at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and a regular contributor to the Los Angeles Times.

What is your favorite design era or style? Why?

I have always loved Arts & Crafts for its strong connection to nature, its earthy palette and the celebration of organic materials used. In 1998, my husband and I worked with Robin Abrahams of Abrahams Architects to create an old-new Craftsman style home that totally reflected our love of this style. Then we suddenly moved to Los Angeles in 2006 and we had to sell that home. I swore I would NEVER live in a California ranch house, but guess what? We ended up living in a 1980's stucco and red-tile-roofed ranch. While living in Southern California for four years, I truly began to appreciate that architectural style, as well as its earlier iteration, the Midcentury modern home. Both architectural styles embrace the indoor-outdoor vibe, which speaks to me no matter what the climate.

Do you have any favorite GRAY memories?

It was so much fun to spend an afternoon last  summer enjoying a GRAY team lunch at managing editor Lindsey Roberts' parents home overlooking Puget Sound near Shelton. We rarely stop long enough to do something just to nurture friendships. So to me, it was a very special day, thanks to Lindsey and her mother Christy Rowe.

What is your favorite space in your home?

My office. It is painted Leaf green and I'm surrounded by a huge library of horticulture and design books - ceiling to floor, as well as my collection of vintage American vases. The room has three huge windows facing east. I rarely feel like it's work when I'm inside this space.

What has been one of the highlights of the past year for you?

Launching the "Slow Flowers Podcast with Debra Prinzing," a free weekly podcast about American flowers and the people who grow and design with them. It's available free on iTunes and to date, more than 6,000 episodes have been downloaded by listeners.

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