WestEdge Design Fair Showcases the Best in Modern Design

Designer Julia Wong brings Cambria beyond her luxurious residential interiors.

Written by:Angela Johnson

Watch our interview with designer Julia Wong.

Los Angeles–based interior designer Julia Wong brought her sophisticated eye to the official VIP lounge at California’s WestEdge Design Fair. This industry show engages, entertains, and inspires attendees with shoppable experiences and opportunities to gain insight from industry-leading professionals. And what better way to begin such a journey than enjoying the elevated VIP lounge experience created by Wong.

When asked how she got connected with WestEdge, Wong says, “Actually, a couple of years ago I designed the stage and then they asked me to create something like a VIP lounge. So, I was inspired by a trip to Milan and there were so many beautiful VIP lounges that were more hospitality lounges. This is where we’re going to gather to celebrate all the big wins at the show.”

But that’s today. We also wanted Wong to take us back to her early days and tell us a bit about how she got her start. “Well, this is actually my second career,” says Wong. My first career was in fashion. I was working for John Galliano in couture, and then I worked globally. So I worked in New York. I worked in Hong Kong. I obviously worked in London. But it’s not until I got married to an American that I moved to Los Angeles.”

A win for Cambria since Wong has done several projects with Cambria’s quartz surfaces—a relationship that began with Cambria’s head of design Summer Kath. Wong says, “Over the years, Summer showed me your products and then I had a really in-depth understanding of what the product is all about. And so that relationship really strengthened. And over the years, Cambria has really supported my designs and all my projects.”

a neutral kitchen with gray-brown cabinets, matte black hardware, Cambria white quartz countertops and matching backsplash, and hard wood floors.

Cambria design shown: Ironsbridge™ in matte finish.

Wong’s portfolio includes several high-end residential projects as well as her own West Hollywood home where her design focused on the key feature of California living—sunshine. With clean lines and a palette of minimalist tones, this open-air kitchen allows the backyard landscape to be part of the aesthetic. A large window above the sink opens outward to reveal an alfresco dining area that blurs the line between built and natural environments. It’s a perfect pass through for transferring food and drink for outdoor entertaining. 

Cambria design shown: Ironsbridge in matte finish.

Large swaths of gray-speckled Cambria quartz Ironsbridge design in a matte finish extends from the kitchen, under the window and through the patio cooking island, to create continuity to the outdoors. “Ironsbridge is one of my favorites,” says Wong. “It’s just quietly dramatic. And then the white is very beautiful. It’s like a soft white and it stays beautiful all the time. And I love the matte finish. It doesn’t etch, you just see a very consistent surface. And again, I love the pattern too. So it really echoes natural stone.”

A close up of a wall and countertop combo with Cambria Ironsbridge Matte

Cambria design shown: Ironsbridge in matte finish.

Beyond selecting surfaces, Wong’s top design tips include planning. She says, “Planning is key. And also buy all your products. Once your plan is approved, make sure everything’s on site before you start.”

She adds that if she’s doing a big project, she thinks through where to splurge and where to save. “I would definitely splurge on, for example, focal point areas like the fireplace, obviously kitchen countertop, and I even splurge on closets,” says Wong who used Cambria in her personal closet space. “That’s my passion. But the new thing is about wellness now. I think that’s definitely a splurge. You have to identify a bedroom or a guest bedroom to be your wellness room. But it’s really wonderful if you can also create beautiful lighting and furniture that can be for yoga or meditation.”

When it comes to saving, Wong thinks Cambria is both an indulgence and a savings. “I feel that with Cambria, it can be a very stunning option,” she says. And she truly appreciates the value that comes with Cambria after the installation. “I mean everybody chips countertops,” says Wong. “But with Cambria, there’s a special service and it’s offered for a lifetime. Cambria's expert technicians will provide complimentary finishing work on any chips or scratches that may occur, regardless of when the surfaces were installed. Wong's clients love that peace of mind, especially in the kitchen which is her favorite space to design.

“They’re all my favorites,” she says, “but I love to cook and I love to entertain. So the kitchen is my favorite.”

A sleek gray and white kitchen with Cambria ironsbridge matte countertops

Cambria design shown: Ironsbridge in matte finish.

When asked what goes into designing an aesthetically beautiful but highly functional kitchen, Wong says, “For me, the lighting, the cabinetry, the glass, the technology, all of that comes into play.” A design mistake she often sees people make is too much task lighting. She recommends putting everything on dimmers.

When it comes to trends, Wong always leans into a timeless design style, but with a flair. She says, “I always reference history, because history doesn’t really go out of fashion, but with a modern interpretation.” I love the warm tones. You can see it in the WestEdge VIP lounge introducing rust and then gold with greens. And so, I think the current trend is definitely a lot warmer, more saturated.”

Cambria design shown: Windsor Brass Satin Ridge

Returning to that WestEdge VIP lounge—where one of Cambria’s newest designs, Windsor Brass Satin Ridge was selected by Wong for the lounge bar counter—we asked what inspired her choice of this newer Cambria quartz design. She says, “I love the subtle bronze detail in the stone, and we’ve echoed it in the glass cabinet and the rippled antique mirror in the bar back as well.”

The lounge furnishings are from the Julia Wong Collection that she designed specifically for the lounge. “I wanted something that is very laid back, but with a pop of color,” says Wong. “We didn’t want to just design a typical sectional. So I designed this collection so that it’s a lot more flexible. When the chaises are put together, it becomes a sectional, and when they split up, they can be a double chaise.”

She believes in intermixing warm and cool colors together in design, “because if you look at nature, nature’s not all gold. There’s this beige and gray and bronze in the mountains or views.” Plus, it’s glamorous. “I love glamorous kitchens,” says Wong. “But I also like functional kitchens. Function and form and beauty are all important in the kitchen.” This is part of why she also loves the Satin Ridge texture, noting it has less sheen and is less prone to show fingerprints. Functionality also equates to low maintenance which Wong says is really important when designing for families.

That high quality that designers like Wong are looking for is evident in Cambria. “I’ve been to your factory,” says Wong. “I’ve seen the whole process, so when we know that the Cambria stone is so consistent, that really helps with all the details. It’s very hard and it’s very consistent. That’s what my fabricators are telling me when they say, ‘well, if you want to do that detail, which kind of stone are you using?’ And then sometimes we choose something, they say, ‘absolutely no way. We can’t achieve that. It’s too thin, it’s too soft, it’s too porous.’ But with Cambria, pretty much we can achieve most of our details. Cambria has such a high standard. I have high standards too. So we really, over the last 10 years, have elevated each other. It has been amazing.”

Discover More

Get our beautifully curated collection of lifestyle stories, interior design trends, and expert advice sent straight to your home and email inbox with a complimentary subscription to Cambria Style magazine.

Ready to explore Cambria quartz designs in person? Contact a Cambria consultant or use our retail locator to find a professional in your area for project support and planning, material selection, or visualizing what’s possible.

Follow us on social media for daily design inspiration.

Get the Look

Explore the designs featured in this story.