The greatest success is often unplanned.
For Davis Krumins, the brilliant designer behind some of San Diego's hottest venues and founder of Davis Ink Ltd., unexpected success is realized on many levels.
Whether it's the way in which he ventured off on his own, or how his designs coalesce, Davis' ascension in the world of commercial design has depended heavily on a strict adherence to ... going with the flow.
Davis' impact on the San Diego nightlife scene began with a casual introduction, through a mutual friend, to
James and Demien, founders of the entertainment development firm, EnDev. New to the business, but empowered by diehard ambition to open a nightclub, James and Demien enlisted Davis to design what was to become a benchmark in San Diego nightlife.
Davis, who was a furniture designer at a Los Angeles firm at the time, would work on the EnDev concept in the evenings after work. "We had a small budget, so it required great creativity," Davis reminisces, "it was real personal, a real grassroots sort of thing."
As far as architectural trends go, Davis is a trailblazer. "Our office is filled with random materials and samples from all over," says Davis. Inspiration is derived from mixing these eclectic scraps and using traditional elements in new or odd ways, so the designs reflect a progressive and unique flair. "We rarely do the same thing twice," boasts Davis, "we like to go in new directions, invent things." Davis prides himself in the ability to fuse contradicting genres and materials into something that just works.
Davis Ink is distinct not only in design but in their superior dedication to the client. Davis' consistent involvement in all of his projects allows him to develop a close personal relationship with his clients. It is not uncommon to find Davis himself at the jobsite, with a saw and wood in hand. Davis considers each endeavor a "family project," where input from the client is encouraged. This approach is so effective that EnDev has basically given Davis free reign over the design of their sites. "The San Diego boys," as Davis so endearingly calls EnDev, "have given me a lot of trust." This may seem like a designer's dream, but Davis humbly asserts that the freedom challenges him to always one-up his past accomplishments.
Davis has definitely reached that goal with the most recent and over-the-top Hillcrest project - Universal and Dish at Universal. When asked to pinpoint his favorite aspects of his latest creation, Davis enthusiastically spoke of the use of organic materials. The organic theme at Dish, the upscale restaurant side of the complex, is achieved with the use of weathered wood salvaged from old barns to frame the windows, and real driftwood interspersed amongst eye-catching backlit photo images of peacock feathers. In line with the attraction to contradiction, traditionally extravagant crystal chandeliers will hang above the natural décor to create an uncommon but classy ambiance that is uniquely Davis.
Patrons can seamlessly transition from dinner to Universal, the chic nightclub side, where the design theme incorporates the mood of Dish only with a funkier and tastefully gaudy finesse. Driftwood is painted gold, and glowing chandeliers display custom gold orbs encompassing black crystal flowers. The walls are covered in highly detailed, opaque wallpaper, popping with color and depth while large overhead lights emit an image of a field of flowers onto the floor, creating an oxymoronic synthesized organic.
Davis has certainly managed to outdo himself with this new location, exquisitely striking a balance between refined and sophisticated and warm and unpretentious. Davis admits that the finished product is a result of being open to change along the way and just allowing inspiration to come from instinct. In other words, Davis and EnDev have proven that going with the flow is a plan for success.