Riviera Magazine OC Man Of Style 2010

Saving Soul

Costa Mesa’s Corey Gash is leading a renaissance of reclaimed proportions with his found art and cool, green interiors

By Kathryn Romeyn

Corey Gash recently pulled off a creative coup: an eco-mod renovation of a postwar O.C. barn into a liveable, rustic-chic bungalow – spending just $3,600. But the 43-year-old drummer-cum-designer of sculptural, found-object art and sustainable, anti-formula interiors isn’t one for premeditation. “[My partner Krista]” always says, ‘You have vision, but no forsight.’ My life is right now; I live completely in the moment.” says Gash, the endearingly wacky owner of Santa Ana’s Pheasant recording studio – current home base for quirky-cool O.C. singer Matt Costa – which he built 13 years ago with only reused materials, sparking his love of design. Tired of touring, he was “just young enough to be fun and old enough to be serious” when he rescued sofa backs from street corners to mosaic the space. “It couldn’t have been more green – before it was even a word. The whole thing is a recycling project.”

Along with making soul music and refurbishing vintage instruments (carving his name in them with a backwards R), Gash creates “rad” tables, one made of zinc was commissioned to add soul to a carrera marble-laden O.C. home, and funky 3-D pieces. Dad to Lilly, 5, and Stella, 11 months (for whom he’s made a “containment” – an Astroturf floored bucket – that she stays in while he works), Gash has a truly otherwordly connection with his organically amassed objects: “I talk about materials speaking to me, and it’s the truth,” he says. Even so, it took encouragement – Newport Beach gallerist Brett Rubico stoked his artistic sensibility – to accept his potential. Now he’s in the sweet spot of having multiple venues eagerly awaiting his work. All this from a man who once failed college interior design for bucking tradition. Says Gash: “I’m a cross-trainer, baby, I do it all!”

Gash’s Hots

Nature; Modular walls; Habitat for Humanity;  vintage instruments; coffee in bed; Apple; swap meets and farmers markets; Coca-Cola; Disneyland

Gash’s Nots

Litter; my lateness; screwtops on good wine; conformity; Pepsi; fast tempos