Sarah Goodman Photography
Even the most Pinterest-worthy spaces can sometimes lack that certain something, that sense of coziness, that hygge (if you will) that takes them beyond the realm of glossy pages and perfect styling, and into the real-life possibility that you could actually live there. It's in that space, where beauty meets comfort, that the best interior designers can be found - and Jennifer and Joanna of J & J Design Group are among them.
Jen and Jo create spaces that begged to be used as much as admired. Through their use of color, pattern, texture, and careful space planning, the duo is able to build rooms that both capture their clients' visions and bear their own unmistakable twist. Evoking both an energizing cheerfulness and a peaceful sense of home in all of their work, we just had to find out more about the women behind designs.
Hygge & West: Together, the two of you have created some truly stunning spaces. How would you describe your style?
J&J Design Group: We like to describe our style as bright and fresh. We feel that keeping a serene base to our designs makes it easy to pop in punches of color, texture, and pattern. We feel that if you lay a solid "clean" foreground it keeps the design fresh and lets the colors shine.
H&W: What's your approach to interior design? Take us through your process, including inspiration.
J&J: We love to spend hours on Pinterest, just as much as the next girl. We love and embrace other creative people. We think that creativity is contagious. When you see a good idea from someone else it sparks a new idea and thought pattern for you to create something that is all your own.
We love to bounce ideas off of one another - it always brings the design to the next level where the other person thinks of something maybe you wouldn't have. Oftentimes we both have similar ideas because our styles are so in sync with one another. We pull design boards together and send them to one another to look at and inject their ideas. We often have our own projects that we manage, so we each have the final say on the one we are managing but always welcome ideas from one another. Two heads are always better than one. Sometimes it can be tough to be creative on demand so we rely on each other to spark new ideas when we are feeling like we are having a "designer block."
John Woodcock Photography
H&W: Wallpaper seems to play an integral role in many of your projects. What's your favorite thing about wallpaper and what's one thing you wish people better understood about it?
J&J: Wallpaper is so dynamic, it can turn a design from good to great so quickly. We love all kinds of wallpaper, pattern, texture, large prints, geometric, curvilinear, and everything in between. Wallpaper can bring spaces that don't have a lot of opportunity for pattern - such as bathrooms, laundry rooms, and entryways - to the next level... and fast.
We wish people didn't have a bad taste in their mouth about wallpaper. We don't see it as much now as we used to. I think our demographic, which is 30-45 years old, has a picture of what their parents had in their house in the 80s. I know my mom was guilty of some horrible floral paper and even a border (or two) in almost every room, haha! We think the more people are exposed to Pinterest and design shows, they see that there are so many beautiful papers available these days.
H&W: You've used H&W in a few of your projects. Tell us a little bit about which papers you used and why.
J&J: We used Julia Rothman's Daydream in gold in a mud room (which hasn't yet been photographed). We paired that one with a navy and white cement tile that complemented each other so well. A little mud room with no personality is now one of our favorite rooms in the house!
John Woodcock Photography
Jo fell in love with the Daydream paper in blue when she saw it on Pinterest several years ago. She saved it and kept it in the back of her mind until the perfect room popped up to use it in. We love that nursery so much too!
Tessa Neustadt Photography
Laundry Studio's Diamante in turquoise we felt was a perfect backdrop for the L.A. nursery we did for Brooke from What's Up Moms. She wanted a serene, clean, and light and bright look. We love pattern so we love that this one had a white background with the green accents that kept it subtle with lots of style.
H&W: What's one pattern rule you always follow and one you always break?
J&J: One pattern rule that we always follow is to spread the scale of the patterns out through the room. If everything in the room is the same scale, they are sure to compete with one another.
One rule that we always have to remind ourselves is that there is always an exception to the rule, to push the envelope and try new things. You never know, it could be the next coolest thing. We always try to push the boundaries just a little.
H&W: What space is a great place to add wallpaper, but is often overlooked? Why do you think it works there?
J&J: We feel that accent paint is a thing of the past but an accent wallpaper wall is almost always awesome. Inject a little pattern in your room. It can just be one wall, maybe a focal wall. It can work great just as long as it is balanced with other exciting items in the room.
H&W: 'Hygge' is the Danish concept of 'cozy,' whether that's a physical space or a feeling. How do you find or create hygge in your lives?
Jo: I find my Hygge with my husband Dave, my kiddos Marin (6) and Doran (3), and our rescue dog, Lucy. I am such a homebody. I love to spend time in my home office making things, designing on my computer, and being at home with my family. I have currently been working on some new wall d©cor to sell in our online shop.
Jen: I find my hygge with my family as well. My husband John, my kids, John (12), William (8), and Julia (15 months), and Murphy, our one-year-old Golden Retriever. With the craziness of owning a design business, it's always nice to come home to those smiling faces and just relax. We love to go on vacation (with Seattle and Puerto Rico being our favorite spots) because it's dedicated time where we can focus on our family.
Morning is my favorite time of the day, especially before the kids get up. I love to make myself a delicious coconut latte and take a look at Pinterest. There is so much good inspiration there! I love to pin ideas that speak to me, creating an online magazine that is all my style. I reference it all the time for inspiration for my projects.