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Storied Design

The interior spaces created by Errol de Jager and Rick Campos speak volumes.

Creative minds Errol de Jager and Rick Campos at DeJager Design in Newport

For Errol de Jager, design is akin to a great narrative. “A well-designed space tells a story,” he says. “The beauty is not simply in the details, but in the... foundation, in the walls and in the soul of the environment.” From his DeJager Design studio in Cannery Village, he weaves interior dialogues for luxe homes from Cali to Cape Town, in his native South Africa. Now, another “storyteller” known for articulating spectacular spaces—Rick Campos—has joined his team. Together, with the rest of his cast of talent, they’re rewriting the history of interior design, and here’s their tale.

How do you collaborate in designing homes? EdJ: My focus is clientcentric and being responsible for the design direction of each project. Central to my philosophy is a collaboration between clients and industry partners, and my talented team of associates. Rick is the perfect complement to that team. We enjoy each other’s confidence and mutual respect.

What’s your design mantra? EdJ: [It’s] a constant dialogue [that] guides the evolution of the structure, and I see myself as the interpreter. My primary objective is to detail a beautiful structure that does not need to be dressed up. I do all I can to ensure it exists first as a beautiful room. The furnishings and occupants bring the room to life and create a home.

Do you typically work within O.C.? RC: Errol has an international portfolio and has worked on homes nationwide, but most of our projects are in and around O.C. and L.A., where we’ve gained recognition in designing high-end, ground-up custom homes.

How do the living spaces you create here on the California Riviera differ from those in other regions? EdJ: Each home is truly bespoke. We’ve delivered homes in many styles—from Tuscan farmhouse to postmodern deco. The joy of building a custom [abode] here is the privilege of creating an environment unique to your preferences.

And how do you describe luxury in interior design today? RC: [It] has a lot to do with technology. Just about every project we work on has an underlying layer of technology to make the home user-friendly and eco-responsible, and more beautiful through electronic convenience and lighting.

Tell us about a recent favorite project. EdJ: [I] installed an authentic terrazzo floor in an Italianate-style home in Crystal Cove. The company, a family-owned business in Milan, flew in all the materials and craftsmen. The floors and the tiled pool elevated the project to a new level.