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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Gill

Interview: Eric Lehwald of DTLA design

Eric Lehwald of DTLA design

Eric Lehwald is the owner and lead designer of DTLA design in Los Angeles. I absolutely love his work so I asked if I could interview him about design and how he got started. We met through my web design business as I provide his existing site with design updates.

Eric, thanks for taking the time out to talk to me about your work. My first question is how did you get started in design?

When I was a kid, I loved to draw, paint, and build models. I would build Star Wars models while my dad was building model airplanes out of Balsam wood and paper. He was great at it. By trade he was a mechanic. Then other times I would use his leftover materials to build a roller coaster instead of a plane.

I always loved architecture but I decided to study theater in college. My first play was Westside Story. It wasn't until later in life that I got into design.

Did you grow up in LA?

No, I grew up in Tampa and moved to New York City at 18. When I was 30 years old I decided I would give acting a shot in Los Angeles. I did alot of theater in NYC. I got a few acting jobs in LA but ended up in sales and was very good at it. Then a friend said "why don't you give design a shot, it comes natural to you." I studied Interior Architecture at UCLA and that was it. I knew that design is what I was supposed to do.

Who are your favorite architects or designers?

John Lautner is of course one of my favorites. I love the form and angles of the Sheats-Goldstein residence. And I like the outerspace feel and look of Thomas Mayne's work.

Sheats Goldsteing photo by Grueslayer
Sheats Goldstein

What are a couple of your favorite buildings in LA?

The Bradbury Building which was built in 1893. The designs were drawn by Lewis Bradbury's draftsman, George Wyman because he did not care for the architect Sumner Hunt's original plans.

Also the Eastern Columbia Building which was built in 1930 in the Art Deco style. It's architect was Claud Beelman.

EasternColumbia taken by AdrianSF
Eastern Columbia

If there was one thing that you would like to do in your field that you have not accomplished yet, what would it be?

I would definitely like to design a boutique hotel. Hopefully this is in my near future.

What is your favorite restaurant in the Los Angeles area?

My favorite restaurant is Margot in Culver City.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us! We really love your work.

Below are a few of my favorite design by Eric Lehwald, you can see more at

DTLA design - remodel

DTLA design - bedroom

DTLA design - bathroom

See more about Los Angeles history and architecture in Los Angeles 1950.


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