Top Interior Designers: Hawk & Co and Founder Summer Jensen
Top Interior Designers: Hawk & Co and Founder Summer Jensen
“Known for inventive problem solving, astute project management and unparalleled client service, Hawk & Co’s work transforms the built environment into emotionally engaging spaces by reinterpreting geometric hierarchy and seamlessly incorporating experiential, interactive technology. Sumptuous and provocative, the result of Hawk & Co’s creative process strikes an iconic balance of minimalism and opulence.” This is how one of Los Angeles’ top interior designers Summer Jensen, founder and principal designer, of Hawk & Co describes her firm. We could re-write her description, but why when it has already been said so eloquently!
With more than 35 years of diverse project experience the Hawk & Co design studio team offers residential, hospitality and commercial clients a multidisciplinary approach to its menu of services which includes everything from interior design, architecture, styling and furniture and product design to project management, procurement, construction services, graphic design, branding and more! Their client list includes the likes of Nike, Pepsi, Sushi Roku, The Roosevelt Hotel and numerous other A-listers who have graciously described the creative process of working with Hawk & Co as “exquisite”, “thoughtful “, and “captivating.”
“At the heart of Hawk & Co is a collaborative, inclusive design process whereby the studio’s signature opulent minimalist aesthetic is melded with clients’ individual stylistic preferences. Ultimately, the goal is to enhance a luxurious, decadent and indulgent lifestyle with timeless, well-designed exterior architecture and experiential interiors accented by custom furniture, flawless finishes and top tier accessories.” Once again, I can’t possibly re-write something so ingrained in Hawk & Co’s persona!
Raised in Hawaii, Hawk & Co’s owner Summer Jensen is the daughter of the late legendary entertainer Dick Jensen whom she calls her biggest role model when asked by California Home & Design.
“The only role model I have is my father. He came from a small, poor town in Hawaii and worked his way up as an entertainer from the ’60s through ’80s performing with the Rat Pack, the Doors, and Jimi Hendrix. He later dedicated his life to helping others through his ministry. He taught me to always aim high and work diligently to get there but with kindness and humility. Never sacrifice who you are for where you want to get to.”
Much like her father, Summer attracted the spot light spending her teenage years competing in beauty pageants and later onstage as a dancer. Summer moved from her island home to study English at the University of San Francisco, but left her studies to follow her passion for dance. As a professional dancer, she traveled extensively through Europe, Asia and the South Pacific on tour. While performing Summer always liked to be involved with the set and stage design which led her to return to school to obtain an interior design degree from the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising.
A natural talent, Summer quickly became one of the industry’s top interior designers. One of her earliest achievements was heading the interiors department of Commune Design, the firm responsible for Juicy Couture’s wildly successful re-branding. After honing her skills in retail design, Summer went on to create striking hotel and resort interiors as a designer for the A-list firm Dodd Mitchel Design. Then in 2008 Summer joined Candy & Candy, the world-renowned luxury interior design firm, where she found her true passion in residential design. With a stunning portfolio well underway Summer left Candy & Candy to open Hawk & Co in 2009.
When I first heard the name of Summer’s firm I remember thinking, hmm I wonder why she chose the name Hawk & Co? Especially when so many top interior designers take the namesake route for their firms. When I discovered the meaning behind her choice the astuteness of her selection spoke volumes. Summer and her siblings’ names all incorporate the name for the ‘io, the only hawk native to Hawaii and an emblem of royalty in Hawaiian legend, so at first the name is an homage to her native Hawaiian family roots and her devotion to luxury living. But the meaning goes even deeper, this graceful bird of prey has two color phases, a dark phase and a light phase, making it the perfect symbol of Summer’s knack for playing with light and shadow in her designs. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, the name also speaks to her hawk-like attention to detail. And as an impeccable representation of the power of nature the name also befittingly references Summer’s belief that nature is the best designer. And there you have it!
For one of her first big projects with her own firm, Summer created a chic and sexy penthouse bachelor pad in downtown LA where geometry meets nature (above).
Collaborating with acclaimed architect Russell Shubin, Summer infused a sense of luxurious comfort with a subtle Hawaiian touch (above). Throughout the home, Summer used precious koa wood panels in a distinctly clean and contemporary fashion.
“Design like you give a fuck” says Hawk & Co in their design manifesto which outlines the key components of all the projects they take on: Luxe Minimalism, Contrast, Proportion and Permanence. I don’t usually do this, but I so love the tone of whomever wrote Hawk & Co’s site (perhaps Summer herself given her foray as an English major?) that I must share their full manifesto – clearly, they are what they preach as demonstrated in their gorgeous portfolio of work and beautifully branded site! One of the industry’s top interior designers for sure!
HAWK & CO MANIFESTO
At the intersection between masculine geometry and feminine ornamentation, lies the propensity for the exquisite. Clean lines bathed in light allow luxurious materials to drip with appeal, and meticulous editing exposes the face of pure beauty.
Form is best seen when dynamically highlighted. Light needs dark, its mischievous counterweight. In the void beyond illumination, creativity is born of necessity; curiosity spawned from imagination. Light is coaxed to bring seductive shadows, and engage them in a dance of spatial experience, stirring our most primal emotions. Balance is found in the ethereal gap that lies between the heavy and the weightless. Drama is realized.
The suitable affinity of one thing to another is a labyrinth of complexity. Details are carefully constructed through the harmony of lines and the reciprocity of shapes. Elegant. Slender. Immortal. The delicate adjustment of nuances ignites powerful composition. The propensity to feel emotion is altered with every fraction, the shift echoing against confining form. Without proportion, the slender becomes massive, ratio irrelevant, and the mean has no relationship to the whole.
Timeless design, in the truest sense of sustainability, is rational order and balanced proportions; the lasting aesthetic statement. Beauty is eternal. Design with magnitude. Design for permanence. Design like you give a fuck.
We look forward to seeing what Hawk & Co creates next!
Want more design inspiration? Check out more profiles on top interior designers and their insanely gorgeous work on our Designers page.