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Interview_joshuaFossJoshua Foss, known best to HGTV fans as the green contestant from the second season of HGTV Design Star, is the principal designer for Thrive Design Studio. Thrive focuses on sustainable design and also helps businesses create sustainable business strategies. 

1. Which designers influenced you?

I’m often influenced by graphic and fashion trends– they’re great sources for creativity. I also draw inspiration from the natural world, like color combinations in flowers. In nature, virtually everything serves a purpose (still not so sure about the platypus, though) and there is no concept of waste. Our designed environment could learn a lot about beauty and purpose from thriving ecosystems.

2. What’s your favorite design style?

I’ve always been a minimalist. I love things clean and open.  It’s easy to add element after element and it takes much more discipline to know when to stop. That being said, I love using design elements that have character and warmth, that tell a story. 

3. What’s the essential home accessory (or piece of furniture) you use in your designs?

I use pre-loved furnishings and accessories in all of my projects, like authentic mid-century furniture and antique vases. These elements pair well with things like stainless steel, glass and other modern finishes. I also bring in as many houseplants as I can. Plants and flowers not only improve air quality indoors, but also add an element of beauty that can’t be created artificially.

4. Favorite vacation spot?

I love a weekend trip to Chicago. The north shore of Lake Superior is an unbeatable place to get some fresh air and soak in summer rays. I also spent a couple weeks last December in New Zealand, which happens to be the middle of their summer. That was quite a treat!

5. Show us a picture of the room you most enjoyed designing and tell us why you love it.


This kitchen and dining room project in Minneapolis was a whole lot of fun to work on. We utilized eco-friendly materials like bamboo, LED lighting, zero-VOC paints and recycled content countertops. The space has a refined, yet playful aesthetic. It feels healthy and draws a lot of inspiration from natural elements.


Design Inspiration

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