This week, we had the pleasure of (virtually) sitting down with Kimberlee Jaynes, award-winning interior designer and owner of Kimberlee Jaynes Interior Designs in Portland OR. Kimberlee merges both modern and traditional styles to create bold yet simple interiors. Her designs have been featured in The Portrait of Portland and Oregon Home magazines as well as The Oregonian newspaper. Most excitingly, she has been the subject of a national TV pilot about Interior Designers! We can’t wait for it to come out. We hope you enjoy the interview.
How did you know that you were meant to be an interior designer?
I’ve always loved design. It’s part of my DNA! My grandfather was a renowned photographer in Carmel, CA (he was the resident photographer for the Pebble Beach Golf Course and a dear friend of Ansel Adams). My mother is a fine arts painter. My environment has always been very important to me. As a teen, I changed the design of my room multiple times! And as an adult, I realized that my home needs to please my eyes and be functional. This is what led me to do this work, and I love it.
What is your favorite aspect of your work? What is most challenging?
The most exciting aspect of the job is always the final reveal! When the client walks in and their eyes light up. That is the best reward for all of the work that goes into planning and executing new design. I’d say that the most challenging part is probably when clients want the work to be done immediately, and don’t realize that a lot of detail goes into the end result, which takes a little time and patience.
How do you earn clients’ trust when making some of these big changes?
Like professional organizers, it’s a collaborative effort. It’s important to create a combination of their vision and my expertise. Winning trust is paramount.
Yes! That is so true. The client calls the shots and decides if they are ready to move forward. What does that look like when you first start to work with them?
I have a detailed interview process before starting each project. This clarifies my client’s wants and needs. In addition, I ask my prospective client to call and talk to current clients. That way they can ask any hard questions they might not feel comfortable asking me, which garners trust.
What should people look for in a quality designer?
There are some great rules of thumb when “shopping” for the right designer. Here are the ones I always recommend:
- Everybody should ask for good current references. Check the dates and make sure they are recent.
- Quality designers spell out the nitty-gritty for their clients, such as an outline of how the process works, and a discussion with the client about the budget.
- They will also answer specific questions like how the client will be charged for design work and how they will be invoiced. These are really important questions to answer before the work starts.
- Look at the designers portfolio. Is it broad in range, does it include enough examples?
Interior design work from Kimberlee’s Portfolio
The most important part of hiring a designer is whether you have a rapport with them. This person may be in your life for up to a year, depending upon the project. Do you “like” this person? There are plenty of talented designers, so it’s really about the designer being a “good fit” for you!
So true! It’s important to have a good rapport with your professional organizer too! Can you share some details about a favorite recent project?
This is a very difficult question for me! Every project has a special place in my heart. I am currently working on several favorite projects, but one that is drawing a lot of my attention is a down to the studs remodel of a three- story Mid-Century modern home in Lake Oswego on the lake. ALL rooms have been touched by this remodel: Kitchen, three baths, bedrooms, living room along with massive exterior work.
The owners are amazing and the contracting team at MCM construction are a delight to work with too. After the remodeling is complete, we will start on furnishings. As a full-service designer, I love both designing kitchens and baths as well as furnishing homes. It’s extremely rewarding when a project is finished.
Lake Oswego Mid-Century Modern home renovation in progress
What advice do you have for people who want to give their decor a facelift during this time spent at home, but can’t move forward due to the virus?
That’s is a great question and my answer is — get organized! Once the clutter is gone then you can focus on your design. In fact, the Organizers Northwest blog has so many wonderful ideas, tips and tricks. Now is the time to implement some of these helpful organizational tools.
I also recommend taking time to look at HOUZZ, Pinterest and other home decor platforms like online interior design blogs and magazines. You might see a paint color or a new arrangement for your family room that will inspire you to change things up.
Another great resource is that ACE hardware is doing curbside delivery, so you can order paint online and have it delivered to the back of your car with no contact. Many homes need an update that paint can remedy. I also see a lot of red brick out there which can be easily painted or stained.
To play around with your existing space during social distancing, focus on honoring your happy memories. Bring together a few items from a favorite trip and artfully arrange them on a coffee table or bookcase. Focus on what you have, and do some decluttering to free up your space for new memories.
Or perhaps just a simple refresh is in order. You can regroup or rehang your artwork, purchase new colorful summer pillows and lamps. Just changing these can give you a big lift without breaking the bank. Try the unexpected: bring the bedroom lamps into the living room and visa versa.
If you like to create art, get some canvas (or whatever your medium is) and have fun! I’m loving the outlet of creating abstract art right now. It frees my mind and gives me new pieces to add to my home. Whatever you do – just have fun!
Thank you to Kimberlee for speaking with us!
Kimberlee is currently working during the pandemic, wearing a mask and social distancing. She asks clients to wear a mask as well. You can reach her at (503) 407-9525, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her website is kimberleejaynes.com