Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Page Nazarian

Fame Hardwood separates itself from other hardwood floor companies by the way they harvest, mill, and manufacture their natural wood flooring. They provide never before seen stains and finishes while their factories use efficient harvesting practices that have lowered production costs. Their philosophy removes “can’t” from their vocabulary and has led them to breed innovative ideas into dynamic solutions. As a proud partner of the National Forests Foundation, they aim to protect, expand, and preserve by planting an acre of trees for every acre of flooring is sold. Introducing the man behind the brand, the owner of Fame Hardwood, Page Nazarian.

One of Fame Harwood’s showrooms is proudly located in Los Angeles, California. The storefront was inspired by a gallery-oriented frame of reference to eliminate the overwhelming feeling other outlets have.

Andrew Joseph: You’re the newest Crayola color. What color are you and why?
Page Nazarian: Naked. No paper wrapping, no color titles or names, just a stand out, unabashed piece of nude wax versatile enough to be used in any angle and with any color.

Andrew: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Page: Practicality. As we move towards a future filled with minimalism and sleeker designs, I hope that practicality doesn’t get lost and the end-consumer forgotten. Things like the comfort of a chair or the durability of a finish shouldn’t be compromised to achieve cutting edge design.

Andrew: What’s the weirdest thing a client has ever asked you?
Page: I had a client come into the showroom once who needed floors for his new home. He was way over budget, I mean way over budget, like millions. He fell in love with a floor we carry and asked if there’s anything that could be done since it was so much more than his remaining budget. I was in the middle of my own remodel and backyard expansion so I knew where he was coming from and felt for him. The leftover budget he had allotted would have had him even kicked out of Lumber Liquidators in a heartbeat. We talked, became friends and I inquired about his profession, and lo and behold, he was one of the largest private owners of Andy Warhol art outside of Pittsburgh. Cue the light bulb! We eventually ended up trading the floors he wanted for a Warhol piece he had in his gallery. It hangs predominantly in the newly remodeled bar in my house and I love it more every day I see it. Just last week the client emailed me to say that particular piece already went up 50% in one year. Crazy.

What makes Fame Hardwood unique is their partnerships with lumber mills, milling facilities, and finishing lines all over the world in the USA, Europe, and Asia. This concept assures their clients that they are getting the best product for the right cost.

Andrew: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Page: Wake up Saturday at 7:00 am to play a full two hours of soccer, go have an amazing lunch with my family. Followed by swimming in our backyard where I can sneak in a small siesta before going out to town with my wife that night. Sunday mornings consist of taking my 1974 Jaguar E-type up to Malibu for Cars n’ Coffee with my car guys and admiring all the beautiful vehicles. Sunday afternoons are usually reserved for art or theatrical excursions with my family but lately, we’ve had to get creative and call on a few favors from friends with new film releases and access to museums.

Andrew: What’s your design pet peeve?
Page: Scalability is very important to me, and nothing bothers me more when a piece of furniture of a chandelier is too big for a space or gets in the way of movement. Like a chair stationed in a spot where an exterior door should be opening all the way. Or a dining room chandelier being too low and hitting guests in the head when they get up. These are simple mistakes a $5 tape measure and some blue tape can help avoid before it’s too late.

Andrew: What would be the name of your debut album?
Page: Don’t have to imagine this one- it was “Cracks in the Wall.” I wrote a song for my wife on the night of my wedding. I received such an unbelievable response from our guests that I decided shortly after to write a whole album and ended up recording it with a producer friend of mine. There was a music video made also that’s somewhere on YouTube. The album found a publisher and a couple of the songs actually ended up on TV shows. The checks I received barely paid for the CDs made but I’m proud of what was created and knowing I can achieve a dream if I set my heart to it.

Since Fame Hardwood sources their raw materials in Europe and the Appalachians, they are able to determine what type of finish best accommodates the amount of expected traffic on the floors.

Andrew: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
Page: Again, I don’t have to dream about this one because I already work on her projects – Kelly Wearstler. When I first walked into the Viceroy in Santa Monica, her inaugural hotel project, I remember saying to myself, “Who is this amazing designer and how can I work with her?” Fast forward more than a decade later and half a dozen award-winning hotels across the country, she is by far the top designer in the country and I am extremely honored to have our floors be a part of them.

My dream client right now would be Tom Ford. I would love to collaborate with him on a home or his retail stores. I think he would gravitate to our metallic collection of wood flooring, something with texture and luster. I’m curious to see what his genius mind would want from the genus of hardwood.

Andrew: Favorite app?
Page: Cross DJ. It’s a $5 app that lets you mix all your music on SoundCloud just like a real DJ. There have been many nights I opened up this app on my iPad and began to take parties over and proceeded to fill the dance floor like I was headlining a Vegas club. It truly is an amazing app that facilitates the difficult parts of mixing, blending, and cueing into a seamless cacophony of wonderful dance music. But like any amazing DJ, the equipment isn’t the end-all one needs to feel the energy from the crowd and know when to get in and out of songs that are hopefully what they want to hear.

Andrew: Best advice you’d give your teenage self?
Page: Spend a little more on your shoes. Out of all the shoes in my closet, the only ones that have stood the test of time are the pairs I spent more money on than I was comfortable at the time. I have a pair of brown army-looking John Varvatos shoes I bought 15 years ago for what was then a lot of money, but my wife pushed me to get them. The Italian leather on them is so soft and resilient that I wear them to job sites constantly that are filled with drywall mud, nails, lumber, metal scraps, you name it. And all I have to do is take them once every four months to Little Joe’s on Camden next to Equinox to get shined and they look just as they did when coming out of the box. I’ve even resoled them four times and every time it looks better than before.

The supplementary line of moldings, HDF Core, and vinyl floors created by Fame Hardwood is aptly named “FAME+.” Their clientele is now able to access the complete package of what goes into choosing floors such as MDF moldings, HDF Core, or click SPC vinyl planks.

Andrew: A book that everyone should read?
Page: “The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck” by Mark Manson. Too many times we lose our minds for inconsequential, unimportant daily occurrences we mostly have no control over. The book teaches you how to pick your core values in life, guard them for all their worth, and then not give a rat’s ass about everything else. Postmates guy is taking over an hour to bring your food? Why waste your brain cells and shoot up your already high blood pressure trying to get someone on the phone to find out when your order is coming? Just go to the cupboard, eat a small snack to hold yourself over and chill in front of the tele with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Andrew: What would you like to be remembered for?
Page: I pushed the hardwood flooring industry into a new chapter never accomplished before. Right now the only national brands consumers are aware of are discount brands and box stores. Fame Hardwood is vying for the top spot of the biggest mid to high-end flooring brand in America through our unique and various collections, our designer-licensed lines, our partnership with Bona and Veneklasen to provide architects a package of wood, glue, and our rubber underlayment complete with sound ratings, and our exclusive soon to be announced HOF Club (Hall of Fame Club) that’s by invitation only for those in the trade at $250 per year. Perks include free sound test results, free shipping on all cut samples and many large board samples, access to certified installers and repairmen across North America, free shipping on pallet orders when quotas are met, exclusive sneak peeks or new lines, and much more.

About The Maker | With a new showroom located in Beverly Hills, CA, Fame Hardwood is not your traditional flooring company. The brand prides itself in the latest flooring trends, never-before-seen stains and colors, custom finishing methods, finest installation techniques, and the overall art that is a well-done wood floor. With a strong reach in the custom home and large multifamily dwelling markets, the company crafts top-quality flooring to fit any specifications from wide-plank walnut or white oak, prefinished French oak, in-house designed parquet, and beyond. Fame Hardwood is also thrilled to be opening its new showroom at 200 Lex in New York at the beginning of next year.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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