When Jennifer Wagner Schmidt (of JWS Interiors) was approached by a young fashionista with dreams of a glamorous new home, she didn’t waste any time getting to work. The home, though stuck 30 years in the past, had the designer inspired and excited. The job was more than new furniture and accessories — the space needed to be gutted entirely. With fashion on the forefront, the condo lost a bedroom and gained one killer closet, while finishings got a major upgrade. Meanwhile, Jennifer pulled products from stylish sources like Horchow, Restoration Hardware, Jonathan Adler, and Joss & Main. The end result is a stylish sanctuary that any fashion-lover would adore to call home.
This space is stunning, Jennifer! What can you tell us about the client?
My client is a single, twenty-something business-minded woman who travels frequently and loves fashion.
Fashion is definitely represented in the finished space. What were the other requirements when beginning the project?
She asked me to make it glamorous; incorporate gold accents; find a home for her collection of books. A table big enough to seat 8 in the dining room, so we used those gorgeous, “skinny” chairs from Jonathan Adler to fit at the marble table.
What condition was the home in at the start?
The home was very outdated as its owners were an elderly couple who had lived there for 30 years and didn’t update the home at all. We even found stacks of the old Yellow Pages phone books in the kitchen pantry! Old, stained carpet, dirty walls, and all outdated appliances left us with essentially a blank canvas to create a luxurious home for her and start new. Walls came down; carpet was ripped up and replaced with marble and hardwood flooring; the kitchen was gutted down to the studs.
Love the chance for a fresh start! Did you keep any of her existing furniture, or did you start from a clean slate?
She didn’t have a lot of furniture so we started with a clean slate which as a designer is the best!
Sounds like a dream! We bet it was easy to find inspiration.
Since it was only her living in the apartment, I didn’t have to worry about kids and pets and the design challenges associated sometimes with designing for a family so it was a pleasure to make it glamorous for her to come home to and entertain her friends. We kept the focus on keeping it modern and glam throughout the design process.
Did you encounter any challenges?
As can happen within the design process, there are inevitably furniture delays or mishaps, which we did encounter. Custom chairs arrived 16 weeks late, only to be the wrong size and had to be re-made! Luckily, my client was a dream to work with and took everything in stride and was very patient.
Once all the mishaps were behind you and the project was complete, did you have a favorite area of the condo?
I have a few favorites! I love how the living room turned out with the focal point being the custom framed scarf flanked by the gorgeous bookshelves! I also love how we used mirrored tiles for the back splash in the kitchen and bar area which turned out pretty and is a great way to bounce light and make a small space look larger. I also adore the serenity of the master bedroom — a soothing shade of sea foam green was incorporated with the headboard wall wallpapered in a pretty scallop motif.
The bedroom certainly is a favorite of ours as well! How did you decide on the wall colors and treatments?
Painting the entire bedroom in the pale sea foam color seemed fine, but a little boring, so I decided to paper the headboard wall in a pretty gold scalloped pattern to give the room a more decorative element. The bed doesn’t blend into the wall and ultimately I think made for a pretty accent wall.
We have to say – the home is impeccably styled. What are your top tips for our readers who want to add a bit of glamour to their home?
Thank you! The final phase of the design process is the accessory placement and you need a lot of them to fill a home! It takes a couple hours to fill the bookshelves in the right way — not too much and not too little — there is a balance and it’s a learned skill, I have to say! I love styling coffee tables and my formula is to always have 3-5 books, one or two accessories, and a bunch of flowers. Then it’s time to “play” with everything until the camera “likes” how it looks. I also worked with Charlotte Safavi who helped me style for the photo shoot and photographer Stacy Zarin Goldberg who took these amazing photos.
We’d call that a dream team, for sure! Thank you for sharing the space with us, Jennifer!
To learn more about Jennifer Wagner Schmidt (and get a look at the blossoming JWS Interiors portfolio!), click here.