Joshua Bodjanac is the creator of JB Noble Interiors Ltd, an upscale interior design business with a long lineage in craftsmanship. A third-generation artisan, Bodjanac was greatly influenced by his father and grandfather, both of whom were in the upscale upholstery industry.
Growing up working in his father’s shop, Bodjanac went on to graduate top of his class at The Art Institute of Colorado. Today he is busy “enhancing the beauty of life” for his own clients. With a sophistication and thoughtfulness that belies his youthful appearance, Bodjanac tailors every design to his client’s personality. “We create spaces that set the atmosphere for life to happen,” he explained. Accomplished with a “deep respect for artisanship, quality, and style,” Bodjanac continues a beautiful family tradition throughout Los Angeles.
A FAMILY LEGACY
Joshua Bodjanac: Interior design stemmed from my grandfather. He escaped Yugoslavia in the middle of a war and became a refugee in Italy. My great-grandmother sent him off to trade school where he would work doing upholstery, and in return, the school would give him food, shelter and clothing. Later in life he would tell my father and my uncle, “You can pursue whatever you want, but you have to learn the trade of upholstery first.”
My dad and uncle stuck with the trades of upholstery and I grew up in the upholstery shop my parents owned. I upholstered my first chair when I was 13 years old. After I finished, my dad was very proud. He thought that I could take over the upholstery business. I surprised him when I told him, “I’d rather tell you what to put on the sofa. I’ll pick the fabric and you can upholster it.” I wanted to be something totally different.
My dad pursued the same mindset that my grandfather did and said, “You have to at least learn the trade of upholstery.” Every summer, I would work with my dad in the shop. My family became more supportive of my decision to be an interior designer. It’s been a really nice collaboration working with my parents. Their company is named European Upholstery. Based out of Colorado Springs, they focus on high-end furniture reupholstery, fabrication and antique updating.
Joshua Bodjanac: I had a mentor named Sharon Hare who I shadowed before I really decided to do interior design. We went to lunch, and were talking about the opulence that goes into interior design and the romanticism that is associated with the profession. She said something very profound: “It’s very important that you are in this for the right reasons. If not, you won’t be happy or successful.” I asked her what kept her grounded, and she said, “Things are to be used and people should be loved, but the problem is that things are loved and people are used.”
The bottom line is interior designers bring a piece of heaven to earth. We create spaces that set the atmosphere for life to happen, whether that be a celebration or the place where you wake up in the morning. I’ve been told by a few people, “Your job is very vain,” which it can be, but by the same token, it’s not. It’s a very essential part of life. Your atmosphere affects your mindset, it affects your productivity, your creativity and your production. This is what drove me to pursue interior design.
Joshua Bodjanac: I think authenticity and vulnerability are well received. It’s okay not to know everything. When you know something, state that strongly. Put yourself in positions that allow you to create a mindset where you’re in the other person’s head.
My youthful face does not work for me, it works against me, but I don’t let that hold me back. I’ve had clients tell me, “How do you understand what I want or my lifestyle?” or “Why am I going to spend millions of dollars on you to manage my project?”
When I went to meet with one client for the first time, she opened the door in shock. She goes, “Oh my god, where’s your dad?’’ I just joked back and I said, “Oh, he’s in the car.” I love a pleasant conversation. We broke the ice that way but years down the road she told me, “I was really nervous, and then a few moments into talking with you I had complete trust and decided you were hired.”
I think having the confidence in what you know is priceless, but it’s also important not to push your opinion or your agenda too much. Instead, just be authentic and let the process happen naturally.