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
Large windows and unexpected art bring light and life to this space.
And a little boy’s bedroom becomes an imaginative haven–while still in keeping with the home’s signature style.
This looks like the perfect spot to get cozy on a cool fall evening. Hoping you are savoring each and every day of yours!
Thanks for making Design Chic a part of your day. We always love seeing you here!
I will be in Pinehurst, NC Thursday as the speaker for the annual Neighbors of Pinehurst Book Club Luncheon. If you’d like a personalized copy of Slightly South of Simple, Lies and Other Acts of Love or Dear Carolina for yourself or for a holiday gift for a loved one, call The Country Book Shop at 910.692.3211, and I’ll be happy to personalize for you. Or preorder The Secret to Southern Charm! Signed copies will also be available through The Country Bookshop’s website.
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Who couldn’t use a little getaway? We know we could!
This luxurious Beverly Hills pied-à-terre designed by the talented John De Bastiani has everything anyone would need for a quick escape from the stresses of outside world.
This spacious, chic living room is a perfect place for entertaining guests in style, which is absolutely essential, of course.
Plenty of light makes it feel spacious and open–and a bit of outdoor space is such a bonus.
A not-too-big, not-too-small galley kitchen is perfect for whipping up a comforting meal, glass of wine in hand…
And sharing your creation with friends!
Every pied-à-terre must have a cozy spot for catching up on that ever-growing “To Be Read” list or Netflix queue.
And a desk at the getaway is absolutely essential for keeping up on correspondence. You have to send invitations and keep everyone up to date on what a fabulous time you’re having, after all!
A master retreat, a sanctuary from the real world, is beyond necessary for catching up on some much-needed sleep.
And a beautiful balcony ensures that fresh air and sunshine are never in short supply. We absolutely love this Beverly Hills pied-à-terre and could move right in. If you were going to snag a chic getaway spot, where would yours be?
I will be in Pinehurst, NC tomorrow as the speaker for the annual Neighbors of Pinehurst Book Club Luncheon. If you’d like a personalized copy of Slightly South of Simple, Lies and Other Acts of Love or Dear Carolina for yourself or for a holiday gift for a loved one, call The Country Book Shop at 910.692.3211, and I’ll be happy to personalize for you. Or preorder The Secret to Southern Charm! Signed copies will also be available through The Country Bookshop’s website.
We don’t know about you, but we love a cedar shake house. We’re pretty much convinced that you could slap cedar shakes on the ugliest cinderblock building in the world and instantly make it charming.
On the flip side, we think everything that Peter Pennoyer designs is so gorgeous that it would be charming even if it were built out of cinderblock.
Fortunately for us, this home is cedar shake and designed by the peerless Peter Pennoyer. It’s a pretty unbeatable combination!
Just peeking inside this lovely home feels restful. We’re instantly transported to a seaside escape made for relaxation and spending long, lazy days recharging and taking a break from the fast pace of the rest of the world.
This beautiful bay window is perfect for taking advantage of every inch of view while still feeling completely traditional and totally lovely.
This dining room proves that architectural details don’t have to be ornate to feel luxurious. The simplicity of the woodwork and built-ins in this room is in keeping with the more casual tone of the house while still making it feel perfectly planned down to the last inch.
From the stylish built-ins to the heavy custom doors, the architectural details in this home give it the feeling of total quality. Antique accents lend that collected feeling to this newer home.
A modern range hood and an antique-feeling island lend a lovely juxtaposition to this large yet cozy kitchen.
There is nothing like a Dutch door to add that homey feeling to a space.
Open shelving and a gardening sink keep clutter out of the kitchen–and ensure that fresh blooms abound all year long.
If we could choose one thing that our homes absolutely have to have, it’s light! These intricate windows add that in high style.
There’s no better accent in a master that feels like a sanctuary than a cozy reading nook. It’s the perfect place for coffee and PJs!
For the ultimate in inspiration, this is the ultimate office! No clutter, just a fabulous view.