Julian Buckner, the 29-year-old founder and CEO of Vesta, has built an innovative, tech-enabled design firm that is changing the consumer’s relationship with furniture in ways both unique and obvious. Vesta (vestahome.com) designs and manufactures luxury furniture, uses that furniture to design homes for sale, and then, using its proprietary software, turns those homes into digital showrooms, allowing consumers to buy or rent their favorite pieces. In doing so, Vesta has made a huge splash in the world of luxury design and real estate—with projects ranging from iconic historical homes like the Chandler Estate on Arroyo Boulevard in Pasadena to the $340 million The One in Bel Air—the most expensive property in the United States.
By Andrew Dalton
What was the genesis of Vesta?
The company was originally started as a platform for creating custom furniture, but in 2018 I saw an opportunity to marry technology and high-end design to create a unique distribution channel for furniture, and I pivoted the business. By focusing on great design and creating a software system that allows for the in situ showcasing and monetization our furniture, Vesta has taken off. Now, we are not only one of the premier design firms in Pasadena and greater Los Angeles, but also one of the most innovative businesses in the design-tech space.
How has that concept played out since it began?
Extraordinarily well. From our home in Southern California to the Bay Area, South Florida, New York, and the Hamptons, we have completed over 4,000 design projects. Our technology has allowed us to scale, and through that scale and exposure we have been overwhelmed by the demand for our design services. So much so that we recently launched Vesta Collections, allowing anyone who is a fan of our designs to purchase the furniture straight out of their favorite projects.
Are you involved in the artistic aspects of the business?
I help shape creative direction, but the real design genius comes from our team of 25 interior designers, who are some of the most talented and creative professionals in the business. Part of our ethos as a design firm is that truly excellent—what we call elevated design—requires having a profound understanding of, and empathy for, the needs of our clients. Once we have achieved that, creating unique and inspirational spaces is easy.
Does your process work on older homes as well as newer ones?
Whether we are staging a property for sale or working with a buyer on the interior design of their home, older places often require an even higher level of design. The challenge becomes one of acknowledging the home’s existing character while reimagining the space in the vision of the new owner or would-be buyer.
What effects did the pandemic have on the business?
As I mentioned, part of our ethos has always been that elevated design requires empathy and a holistic approach to space. COVID made the importance of this even more acute, as the spaces people were forced to inhabit day in and day out became dramatically more important to their daily lives.
Well-designed spaces have been scientifically proven to improve health and well-being, and we believe that the design work we do has the power to not just bring beauty but also betterment to the lives of our clients.
The pandemic has been a difficult time for everyone, but as a firm I have been extraordinarily proud of how our people have banded together around the shared goal that through our design we can play a small part in not only helping our clients get through these challenging times, but remain inspired throughout them.