As dedicated decor fanatics, we at The Well Appointed House take great joy in all aspects of interior design. We know that in its ever-changing landscape, only those with true talent and conviction stand out from the crowd. One designer who continues to captivate us – her dazzling portfolio proving anything but ordinary – is Janie Molster. Based in Richmond, Virginia, Janie’s southern charm gleams in her impressive collection of residential projects. Her unexpected use of color and texture, in addition to her unfailing ability to blend the old with the new, has kept Janie relevant an industry that can often be competitive and demanding in nature. This month we were fortunate enough to consult Janie personally and gain some insight into her background, her vision, and her fabulous work. Check out the Q&A below featuring Janie’s Well Appointed House top picks, along with some our favorite Janie Molster spaces!
TWAH: How did you first get into the field of interior design?
JM: A can of paint—truly. I studied English literature in college and always imagined teaching at some point. Married and at home with our first born, I was a bit experimental when selecting paint colors for our new house. An older home with tall ceilings and heavy millwork, I decided bold paint colors could enhance my meager decorating budget. Soon I was helping friends with paint colors, then friends of friends, and here I am. I guess I should thank Benjamin Moore.
TWAH: How/where do you source the majority of your design projects (design centers, online..)?
JM: I do shop online but mainly for inspiration. I am extremely tactile and I need to touch everything—not just fabrics but the metal on certain fixtures and the patina of antiques. I frequent the design trade shows and as many antiques stores as possible. I am permanently on the hunt. Travel is mandatory and provides inspiration and shopping opportunities. Design Centers are great when you are suffering burnout and need a dose of sensory stimulation. We have a large library but I can’t help myself, I am always looking for the next great thing.
TWAH: What is one unexpected design tip or source that most people don’t know about?
JM: Large scale printers. Even small cities have a local printing company. If the resolution is good, photo files can be scanned in and recreated into large floor to ceiling artworks. We have blown up large sections of vintage maps, small sections of original paintings and even our client’s own photography. It’s even possible to create wallpaper panels in this same way.
TWAH: What are 5 products on our website that you love?
TWAH: What is your favorite room in the house to decorate?
Powder Rooms. It’s the place where people are willing to take risks because they are rarely in these rooms so they’re more willing to go out on a design limb. Powder Rooms are also small so often the budget-buster wallpaper or faucet fittings are not out of the question. I love to to hang interesting art on the walls as well. Guests can get up close to things and really examine them.
TWAH: What is one current design trend or style that you love?
JM: The people who know me will laugh but I do love that florals are finding a way back into design projects that are more contemporary in feel. I always hesitate using them in abundance but I have had such a yearning for “pretty” things lately. There’s too much inexpensive pared-down modern and it’s cold and soul-less. I love the floral edging at the hem of a dustruffle or a hand-pleated floral lampshade. I see these details cropping up in the most surprising places—contemporary design. I am voting that pretty is back and florals are along for the ride.
TWAH: Do you have any predictions for colors or trends that will be big in 2018?
JM: Pink-y coral and apricot tones are so appealing to me now. I do think color in general is having a big swing back into fashion, artwork, and the editorial pages of
magazines. The day of the all-white showroom is gone for now, at least until it cycles back into vogue.
TWAH: What is your favorite aspect of interior design?
I love when the client says YES…and it’s like the 4th yes. Yes on the hire, yes on the scope, yes on the budget, but a YES on the schematics is the big jump-on-the-bed moment for me. I know we are about to create something wonderful together. It’s like setting sail on an amazing cruise—there’s lot’s more fabulousness to come but just setting sail is such a high.