ABOUT US

August Studio is a full-service hospitality design firm specializing in the development of provocative, yet approachable, restaurants and hotels. The team is comprised of designers, architects, aesthetes, and builders who aptly guide clients through every stage of a project in order to allow a space and vision to become fully realized.

PHILOSOPHY

August Studio is driven by our love for what we do.  At August, we focus on three entities: the client (we work for), the guest (who will inhabit the space) and the team (who will be working in the space). We evaluate our success by how well we have satisfied the needs of all of these parties equally. Our purpose and passion is to help our clients tell a story — whether through environment, experience or interaction. We believe that how a space makes you feel is more important than the collective sum of it’s parts.

PROCESS

We help our clients see what is possible. This means spending a lot of time initially sitting quietly in buildings, getting to know them, studying the neighborhood around them and then getting to know the people who will inhabit them. We talk to our clients at length to learn about what they want and why they want it. We then tap into our pool of artists, builders, chefs, artisans and visionaries to hone our client’s vision, and ultimately create designs that add dimension to peoples’ lives. We appreciate that there are clients who want a very collaborative approach every step of the way, while others would like to simply tell us their vision, their budget and their timeline - and have us come back to them with a complete concept and design all the way down to the uniforms, the room keys and the music program. Either way, we view ourselves as an advocate and a partner to everyone we have the honor to work with.


OUR TEAM

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Doug Washington

Doug is the creative force behind August Studio’s design team, with over 30 years of design and operational experience in the hospitality industry. Doug's foray into design began with the design of the first restaurant he owned together with his partner-chefs 15 years ago. The experience of designing a space for clients whose concerns he could not understand more implicitly launched his design career. He draws on his intimate understanding of the way in which spaces work and are inhabited by the people who move through them. Doug’s experience gained through previously owning and/or operating some of the most renowned restaurants in the Bay Area, helps him to understand the ideal intersection between form, function and finance. Washington believes that creating restaurants and hotels with an overarching sense of spirit, soul and generosity is the most important aspect of what August Studio does. 

 
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Daria Nikolaeva

Daria is dedicated to creating healthy, inspired and functional environments. She has 15 years of experience in commercial and residential architectural design. Additionally, she worked for five years creating film and TV sets which influenced her understanding of architectural design. Originally from St. Petersburg, Russia, she left to work at two architectural ateliers in Paris, France. These experiences, coupled with her extensive travel throughout the world, bring a broad perspective and understanding of the deeper relationship between location and it’s local spirit and culture to August Studio. She holds a MA in Architecture from St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts.

 
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Diana Sillero

With over 15 years of interior design experience, Diana has a background that encompasses residential, commercial, set design and restaurant interiors, working with some of the top talent in the business. Her approach to design is to create timeless interiors that are current, fun, unexpected, and always functional. Her hobbies include browsing design pages on Instagram, reading design magazines, going to design shows, antique shopping, running with her dog and playing the piano. Diana is currently pursuing her NCIDQ certification.

 
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Jocelyn Konarski

Jocelyn holds a BS of Interior Architecture from the California College of Arts and is NCIDQ and CCIDC certified. She has worked for some of the top design firms in the country including EDG, Avroko, and Design Atelier. Bringing talents well-rounded in art, photography, custom furniture and lighting design, she has a knack of pushing pixels, creating out of the box concepts, and sourcing unique materials. Early in life she went from working at restaurants to designing them. Jocelyn brings over 16 years of international design experience to the table. Outside of design, Jocelyn enjoys globetrotting, cooking, nature photography, camping in the desert, kayaking, stargazing, and archery.

 
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Nadine Curtis

Nadine oversees the business operations and client services at August Studio. She brings 20 years of experience developing and operating businesses in the fields of merchandising, graphic design, marketing, and interior décor. Her entrepreneurial spirit has fostered a knack for multi-tasking, big picture thinking and obsessing about minute details that matter. A New York native, she is inspired by traveling to understated wonders of the world, live music, adventure, and time with her family. She holds a BA in Business and Art History from the University of Colorado Boulder.


PARTNERS

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Tim Harmon

Tim Harmon is responsible for strategic direction and new business development for August Studio. Tim brings a formidable level of hotel and restaurant industry experience to August Studio through his role as CEO of Palisades Hospitality Group (PHG), a full-service hospitality company that manages and develops more than 35 hotels and restaurants as well as provides industry-tailored financial and consulting services. PHG properties have been widely recognized for their dedication to excellence, garnering numerous awards and press coverage.

 
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Sherry Villanueva

Sherry Villanueva oversees branding, concept development, market analysis and client services for August Studio bringing more than 25 years’ experience in marketing and strategic partnership development to our team. As owner and operator of a collection of award-winning restaurants in Santa Barbara, Sherry has a unique firsthand perspective on the complex challenges as well as the secrets of success in the hospitality industry. She helps our clients by marrying her keen business discipline with a creative approach to hospitality to create profitable concepts “where every guest feels welcome and cared for”.

 
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Jon Swanson

Jon Swanson provides our clients with operational and technical expertise. Jon brings front line experience to August Studio through his role as President of Moana Restaurant Group that owns and operates a unique collection of inspired dining destinations that blend excellence in cuisine with innovative design, local character and attentive service to create a memorable dining experience. Moana restaurants range from branded Italian trattorias and American brasserie-style establishments to independent restaurants that offer distinctive local flavors.

 
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Doug Washington

Doug is the creative force behind August Studio’s design team, with over 30 years of design and operational experience in the hospitality industry. Doug's foray into design began with the design of the first restaurant he owned together with his partner-chefs 15 years ago. The experience of designing a space for clients whose concerns he could not understand more implicitly launched his design career. He draws on his intimate understanding of the way in which spaces work and are inhabited by the people who move through them. Doug’s experience gained through previously owning and/or operating some of the most renowned restaurants in the Bay Area, helps him to understand the ideal intersection between form, function and finance. Washington believes that creating restaurants and hotels with an overarching sense of spirit, soul and generosity is the most important aspect of what August Studio does.