On Paula’s Coffee Table

January 30th, 2013

There’s a sunny little space in ViX designer Paula Hermanny’s La Jolla home. Motes of dust dance in the light and everything else is still and peaceful. An overstuffed sofa with pillows of worn burlap serves as an invitation to sit down.  A coffee table stands opposite, aged with character and smartened with solid inlay. Sunlight lands on a stack of books, each is hardcover and weighted with reams of inspiration. To open one, is to gain insight into the working mind of the host: what affects, what drives, what is important to learn and remember.  A designer is no different.

“I love books,” Paula says, “and on my coffee table, I leave the special ones. To remind me of home, of what is important.”

At the top of her stack sits a custom made album. “This has pictures from our very first time spending Christmas in Costa Rica,” says Paula, referring to family trips, “we went again last month and I love it so much, I hope we can go every year!”

The next two books feature wave photography: “Inside Maverick’s,” a work collected by photographer Doug Acton and editors Grand Washburn and Bruce Jenkins; and “Masters of Surf,” by Jeff Divine. Paula loves the ocean but it's her husband that is the avid surfer. These books are his contribution to their selection of easy reading.

Next, is “Mar do Rio,” a book signed by author and photographer Carlos Secchin, whom Paula knows personally.  “He is my friend and he gave this book to me when I started to design bikinis,” Paula said.

“O Rio Antigo” by Gilberto Ferrez captures Rio de Janeiro during a different era.  The black and white photography is romantic, with an old soul. It reminds Paula of her roots and pacifies the occasional pangs of nostalgia for her beautiful home country.

Lastly, a lone book sits apart from the others, as distinct and alluring as its theme. “Fashion,” by Charlotte Seeling, chronicles “150 years of couturiers, designers and labels.” Fashion is nothing without substance and with heritage being quintessential to the ViX lifestyle, Paula designs with both a learned perspective and ambition for innovation.