Jeff Trotter Redefines Sport and Style

Mike Ragan
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We are Prowdr of Jeff for winning best window, Arteriors by Jeff Trotter, this year at the Legends 2017—Your True Colors at LCDQ (La Cienega Design Quarter) in Los Angeles.  Legends is an annual design event that brings together thousands of VIPs and tastemakers from the world of interior design, decor, art, fashion and architecture.

The Legends 2017 theme “Your True Colors,” expressed in the 60+ windows, was designed by top designers from around the world, such as Alexa Hampton, Bill Ingram, Kimberly Denman, Michelle Nussbaumer, Philip Gorrivan, Molly Luetkemeyer and Betsy Burnham. The designers were invited to express originality and diversity in the vignettes they created.  Legends Ambassador Holly Hollingsworth Phillips calls Legends, “the Oscars for design,” and Jeff slayed it.  

Jeff’s accessible aesthetic is how he presents himself to the world.  His tall athletic build and the intensity of his gaze makes him look like a movie star.

Born and raised in West Los Angeles, he grew up obsessed with designing and redesigning his own bedroom and studying HGTV with the dream that one day he would become a great designer.  

Jeff began his career working in set design and art direction for a major motion picture studio.  He continued his career in the entertainment industry for a number of years before launching his own design firm where he is now the founder and principal designer of Jeffrey Trotter Design.  His fresh, yet timeless, design aesthetic has made him one of the world’s most sought-after rising design professionals.

Contrast, texture, proportion and lighting are Jeff’s style guide when he’s creating a masterpiece.  Renovations are his favorite: “They are like breathing new life into an existing structure.”  He loves designing and decorating the interior of a space, but also making active and constructive changes to the the architectural bones as well.

One look at Jeff’s Instagram page and it is evident that his talent is by no accident.  Every post has a purpose and strong point of view. His beautifully photographed images are thematic, bold and graphic, constantly reinforcing the power of his brand.

I asked Jeff about his newest endeavor, a line of custom-designed surfboards that serve as functional art.  He was happy to talk about surfboards at length.  

“The beach has always played a big role in my life. I grew up surfing and spending endless summer days in the Malibu sand and surf,” said Jeff.  His design aesthetic is often described as having a contemporary twist on coastal comfort. He regularly features surfboards in his design work.  “I felt it natural to design my own line of real boards in elevated and unexpected stone- and tile-inspired prints that can be both sculptural pieces of art and serve as real boards to surf on.”  The JTD Stone Surf Collection, with Wax Surf Co., is a perfect representation of Jeff’s design style.  

The collection was strategically designed with form and function in mind; they’re the synergy of style and sport.  The boards are a bit edgy and modern, but also relaxed…and sexy.  The fact that someone can use one of his boards to surf on all day and then just lean it up against a wall to accent a space in a functionally artistic way really defines Jeff’s vision of coastal living.  You can purchase one of Jeff’s surfboards at JeffTrotterDesign.com.

Get to Know Jeff Trotter

  1. Name the person, place or thing that constantly provides you with inspiration.

It’s impossible for me to just pick one source of inspiration. I’m constantly inspired by everything and everyone around me. Nature, fashion, travel, friends…I’m inundated by constant sources of inspiration that influence my creativity. 

  1. What is your favorite color and why?

Gray. It’s timeless and chic and can lean bold or subtle depending on how it’s used in a space. I use some variation of gray in almost every project, whether it be a true gray or a gray-based hue of another color. It’s my go-to neutral.  

  1. What is your trend forecast?

I really try to avoid trends. I steer clear of anything that I fear my clients may get tired of in a season or two. I always want to err on the side of timeless rather than trendy. 

  1. Outside of work, what are you passionate about?

Politics, especially given the current state of our nation.  I spend a great deal of my free time reading and educating myself about our current political climate both on a national and international level.  Aside from that, travel, quality time with family and friends and margaritas.  I love tequila…it helps with the whole “current state of our nation” thing.

  1. Who are your favorite designers?

Michael Dawkins, Joseph Dirand, Piet Boon, Tom Ford and Hedi Slimane. 

  1. What is your favorite travel destination?

Anywhere on the Amalfi Coast. I was in Capri and Positano last summer, and I am already planning my next trip back.  I’ve been to Italy several times and it never ceases to inspire me.

  1. Is there a food or drink you absolutely CANNOT live without?

Again, I’m pretty passionate about my margaritas.  Other than my tequila obsession, I have to admit I’m not much of a foodie.  I’m an “eat to live” type of guy, more so than “live to eat.”

  1. What was your first job?

My first job was in retail, working as a brand rep at Abercrombie and Fitch. 

  1. What is on your bedside table?

An Édouard-Wilfred Buquet task lamp, two oversized, rustic wood vases filled with moss, my favorite blackberry candle and a Carrara marble iPhone charging stand, designed by my friend and fellow designer Adam Hunter. 

  1. Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.

I love getting up before sunrise. I feel like I’m getting a head start on my day while everyone else is fast asleep.

  1. What makes you Prowdr?

Having the courage to open my own design firm at such a young age; trusting that following my true passion would be worth taking a risk for. That makes me Prowdr.

Special Gift for Prowdr Readers: Enjoy 25 percent off your purchase at Mike Ragan Home. Use code Prowdr at checkout.

With a successful career in modeling, acting and dancing on and off Broadway, Mike Ragan founded RAGS, a high-end custom furniture company, which is celebrating its 25th year in business. He is a brand-identity expert and marketing and merchandising consultant. He proudly partners with renowned designers and retailers around the country to create some of the best home interiors in the world.

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