Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

February 25, 2010

Are you ready to read a refreshingly honest interview with an interior decorator? I encourage you to read this interview that I had yesterday with interior decorator Jan Eleni Lemonedes from Jan Eleni Inc. in New York City. She speaks boldly and from an authentic place and I really value the time that I shared with her to develop this feature for you. I hope that you like it, too.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

First, a bit of history about this talented lady. Jan once had a little shop in the 90’s in New York City’s east village also under her name. About her store she told me, “It was quaint with unique decorative pieces for the home and garden and became a creative outlet for me.” She offered an eclectic mix of early primitive with industrial pieces, along with garden and architectural elements. A lady who loves to “hunt”, she filled her shop with anything and everything that caught her eye and her husband also maintained a loft for her to keep her ever-rotating stock. She calls this period in her life, “A fun time.” But then she was approached by ABC Carpet + Home and went to work there. “It was a different ball game then I was used to. A sort of crazy arena – but where anything was possible – we had to fight for our ideas, it was wonderful to be part of a creative team,” Jan told me. She eventually left the company to spend more time with her little girl, “It was a hard decision – but one that I don’t think twice about.”

So now that you have some history, let’s talk to Jan about her work.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Holly: Why did you decide to decorate for a living?

Jan: I am a self taught designer and at a young age I always loved and appreciated beautiful things. I became obsessed with children’s spaces here in the U.S. because I felt like their were all these cookie cutter rooms that lacked any nourishment for an imagination – and so I started a business based around just that – creating spaces and really listening to what can nurture children in an everyday way.

Holly: I also noticed that in addition to decorating, you are also an artist. Can you tell us more?

Jan: While I was working on children’s spaces – I wanted to time capsule their moment in art – and I started making these beautiful art frames – a way to archive your child’s art in a modern way. It is a labor of love – a time consuming process – the end result is a grid of hand cut miniature images – a gathering of your child’s artwork. It is amazing if you think of how we can influence the next generation of artists and creative types.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Holly: You mentioned earlier that you do not have a formal design education but are self-taught. How do you think self-taught differs from someone with a degree when it comes to decorating and creativity?

Jan: We are born with visual senses – just like someone who excels in math – one can excel in the visual area and I have that gift. My daughter also has this. I also have an eye for products – I adore looking, finding and choosing. Not having a degree allows one to break the rules – and to come up with ideas off the book. One who holds a specialized degree is not necessary more creative – passion and creativity can not be taught. A piece of paper does not state that I have an A+ in creative ideas – although it probably should! Also when I was young, education was different – I am a product of NYC Public School, having grown up in upper Manhattan. Options back then weren’t available – the sky was not the limit – today children have so many choices and so many opportunities. My teachers did not encourage me – if you were not the smartest in the class then sadly you were not important. Our schools were over crowded though I did join a program in high school that instead of going to school – I worked at The Soho News for an entire semester. This was an amazing experience for me, to see the art world up close was a very special unique experience. Soho in the 70’s…

Holly: From a professional standpoint, what do you think needs to change about the interior design profession as a whole?

Jan: At the moment I think we are experiencing design overload – every where you turn – there is an ultra-designed home or a product more outrageous than the last. I think so much of it is silly. Too contrived. You can start to lose perspective on what is good design.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Holly: I’m delighted by how open you are, I feel so energized by your words. I think many feel these ways and appreciate hearing a professional with clearly so much talent, expressing them. Okay, so this leads me to my next question, living in such a highly competitive city such as New York, how do you manage to stay positive and on top in your field?

Jan: In all creative fields, everyone has a ego bigger then the next. I hate to play that game. I am a collaborator. I recently worked on a home – with architect Peter Himmelstein and it was a wonderful experience. The project was a brownstone – the home of a celebrity actor, his wife and their family. We all worked as a united team – there was a mutual respect across the board.

Holly: Can you share some of your thoughts on what works best when dealing with clients, any tips to share?

Jan: I love to work with my clients and get an understanding of what they like. There needs to be a mutual respect between the client and designer. Listening is key, as is confidence. My advice is to remain as honest and sincere if you truly don’t think something will work.

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Meet Decorator Jan Eleni

Holly: What is often a challenge in your profession?

Jan: What I realize in my experience is that many people are not educated in understanding the value of what we do. Often others take for granted and don’t understand the simple fact that ideas cost money. Time costs money. The value of a good eye – having a vision – it’s hard to put a price on.

Holly: Who has influenced your work?

Jan: A big influence was my grandmother – from Greece. When she was a young girl she would make raw silk from the cocoon – and make silk lace. Pillowcases, bedspreads, tablecloths – it is an incredible lost art. My love for textiles started early.

Holly: And what about your current inspirations, can you tell us a little about what inspires your creativity?

Jan: Much of my inspiration comes from my travels – I love Asia, I spend most of my summers abroad. In Bali there is a carefree feeling of the homes. They are inside out. I love the wood found in Indonesia. Europe holds me – having a Dutch husband we have spent much time traveling about. Absorbing an environment is the best learning tool. I am also an avid fan of the internet – picking up inspiration from all the excellent blogs out there as well as online magazines. Of course nothing beats picking up your favorite magazines – and letting your mind wander – watching your own ideas gain momentum. Pure inspiration is really all around us.

Jan thank you so much for spending time with us here today on decor8, it’s been a pleasure and honor to have you!

(images: photographer Luc Roymans)


  • Reply André Rebouças February 25, 2010 at 8:57 am

    Great place, clean, I Love it. And great pics!


  • Reply laura fenton February 25, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Can Jan tell us who makes that great slip-covered, white sofa? I’m on the hunt for a new couch, so I’d be thrilled to know. What a beautiful home!

  • Reply Lori February 25, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I SO want to go to there – right now. :)
    .-= Lori´s last blog ..Death & Taxes, Dresses & Purses =-.

  • Reply Suzanne February 25, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Such an interesting interview. Such lovely ideas about what to do with your child’s art, will be linking friends to this!

  • Reply Laurie Jones February 25, 2010 at 9:15 am

    As I read her interview I found myself saying yes, yes, yes! I’m currently in design school as an older returning student and although I’ve learned alot (CAD, photoshop, SketchUp, etc.) the one thing I notice is that many of the students may grasp the technical aspects of the lessons but they don’t have an eye for making a room beautiful and isn’t that really what this field is really about? I am of the belief that you either have it or you don’t! I completely agree there is sooooo much out there now and at times it is overwhelming and just too much. Lastly, I had to laugh because I’m constantly asked for help with people’s rooms because I’m an interior designer of course for free and I tell my husband I should start asking these same people to type up some letters or do some bookkeeping for free for me! I truly enjoyed this article and her rooms!
    .-= Laurie Jones´s last blog ..All Things Floral =-.

  • Reply Anne-Marie February 25, 2010 at 9:27 am

    Oh, what a beautiful home – simple, but not sparse. Welcoming and full of interest – I love the way Jan displays her child’s art – it’s a constant challenge to keep up with the pics my kids produce – thanks for the inspiration!
    .-= Anne-Marie´s last blog ..The New CB2 Catalogue is Chock Full of Goodies… =-.

  • Reply isabel February 25, 2010 at 9:28 am

    It´s a very beautiful and peaceful home! I love the mixture of different styles. I love the wood floor, the windows…
    .-= isabel´s last blog ..Os objectos que nos rodeiam =-.

  • Reply ishtar February 25, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Stunning images! GREAT interview! Lady, you really know your stuff! this post is SO amazing! and most of all INSPIRING! you got me with the first photo! A dream of living room!
    .-= ishtar´s last blog ..Etsy finds thursday =-.

  • Reply Sarah February 25, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Oh my goodness what a fabulous and talented designer. I LOVE that first picture of her home. The cozy couch with the big windows letting in all that warm light looks like the perfect place to curl up with a book and tea. Herfloors are to die for and the cord lights above her daughters bed is a super cute touch. Thanks for sharing Holly!
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Getting your fashion ready for spring =-.

  • Reply Tracey February 25, 2010 at 9:35 am

    I was feeling blah today, then I saw this and now I am feeling quite inspired! Thank you! Great interview and love the photos. Guest room remake, here I come!

  • Reply City Chic - Jamie February 25, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Fantastic interview and home! I can’t get over the floors, they are gorgeous! I love the way she has displayed the child artwork, I think I would have such a hard time tossing drawings done by my child (someday) and this is a beautiful way to display so many drawings! And it’s refreshing to hear her take on not necessarily having formal degree or education for design. Thanks for putting together this interview!
    .-= City Chic – Jamie´s last blog ..A Sneak Peek in Yellow, Blue and Green =-.

  • Reply Katrin February 25, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Wow, this might be one of my favorite spaces ever. Love the wood floors. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply beki February 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

    Great interview, Holly! Thanks for introducing Jan to us. I love her design perspective!
    .-= beki´s last blog ..moving right along =-.

  • Reply Simone February 25, 2010 at 10:13 am

    What a great & inspiring interview! Thanks so much for sharing! I loooove the photos!

  • Reply Design & Pattern February 25, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Beautiful space and what a lovely creative nurturing place to grow up in! Such a great way to display this kids artwork.
    .-= Design & Pattern´s last blog ..Tea-tastic Monday Mood Boards =-.

  • Reply Leanda February 25, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Great interview. Very inspiring stuff!
    .-= Leanda´s last blog ..Bognor stripe =-.

  • Reply Renee February 25, 2010 at 10:22 am

    Thank you for such a wonderful article and interview. I enjoyed how candid and open Jan is about being a “self taught” designer and I agree with her philosophy whole-heartedly. As someone who started out in one career, but finds a tireless passion for another, it is refreshing and validating to hear that one does not have to be “educated” for what they desire to do in life.


    {p.s. love the idea of creating the time capsule for your child’s artwork}
    .-= Renee´s last blog ..{vegas glam} =-.

  • Reply Coco February 25, 2010 at 10:23 am

    nice interview! And lovely photo’s. I like the fact she a selfmade designer, very inspiring.

  • Reply Elizabeth Villacorta February 25, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Thank you for providing your readers with such an exclusive inside look into the professional and personal lives of such creative talents. Jan words are honest, inspiring, and real.

  • Reply stephanie February 25, 2010 at 10:27 am

    incredible interview! the Q. and A. that i relate to the most, as an artist (photographer) is “what is often a challenge in your profession?” Her answer is SO, ridiculously true. Sad, but true. Thanks for introducing Jan and her passion! Have a beautiful day!
    .-= stephanie´s last blog ..ask me what I did yesterday!! =-.

  • Reply MelanieO February 25, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I love her style, beautiful & peaceful. Such great ideas for children’s art (something I struggle with – I want the art on the walls, my husband thinks it looks cluttered). I really loved the interview, too. Going to check out her website now :)
    .-= MelanieO´s last blog ..Reality Check – It’s Still Winter =-.

  • Reply The Design Notebook February 25, 2010 at 10:34 am

    Great interview. Very inspiring. I loved what she said about passion and creativity and that it cannot be taught! That is very true. I love her style!
    .-= The Design Notebook´s last blog ..100th post! =-.

  • Reply doreen February 25, 2010 at 11:04 am

    As a former design professional who studied interior design, I have to agree with Jan that educating people about the value of what you do is important. Creativity and ideas are not tangible things, and yes, they are hard to put a price on. Also, interior design is still viewed as a luxury. Yet I think most people are unaware of what living in a beautiful space does for their emotional well-being. We function much better in well-designed spaces.
    I admire Jan for pursuing her creative interests with gusto. When one has the passion for creativity, nothing else with satisfy!

  • Reply jan eleni February 25, 2010 at 11:05 am

    Hi – Thank you for all of your comments.
    To Laura – the couch is by Shabby Chic – the low arm modern.
    Their quality is great.
    I took away the large back pillows – and use my own.
    I love the ease of washing the slip covers and also now that they are back in biz – hope to buy an extra set.
    Thanks everyone – jan

  • Reply sarah February 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Wow. Just love, love, love her home! Want her to decorate my house. So wish she could!
    .-= sarah´s last blog ..Sunlight =-.

  • Reply cristin @ simplified bee February 25, 2010 at 11:18 am

    What a wonderful design. Love her bursts of color and texture. Thanks for sharing.

    .-= cristin @ simplified bee´s last blog ..Easter and Springtime Decorating Ideas =-.

  • Reply Down and Out Chic February 25, 2010 at 11:21 am

    refreshing, honest, and encouraging. thank you for a lovely interview.
    .-= Down and Out Chic´s last blog ..Vegan Ballet Flats =-.

  • Reply Jillian February 25, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Great interview, Holly! The collage idea is simply amazing and so inspiring. In her space, I especially love the contrast of those rustic wide plank floors with all of the white elements.
    .-= Jillian´s last blog ..Silver and Stone =-.

  • Reply Kiersten Hathcock February 25, 2010 at 11:41 am

    That was such a great interview, Holly! Being a self-taught designer, I really connected with what she said about not having a design degree and how passion and creativity cannot be taught. Thanks for saying that Jan. Your rooms are gorgeous — absolutely love the mix of mid-century modern and more antique, rustic, traditional pieces.

  • Reply Winter February 25, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I am taking those words to heart boosting my own courage to move continue my projects (way far from design:)) even though I am not trained in this field that I am natural at doing. Thanks, very good reminder.

  • Reply Beth perry February 25, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    what an amazing designer and her creative ideas! and such a GREAT interview. Thank you so much for sharing!
    .-= Beth perry´s last blog ..fave photos right now =-.

  • Reply Nuit February 25, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    God Holly, this interview is pure Gold… I have enjoyed so much because it is really honest, like you said. It is simply delightful to get such a talented decorator to open up and give you the exact answers you needed.

    Her home is perfection, an example of how when you open your senses and are honest, and straight forward when decorating you get the absolute best results.

    Her ideas of how to show children’s art are my favorite. And I will definitely be trying some of them. This post is one of my fave!

    .-= Nuit´s last blog ..Yes, there is more! =-.

  • Reply Megan February 25, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    I do agree as well with having a raw talent. I’m currently an Architecture student and all the professors are so different- my professor tells us that we trade our creativity for a grade. In a way I think that’s great but in some ways not because I see so many of my peers using technology like photoshop, revit, etc. to enhance there work and what might be lacking. So they visually revise it. I am so bad with all the computer stuff, haven’t been taught (but would love to learn) and prefer to do things with my own two hands; so it’s really great to see the work of someone who didn’t have to conform to a norm. The norm here comes down to how much you can do on the computer.

  • Reply Arabella February 25, 2010 at 12:12 pm

    There is a tremendous energy buzzing out of the pictures of her home. I’m still pondering why/how. It might be a lack of that “design overload” she mentions. Her spaces reveal an incredible eye and a honed taste that is rarely influenced by trend publications.
    A real pleasure.
    .-= Arabella´s last blog ..My Other Blog =-.

  • Reply sharon February 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    loved this article, she is so inspiring. her website is awesome! i love her white on white treatment with bits of color…very uplifting and happy…nice to see she is self taught and has achieved so much without a formal degree. i was a design school dropout and appreciate that people can be acknowledged for having an artistic eye for design…bravo!

  • Reply SherryQ February 25, 2010 at 12:44 pm

    Thank you, Holly – I enjoyed reading this interview very much. I especially like Jan’s commitment to the value and drive of creativity and vision :)

  • Reply suzanne February 25, 2010 at 12:54 pm


  • Reply taba February 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    whoa! she has my respect. impressive, and thank you so much for this incredible interview!

  • Reply Courtney @ nesting instincts February 25, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I absolutely love her daughter’s room. And the idea of creating one large print out of tiny pictures of your kids’ artwork is pure genius! Looks like I’d better get started taking photos of all my daughters’ works of art.

    This was a fun interview. As a self-taught decorator myself, it is refreshing to hear from someone who didn’t go the typical route of university, etc. Sometimes the designers in Elle Decor or House Beautiful can come off as so stuffy, and Jan doesn’t seem that way at all. Thanks for this great interview!
    .-= Courtney @ nesting instincts´s last blog ..behind the music…er, cards… =-.

  • Reply Melissa de la Fuente February 25, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    What an absolutely beautiful space & the idea for how to encapsulate her children’s artwork is absolutely breathtaking. I love, LOVE that idea so much. And once your children grow, that fantastic piece will always be welcome in their homes too. Just awesome….Thank you so much Holly & Jan for such a lovely interview. Insightful, gorgeous space and so much inspiration.
    .-= Melissa de la Fuente´s last blog ..The little things: shades of brown =-.

  • Reply Sophia February 25, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    It felt so nice to hear someone expressing what I have in my heart and soul. Being a photographer(living and working in Greece), many times I came across the path of egos polarazing and always chose not to participate in such behaviour as long as I’m staying true to my art and beliefs. Jan (is it Eleni from your greek roots?) you put a smile on my face which grew bigger when I’ve read you have greek anchestors! Your work is great, sensible and truly inspiring! Holly, it was a pleasure! Thanks.

  • Reply Mar February 25, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I am myself a self-taught interior designer and this interview just cut directly to my core! Thank you both!!! I feel more inspired and confident about the path I´ve decided to take :)

  • Reply Monica February 25, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    I’m always lurking here but haven’t left a comment for awhile. Just wanted to add that I loved this interview Holly, very refreshing indeed & definetly not cookie cutter:)
    .-= Monica´s last blog ..backstage beauty {Spring 2010} =-.

  • Reply Meg February 25, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Amazing home, inspiring interview. Great piece, Holly!
    .-= Meg´s last blog ..Slushy. =-.

  • Reply Julia February 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    Great interview and a beautiful home! I especially love the floor in combination with the white walls!
    I’m wondering about the art frame, the one with all the miniatures – is it made from original drawings or has she scanned them and then put everything together?
    .-= Julia´s last blog ..Weekend! =-.

  • Reply Sharalee February 25, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    What a lovely interview Holly! Love Jan’s creative mix of styles + that canopy bed is just dreamy.
    .-= Sharalee´s last blog ..Butterflies + Inspiration =-.

  • Reply Beth February 25, 2010 at 3:30 pm

    I love the idea for displaying a child’s artwork! Very inspiring!
    .-= Beth´s last blog ..The promised update: =-.

  • Reply katie runnels February 25, 2010 at 3:52 pm

    what a lovely and talented woman! I adore her bedroom and appreciate her down-to-earth attitude. what a prize her child’s drawing pieces are! i love that you feature such genuine designers! xo

  • Reply Christine Schwalm February 25, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    I really like her general attitude and yes, she is so right! Time, ideas and talent are premiums that should be paid for. One of my professors, when I was in design school years ago, said that you need to tell the brain pickers, “this is my living, not my hobby”.

  • Reply thedoodlegirl February 25, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Completely fabulous!! I really love the children’s art print with all of the miniature pictures.
    .-= thedoodlegirl´s last blog ..Illustration Friday =-.

  • Reply Sarah Sarniak February 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Oh I love the floors in the first couple pics. So pretty.
    .-= Sarah Sarniak´s last blog ..Major Budget Decorating =-.

  • Reply Melissa Allam February 25, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    I love when you do interviews with people like this. She is my kind of designer. Her style looks down to earth and simple and not overdone. I feel this same way when I am trying to get ideas right now for my own business website. I have been doing the old comparing thing and telling myself to stop and stay true to my own style and nature because that is what will come across when I am doing business. Designing a space or an event that brings out the personality and style of the person you are designing for is key. It looks like this is something she does. Thank you Jan for being willing to do this interview with Holly and your house is gorgeous too.
    .-= Melissa Allam´s last blog ..Our Little Love Nest – Giveaway =-.

  • Reply Elle February 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Fantastic thanks Holly. Like Julia and I’m sure many others I’m wondering about the art frame, the one with all the miniatures – is it made from the original drawings or is each drawing photographed and scanned and then put together? I tutorial would be really appreciated;)

  • Reply Nawal February 25, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    What a great interview! She has such a creative and refreshing perspective. I love her style; simple, yet detailed,… “its all in the details”.

    I particularly loved the framed child drawings idea.

  • Reply my spatula February 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    fantastic interview and post! i love her honesty, her philosophy. the homemade children’s print and those wide plank floors are my fav’s!!

  • Reply annechovie February 25, 2010 at 6:52 pm

    Great interview, Holly. I love all the light flooding Jan’s home. I also appreciated what she had to say about being self-taught. Very inspiring! xx
    .-= annechovie´s last blog ..THE CURTAIN OPENS……. =-.

  • Reply Emma February 25, 2010 at 7:24 pm

    Wow – what a great designer. I love her neutrals, I look around my cottage and sometimes think it looks bland with my love of whites, greys, taupes, but this is total inspiration.
    Love her desks with those great chairs.

    P.S. Her floors are EXACTLY like mine hehehe Am on the hunt at the moment for a hide that is similar to that one…
    .-= Emma´s last blog ..{ Guilty Pleasures } =-.

  • Reply Traveling Mama February 25, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    What an absolute delight! I couldn’t possibly name all the things I love, but the child’s art poster is pure genius!
    .-= Traveling Mama´s last blog ..birthdays {rock} =-.

  • Reply theaxx February 25, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Oh dear! As usual I’m in love with absolutely everything you have posted. LOVE those wall hangings… I feel inspired to hang different things on my walls which are blank at the moment!!!

    thanks holly.


  • Reply Debra February 25, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    What a beautiful and very comfortable and whimiscal place to live and a very talented and refreshing lady.

    Great interview
    .-= Debra´s last blog ..Wild Flowers Earware (dangly) =-.

  • Reply Jessica February 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    Fantastic post! I just love the lightbulb light fixture in the dining room. Where can one find something like this?

  • Reply Jackie February 25, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    This is a stunning feature. Thanks, Holly! Jan is really inspiring.

  • Reply The Final Touch February 25, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    love the interview but I need to comment on the floors are breath taking. xo

  • Reply jennifer ramos February 25, 2010 at 11:15 pm

    WOWOWOWOW….Ok I can totally relate to her – i also grew up in the New York City public schools….it was a real drag. I love her home, it is so personal & cozy and those floor planks….!!! SUPER.
    .-= jennifer ramos´s last blog ..Interior Design books ….My Weakness. =-.

  • Reply Trina February 25, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    Love her style. Have loved her kids rooms for some time. The kids arts displays are fabulous. And the bed canopy. Well, just all of it… gorgeous!

  • Reply Katie (Re:fresh Design Studio) February 26, 2010 at 12:28 am

    What a beautiful peaceful home. Thank you for sharing. It has me aching for a simple, peaceful, breezy, white-filled home!
    .-= Katie (Re:fresh Design Studio)´s last blog ..Business Cards are in! =-.

  • Reply Di Overton February 26, 2010 at 3:11 am

    A woman after my own heart. We seem to be the same age and have gone through the same education problems. So refreshing to see someone admit to being self taught instead of hanging their head in shame. BRAVO!
    .-= Di Overton´s last blog ..Jacques Of All Trades =-.

  • Reply rdeco February 26, 2010 at 4:39 am

    I love her work and the fact she is Greek like me. Love from a Greek friend-blogger.

  • Reply Lisa February 26, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Great interview and gorgeous photos. I love the style of design – simple but effective, very inspiring. Thanks ;)

  • Reply Michelle February 26, 2010 at 5:26 am

    Absolutely love her home and the interview was brilliant. Thank you :-)

    Loved the child artwork idea – I am going to give it a go with my sons stuff as I have kept most of it as cant bear to part with it….I assume Jan scans and then reduces?

    • Reply decor8 February 26, 2010 at 6:41 am

      I’m not sure of her technique when it comes to the child’s art work – sorry I cannot help anyone there. And to be quite frank, I’m not even sure if I feel comfortable asking her to detail it because it is her own creative work (she makes and sells these as far as I know) — so I’ll leave that up to her — but I certainly will not mind if she decides not to do so. I think most of us can look at it and reinterpret the design in our own unique way, right? :)

      I am so happy that everyone enjoyed this beautiful home tour as much as I do. Thank you for your comments!

  • Reply Sarona February 26, 2010 at 7:22 am

    I absolutely love that home! Beautiful pics with lovely colours and full of wonderful details and ideas!
    .-= Sarona´s last blog ..Vaaleaa violettia =-.

  • Reply EB Finds February 26, 2010 at 8:30 am

    Fantastic to see a self taught success story. To be able to tap into your talent and have confidence enough in it to compete in an industry where everyone has to have the degree to call themselves a designer, is awesome!

  • Reply Florence February 26, 2010 at 9:26 am

    I really agree with what she says, it sounds very honest and true! The photos/her style are surely very nice, but nothing I get excited about, as I don´t see anything very unique or outstanding here.

    But as I said: Great to read what she has to say!

    • Reply decor8 February 26, 2010 at 11:15 am

      Steffi thank you for your honesty, I really appreciate it. :)

  • Reply Elle February 26, 2010 at 10:21 am

    Thanks Holly. She does actually offer the children’s artwork collage idea on her site at for purchase. That’s fabulous! Thank you;)

  • Reply Ania February 26, 2010 at 11:53 am

    The interview was terrific. I love reding about designers and what their inspirations are. Great work!
    Come check out my new blog :)

  • Reply Queenie Bee February 26, 2010 at 11:59 am

    The children’s artwork is an ingenious idea and looks spectacular. Simple but incredibly effective. I love what she’s done with it.
    .-= Queenie Bee´s last blog ..Freckles =-.

  • Reply megs February 26, 2010 at 12:14 pm


  • Reply Richard Rothstein February 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    The simplicity of the wide farmhouse floorboards are the perfect canvas, equally accepting of the modern white furniture and whimsical artwork for and by children (or the young-at-heart). Worthwhile interview and images – time well spent, thanks!

  • Reply Pins + Paper February 26, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    I love the soft neutral tones, the down-earth-textures and the simplicity of it all!

    ~ Kristen
    .-= Pins + Paper´s last blog ..Tutorial: Girl’s Ruffled Tee =-.

  • Reply Pam - housemartin February 26, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    thanks for this interview! I love her sense of style and ability to seamlessly combine modern and vintage pieces into spaces that feel warm and light with a sense of human-ness and whimsy.

  • Reply Kate Collins February 26, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    What an inspirational interview. I love that she did not have a strict design background but through hard work and her creative eye, she has found success. I would love to see more kids rooms that she has worked on since she seems most interested in that. Thank you for the interview. I always love reading your blog.
    .-= Kate Collins´s last blog ..Thank You Subscriber Give Away =-.

  • Reply Stacey February 26, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    I love the way she decorates with children’s art! And I love love love the children’s bedroom with the green lights on the wall!
    .-= Stacey´s last blog ..The Sunshine scarf =-.

  • Reply Elle February 26, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    I absolutely love the print of the child’s artwork.

  • Reply Julie February 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    Thanks so much for the interview – I stumbled on Jan’s website 2 years ago looking for vintage linen and fell in love. The children’s rooms so inspired me…I started with my daughter’s room and have been working on my whole house in the time since. I can’t tell you how nurturing it has been to create beautiful spaces. It has uncovered my true passion – am an engineer by training – so to find out that she’s self-trained is amazing. Sort of thought that without training/credentials I couldn’t do much. I’ve since become addicted to many blogs, shelter mags, and creating my own art. I still go back to Jan’s website on a regular basis – for me it’s the beginning and the closest to my heart. thank you Jan for sharing and inspiring!
    ps I now am a stay at home Mom trying to find my way back into the work world. currently find myself doing art direction and styling for a marketing piece for a friend’s creative business-feels a bit like pretend. who knows where it’ll go but to do something that makes my heart sing would be out of this world. the interview just makes me more confident that it COULD happen

  • Reply Cece S. February 26, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    What beautiful, inspiring interior design! I love her aesthetic and I find her very inspiring. I’ve always loved art, photography, design and it is so wonderful to hear of someone who made it without having to go to a big name school! Kudos to you for a great interview!

  • Reply Serendipity February 26, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    Absolutely lovely!

  • Reply Yasmine February 26, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I could feel instantly happy and comfortable in this space. Love the simplicity, light and flow…
    .-= Yasmine´s last blog ..Very Special Family Portrait =-.

  • Reply Brooke H February 27, 2010 at 2:45 am

    Such a lovely apartment! And I can’t wait to try out the kids art work collage idea.
    .-= Brooke H´s last blog ..Orthodox Bride =-.

  • Reply Brooklyn Twig February 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I, too was inspired by the freshness and sheer delight that comes through in her work! I also returned to school to expand my design education, but I couldn’t agree more with the other comments that ultimately great design can’t be taught. I was inspired by Jan’s consistent ‘thinking out of the box’ in coming up with design solutions. Beautiful!

  • Reply Andrea February 27, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    I love this house – it features everything I want in my own home someday – exposed brick (painted in a relaxing white), crisp white walls, light wood floors and cosy, comfy furniture. In other words – it’s my dream home!

  • Reply Etincelle March 1, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Wouhh, finally back online! my baby was born 3 weeks ago, I really missed my daily design fix here Holly!
    I really loved reading this post, I did not know her work, but it is stunning! her words are nice music to my ears too :)
    Last but not least I am inspired by the wooden bed, the way she is framing her children’s artwork, and the butterfly’s frame (amazing, I noticed it only the second time I was reading the post).
    Thanks for sharing with us!
    .-= Etincelle´s last blog ..Babushka Comfort Doll – Zaza =-.

  • Reply Hydi March 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I really loved to read the interview. And Jan has got such a nice taste!

  • Reply Mingma March 5, 2010 at 10:17 am

    I love the Panton chair its just a beautiful classic and it looks great against the wooden flooring in this shot.

  • Reply Alex O March 9, 2010 at 11:54 am

    What a breathtaking home..I think if I walked into her place I would be able to breathe easier. All surroundings are so fresh and simple yet it works so well.

  • Reply Lisa April 4, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Stunning designs – so simple yet so effective. It is great to look at these great images and draw inspiration from them, and to learn something about where the ideas behind the designs came from. Thank you for this great blog – have bookmarked it and will visit often for fresh interior design ideas.

  • Reply indian yarn July 3, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Very insightful.. so many affirmations ..i’ll bookmark this.

  • Reply Marcia Beckett August 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Hi! I would like to link a picture of your idea for children’s art on my blog. I am writing a post about what to do with all of your kid’s masterpieces. I will be posting it for the parents at my school (K-6) to see. I would of course, link back to your blog.

  • Reply Dipti April 12, 2016 at 8:19 am

    These ideas are so original. I have been using DIY ideas for a very long time now but these ideas are really authentic. And I really like the idea where the parents can frame the artwork of their kids and put for display. Loved your blog. Amazing. :)

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