Maker Monday: An Aspire Exclusive Interview With The Sisters Of LIVDEN

Representing over 25 years of experience in the tile industry, Melinda Earl always knew she wanted to expand into something bigger and greater. Earl’s daughters Melinda and Georgie, who are very passionate about the environment, pleaded with their mom to reposition her brand to focus on sustainability and eco-conscious decorative tiles and at last, LIVDEN was formed. The company has supplied innovative tiles for homes and spaces all over the country that are equal parts fresh and renewable. Each of their tiles are made from 65-100% recycled materials and provide accessibility and originality in any setting. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Melinda and Georgie of LIVDEN.

Meticulously placed throughout the bathroom floor is LIVDEN’s Single Flower pattern, which is a part of their Stella Collection. Carrying playful shapes and subtle colorways, this Scandinavian-esque tile is the perfect addition to this bathroom.

Meticulously placed throughout the bathroom floor is LIVDEN’s Single Flower pattern, which is a part of their Stella Collection. Carrying playful shapes and subtle colorways, this Scandinavian-esque tile is the perfect addition to this bathroom.

Andrew Joseph: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Georgie: I love to see originality and individuality take center stage. Homeowners should worry less about what others would like for resale and focus on creating spaces that they really enjoy.
Hilary: Right now, sustainability in the design industry is more uncommon than not, so I would love to see more eco-friendly options trending in the future. Even if it is design companies pledging to use more sustainable practices during the manufacturing or packaging process, it would make a huge difference in how our industry impacts the planet.

Andrew: If you could live in any home in a movie or television series, what would it be?
Georgie: Tom Ford design and John Lautner architecture? Yes, please. I love the midcentury design and natural elements of the Schaffer Residence in A Single Man.
Hilary: Without a doubt, Meg Ryan’s apartment in You’ve Got Mail. It’s so charming and cozy, and so New York. Even after all these years, I think the design and style is so timeless, I wouldn’t want to change a thing.

Andrew: What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked you?
Georgie: Never in my wildest dreams did I think that so many clients would be slinging sauce around the kitchen! One question I get all the time is: If I get spaghetti sauce on my tile backsplash, will it stain? I always think to myself, how long are they leaving that sauce on the wall? Thankfully, our recycled tiles are sealed with a high-grade acrylic sealer and can be easily cleaned with a simple pH neutral cleaner, like dish soap, if a spill does happen.

Andrew: What’s your design pet peeve?
Georgie: For me, it’s the open shelving trend—even though it can look fabulous, I don’t see it being sustainable over time. People need places to store their stuff!
Hilary: My biggest design pet peeve, besides “Gather” signs in the kitchen, would have to be when homeowners design their space around what’s trendy and popular right now. You see this a lot on popular design television shows—most of the clients want what’s hot on Instagram and Pinterest and go with designs that aren’t true to their own personality.

Abstract and modern shapes create the Luna Collection shown above. It provides an energetic statement while playing off other creative elements in the space it’s in.

Abstract and modern shapes create the Luna Collection shown above. It provides an energetic statement while playing off other creative elements in the space it’s in.

Andrew: What’s something you always travel with?
Georgie: This might sound silly but playing cards. I grew up playing a lot of card games and know enough games that I could probably fill a book. They are a great way to socialize and kill extra time.
Hilary: One thing I cannot travel without is my noise-canceling, oversized headphones! Once I pop on those big headphones and start to listen to my favorite podcast or music, it’s a game-changer.

Andrew: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
Georgie: My dream client is India Mahdavi. She sets a mood with her interiors and use of color. I just know that she would incorporate our designs in fresh and innovative ways and that would be really exciting to see.
Hilary: I would love to see LIVDEN tile in an ultra-hip boutique hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler. All of her projects are so unique, and every detail is so specific to her style. To have our tiles in a Proper Hotel would be a true dream!

Andrew: What are you most proud of?
Hilary: I’m really proud that we successfully launched our company during the height of the pandemic. Ironically, our website launch directly coincided with the start of the first lockdown in California! Despite the unknowns in the beginning, our team banded together to come out on top. Here we are a year later and thriving!
Georgie: I’d have to agree with Hilary on this one. Beyond that major win, I am incredibly proud of the fact that we’ve introduced a tile option to the market that makes it easier for people to go green without sacrificing on design.

Andrew: Style (or design) icon?
Georgie: One design icon I always go back to is Danish talent Verner Panton. The way he embraced bold colors and unusual materials has certainly influenced the way I look at our tile bodies and designs.
Hilary: It might sound like such a generic answer, but Carrie Bradshaw has been such a style icon to me for years. I have watched Sex and the City countless times, mostly for Carrie’s outfits and her incredible and exceptional style. She is the one character that has influenced and inspired my style the most.

Featured again in this kitchen, is the Luna Collection. Stretching along the backsplash, this tile adds modernity to this otherwise midcentury aesthetic.

Featured again in this kitchen, is the Luna Collection. Stretching along the backsplash, this tile adds modernity to this otherwise midcentury aesthetic.

Andrew: Favorite piece of clothing you own?
Georgie: Jewelry is clothing right? I have this vintage Spratling Mexican silver necklace that my father gave me. The artistry is unbelievable. There are so many fine lines and details that went into creating this piece. It serves as a reminder that good design never goes out of style.
Hilary: My favorite piece of clothing would have to be a vintage Oscar Del la Renta button-up dress that I found at a thrift store in Coronado. It’s so chic and something that I will keep forever—I’ve been waiting for the right occasion to wear it to.

Andrew: What about your design style has shifted post-quarantine?
Georgie: For many (myself included), quarantine has forced us to focus on creating spaces that inspire joy. During lockdown, we saw firsthand how our environments and where we spend our time can directly affect our wellbeing and happiness. Post-lockdown life, I think we will see more spaces adopt vibrant colors, energetic patterns, and whimsical elements all designed to delight.
Hilary: Once the pandemic started, I had an itch to replace all of the art in my home with pieces that were more personal and told a story. During the lockdown, I collaborated with my 4-year-old son and we created a bunch of paintings to put up around the house. This time made me realize how important it is to appreciate homemade art and incorporate irreplaceable pieces throughout your space.

Andrew: Which room in the house do you find yourself working from the most? Why? How does this inform your thoughts about architecture?
Georgie: I tend to gravitate towards the living room when I work remotely. My living space features lots of color, patterns, and relics from my travels across the world, which gives the space a sense of energy and dimension. This aesthetic not only inspires me creatively but also motivates me to bring the same spirit to whatever I’m working on. Beyond that, I think this remote experience has pushed me to consider how design elements, like our tile designs, can live in interiors and better serve those who live with them.
Hilary: When I’m working from home, I have to be near a window or in a spot that offers lots of natural light. I’ve switched up my WFH office a few times, but I finally settled at the kitchen table which looks out into the backyard and is surrounded by oversized windows. I’ve realized how important natural light is for my mood and energy. When the quarantine first began, I was working in a dark office with brown carpet and I was surprised at how much that aesthetic affected my productivity and mood.

Andrew: Where is the first place you want to travel to now that everything is opening up?
Georgie: Copenhagen to visit my brother and sister-in-law who live there! I have visited the city twice before but am looking forward to going back—Copenhagen is such a multifaceted city. Next time I visit, I’m eager to rent a car so we can have a few more off-the-beaten-path adventures. While I love visiting famous attractions and historical landmarks, my favorite thing about traveling is getting a glimpse into the everyday lives of other peoples and cultures.
Hilary: To be honest, I’m not much of a traveler—I have an enormous fear of flying to thank for that! Luckily, I live in San Diego, so it feels like I’m on vacation every day. If I had to pick somewhere, I would travel somewhere close enough for me to drive to like Santa Barbara or Monterey. I love exploring new beach towns and finding where the locals go.


About The Makers | Imagine a world where art meets sustainability and recycled materials are at the forefront of every home. That’s the world LIVDEN is creating. The concept was to create fresh and innovative patterns in a way that utilized upcycled post-consumer materials, giving people an easy option to choose green. For the last year, Georgie and Hilary have combined their complementary skill sets to design an in-house tile line that is made from 65-100% recycled materials. While potential company names have changed, their core values for the brand have not. Since the creation of LIVDEN, its mission has always been based around three things: sustainability, accessibility and originality.


Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for aspire design and home magazine. See more of his work here.

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