From the beginning, we knew Grand Gimeno would be a massive project to tackle. Refurbishing a 30,000 square foot space from the inside out during a global pandemic has had its challenges, but the closer we come to the finish line, the more rewarding we feel seeing what once was an old YMCA transforming into a beautiful, Spanish Colonial Revival venue. Once we crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s, we immediately knew who we wanted by our side helping us with design decisions along the way. We enlisted the help of our favorite interior designer, Becki Owens, who was also our Interior Designer for our cafe, Ellie’s Table Egan House. Becki specializes in clean California esthetics that encourage gathering and leave a lasting impression with warm finishes and modern details. She brings her many years of design expertise and knowledge to accentuate Grand Gimeno’s historical background through thoughtful details while still breathing fresh, new life into the space.
We took some time to ask Becki questions related to her design process and thoughts on Grand Gimeno. Check out our questions and her answers below to learn a little more about what you’ll see as our venue reaches completion and some of Becki’s favorite Grand Gimeno features.
Q: Who/what did you look to for inspiration?
A: The client wanted the feel of the space to be current as well as true to the original architecture. Always keeping up to date on current design trends is an ongoing process as a designer. It almost has to become an addiction to research and seek out inspiration within the industry. Hispano-Moorish, Spanish Revival and Santa Barbara Architecture were large influences on meeting the clients desires.
Q: In your opinion, what makes Grand Gimeno a timeless venue?
A: Natural, earthen textures and old world features offer classic beauty to this venue. We selected elements that would offer timeless spaces to enjoy for years to come by all who get to experience such a special place in the community.
Q: Grand Gimeno is located in the historic area of Old Towne Orange. Did you incorporate the history of the area into the building/design and if so, how?
A: Municipal criteria was a portion of the design direction as well as the integrity of staying true to the locality of Southern California Architecture.
Q: What is your favorite space/room in the venue and why?
A: I can't deny that the foyer sets the tone for the rest of the building. The view through the large, oversized arches frame the area with an introduction to a world of classic allure and refinement.
Q: What is your favorite design component that you worked on at Grand Gimeno?
A: Breathtaking tile and patterns that were available for this project stand out as bold yet soft and pleasing to the eye.
Q: In your opinion, what are some of the standout features at Grand Gimeno that make it different from other event spaces you’ve seen?
A: The term that comes to mind is that the ceiling is the fifth wall when designing a space such as this. Exposing the original beams that had been previously covered up elevates the eye to details that engage your emotions to a feeling of grandeur.
Q: Tell us about the color palette used at Grand Gimeno, specifically the Benjamin Moore Amsterdam blue.
A: Every hue carries with it an emotion and blues are no exception. This particular shade of blue has a calming and serene sentiment, with a touch of energy much like the ocean and sky in the nearby backdrop landscape. It compliments the historical California vibe integrated with the tile choices for harmony within the environment.