Good morning, chic readers! We are so excited to have the fabulous Janie Molster, with us today, answering our burning questions–and lending a few tips! Thanks for stopping by, Janie, and for sharing your gorgeous work with us.
How did you get started as a designer?
My friend had business cards printed for me. I think everyone close to me could see this path for me, except me. Once I dove in, it became crystal clear. I had always been somewhat obsessed about my environment–staying up all night in rental apartments painting the walls until they were exactly right, etc. When my husband and I bought our first house and I was able to flex my design muscle a bit more, I got some calls and requests for advice and help and and here we are.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I have been asked that question before and honestly, my answer changes constantly. Last night I received a couple of new shelter magazines and sending a quick shout-out to my design industry peers–YOU inspire me! I love to see what other people are creating and I love to watch trends. I may not hop on every one but creativity breeds more creativity. Following others in my field and having an inspiration group to bounce ideas off of is so valuable to me.
Do you have a favorite project to date? Or a favorite type of project that tends to be your favorite?
It’s often the last project. I begin missing my clients and our frequent talks and trouble-shooting sessions. We call it “uncoupling”…very hard. Right now I am in the midst of something wonderful: a large lodge in the Allegheny mountains. The lodge sits adjacent to another project we have done for the same clients (our 5th project for them). Needless to say, we have a great understanding of each other and things are coming together seamlessly. The lodge will be a second home on the property with a few bedrooms as well as entertaining spaces geared for large events–almost like a mini-conference center with a residential perspective. There are some amazing craftsmen on the project. Stay tuned.
What is your favorite tip for making small spaces feel larger?
Use fewer, bigger pieces and edit, edit edit.People tend to think in a small space, use small furniture and clutter things up with teensy tables and chairs. Also important is to use large room-size rugs that hug the perimeter of the space.
What is the biggest challenge you face as a designer?
Skilled labor. The trades that I rely on daily are harder and harder to find. Fyi…we are always hiring: Conservationists who can repair antique furnishings and art, seamstresses who can produce couture-quality window dressings, custom upholsterers, decorative painters, etc.
What do you consider your biggest accomplishment to date?
No question, mothering 5 children. If I can share any wisdom to other designers, especially those in the throes of parenting, always choose family first. I am blessed that my career has successfully weathered the storm of a few years of intermittent attention. There were times when I was barely keeping my foot in the door of the design world–so I guess that’s the answer. Biggest accomplishment: Keeping my foot in the door.
Are there any designers that particularly inspire you?
I am in love with all of the upholstery designs by John Saladino. His pieces were innovative on day 1 and they never feel dated. I also love what Susan Ferrier is doing with McAlpine. While her work had a moody edginess about it, she fully embraces femininity. She doesn’t shy away from pretty–she sets it on fire.
Ebooks or hardbacks?
Hardbacks for sure. Give me a rainy day and stack of my dog-eared design books–Nirvana.
M&Ms or Skittles?
green peanut M&M’s…they bring good luck 🙂
Coffee or tea?
coffee. Can’t tie my shoes in the am without it.
pink, every shade
Accessory you couldn’t live without?
It’s the leather lariat I have worn every day for years. It’s light and simple–I can run, swim and sleep in it. It fits snug around my neck and has a simple gold ball at the end. My dear friend, Atlanta jewelry designer Jeanmarie Quarterman made it for me.
My collection of vessels and sculptures by New Orleans artist Julie Silvers that move around my house all the time–looking perfect in every room.
Go-to paint color?
Love trim and doors in Galveston Gray by Benjamin Moore.
Thank you so much for stopping by today, Janie! We loved having you here–and couldn’t love your beautiful designs any more!
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Looking for the perfect summer read? Southern Living, Entertainment Weekly, Us Weekly, Betchesand more all think you should slip my new novel, The Southern Side of Paradise, into your beach or pool bag. Have you checked it out yet?
If you haven’t started the Peachtree Bluff Series yet, now is the perfect time! The first book in the series, Slightly South of Simple, has released in mass market paperback–and it’s #14 on the bestseller list! Pick it up at your favorite bookstore, local grocery store, drugstore or retail store
More Tour Dates
July 19: Browseabout Books, Rehobeth Beach, DE,
July 19: Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach, DE, 7pm – 9pm
July 20: Turn the Page Bookstore with Nora Roberts, Boonsboro, MD, 11am – 1pm
August 2: The Albert Carlton-Cashiers Community Library, Cashiers, NC, 3pm
August 2: The Chattooga Club, Cashiers, NC, 6pm
August 3: Hudson Public Library, Highlands, NC, 2:00pm
August 8: Figure Eight Island Yacht Club Author Series, Figure Eight, NC,
August 10: East Hampton Library Authors’ Night, East Hampton, NY, 5pm – 7:30pm
Good morning, chic readers! Birmingham, Alabama is one of our favorite southern cities, and this Birmingham House by architect James F. Carter gives us one more reason to add to the list of reasons we love this classic southern enclave.
With all the modern amenities of a brand new house,
But the stately details that overflow with old southern charm.
Can you get any more classic than those black and white floors?
Those stairwell areas are always hard to decorate. How many pictures do you need? How do you space a gallery wall? This bookshelf idea is totally genius!
How do you space a gallery wall? This bookshelf idea is totally genius!
The classic design of this dining room is gorgeous.
I am going to go out on a limb and say that I think these homeowners might just be avid readers.
Bookshelves in every room are the kind of statement we like to make!
This paneling is just exquisite. It’s hard to believe that this is a new house!
Navy and brass is a classic color combination that we can’t get enough of.
It is perfection in the kitchen, the perfect shade to feel deep but not heavy.
We think one of the major characteristics that separates the old from the new is hardware. This lock makes the door look like it has been there forever!
Sloping rooflines add such character.
Did we mention charm? Oh, the charm!
What a perfect little nook for working–or daydreaming.
Classic details, beautifully implemented, are always in style. We think it’s safe to say that James Carter has gorgeously good taste.