I’m thrilled to have on the blog today Jenny Jaffe, interior design lover and realtor at Platinum Drive in Larchmont, NY. Jenny has a wonderful eye for design, as well as great ideas and tips, such as her “Inspired Abode” series, where she goes behind the scenes into peoples’ beautiful homes and captures the essence of stunning interior décor. Her Facebook page All.Things.House is a fantastic source of inspiration for those (all of us) who could use some interior design guidance. I love interior design as well, and Jenny and I share similar designer favorites, such as John Robshaw, who travels the world over to find inspiration for his textiles (she’s always keeping me in the loop of when his next sale is going on in NYC!). Which prompted me to have a discussion with Jenny about how interior decor is globally influenced these days from designers, such as Robshaw, who import and draw inspiration from around the globe. More and more people are incorporating international styles and designs in their homes…and as Jenny finds, it’s all in the details.
Below is a Q & A with Jenny on interior design in general, her own sense of style, and how international designs play a role in current home décor trends.
What do you love most about interior design and how would you describe your own style?
What I love the most about interior design is how you can create a space that so perfectly suits you or your family. The industry is booming with thousands of designers and manufacturers. Unlike the 80s and 90s, there are so many options out there in lighting, fabric, wallpaper, and tile that it’s very exciting to make choices that come together and create a vibe that fits your own style. We’re no longer talking just traditional Pottery Barn or Raymor and Flannigan. My own design style is clean and colorful. I like to make simple and classic choices for my big ticket items (kitchen cabinets, sofas, dining table, etc) and dress it up with pattern and color. Every room is quite different but each has a pop of happy. My style changes, as well. I don’t feel that interior design rules matter all that much so you won’t see, for example, a color theme throughout my home. I buy what I fall in love with and make it work with the room.
As a realtor, what sort of style are people looking to find, as well as create in their homes? Do you see a lot of global inspiration?
While I have some buyers who have a great imagination for interior design, most buyers have a hard time seeing past what’s in front of them. So I’d say most clients want fairly traditional. Clean lines and simple color palate appeals to buyers these days. Once they actually purchase the home and spend time living in it I find they are leaning towards more contemporary furniture- again, clean and simple. I see a lot of global inspiration in the details of people’s homes, such as art, lighting, textiles and tile. Just as I do, I think interior designers encourage people to choose classic furniture and then add personality with smaller pieces.
Of designers who import from around the globe, or have styles that are inspired by other cultures, who are some of your favorites?
I’d say my favorite designers who pull inspiration from exotic parts of the world, are John Robshaw (textile designer), Madeline Weinrib (of ABC Carpet & Home fame) and Galbraith & Paul (textiles and wallpaper). Pattern and color are the focus of all three of their lines. Their rugs, wallpaper or bedding are so spectacular you can design an entire room around them. Their world travels in places like India, Morocco and Asia shines through their design work and I’m such a lover of their collections. John Robshaw, for example, travels to countries such as India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Bolivia, where he finds inspiration for his beautiful and unique designs. Madeline Weinrib’s home accessories collection is made up of finds from far-away places such as Istanbul, Nepal, Venice, Morocco, India and Afghanistan. And Galbraith & Paul draws inspiration from places like Scandinavia, with their bold graphics, and Japan, with their floral and botanical patterns.
When you think of textiles – fabrics, patterns, colors, etc. – what countries come to mind as ones you’d love to visit?
For me personally, I love textiles inspired by India or Africa. The unique patterns and colors are unlike anything we can find here. I can imagine strolling through the markets in those areas of the world for days. I have not been lucky enough to visit either but hopefully some day soon.
On a similar vein, if you could go to one country to import furniture and accessories, where would you go?
Morocco. I’ve always had a love for the details and color they use in all of their goods. They create furniture that is so whimsical and unique.
Is there a certain design movement from a region in the world that you gravitate toward? Could be current or from the past.
I really love Mid-century modern furniture! These are pieces created in, or inspired by, the modern design in the 1940s-1960s. The lines are so different than the furniture manufactured today. It’s super funky and cool. An amazing company, Chairloom, salvages vintage furniture and reupholsters for you with any fabric you choose. Much of it is vintage Mid-century modern pieces and they are quite gorgeous. There are tons of “before and after” shots of their work. I highly recommend checking them out.
How do you think designs from around the globe play a role in interior design and decoration today?
I think Americans pick and choose from many different countries but we are generally traditional at heart. We may pull a trend of white, wide planked floors from Australia or huge modern windows from Scandinavia, but I do think people often lean towards traditional lay-outs and design choices. Some people are incredibly brave and make choices outside the box for their entire home. But in general, they like to incorporate globally influenced designs in the accessories of the home, and in the details.
Jenny Jaffe with All.Things.House: design lover, realtor, abundantly resourceful.