Trader Jack Designs is an interesting name for your business, where did it come from?

When I first considered opening a shop I knew the services would cover a multitude of tasks. Everything from furniture design and placement, paint colors, faux finishes, window treatments, etc. I knew we would end up being a “jack of all trades”. Therefore, Trader Jack Designs.

Where would you suggest someone start with any decorating project?

First analyze your needs. How do you want the space to function for you? How do you see yourself living in the space? Next spend time in the room at different times of the day so you can observe how light enters and affects the room. Then create a floor plan working off the most expensive item you need to purchase or an item you have to work with, as an example a rug or sofa. It’s usually a good idea not to start anything until you know where you want to finish.

What is the most common mistake people make when doing a project?

Probably not thinking it through and choosing paint without a “reason for being”. Often times people choose a color just because they saw it somewhere and liked it. Where that’s not necessarily wrong, if they had waited and chosen a color similar but that had been tweaked to complement a rug, sofa or drapes, the room would have a more cohesive look. In the grand scheme of things paint is cheap. So, if possible, don’t lock yourself into a color without “a reason for being”.

Why would someone want to use a decorator?

Most designers and decorators have dealt with hundreds of different scenarios. By using a professional you immediately have access to a vast range of experience and creative ideas that you might not have considered. A true professional will help you get the look you are after in a cost effective way, helping you avoid costly mistakes and providing a space that reflects the people who live and work there, which is the most important aspect of a well designed space.

What is your personal style of decorating?

I believe our homes should tell the story of the people who live there and my home certainly reflects what’s most important to me and my family. I love the beauty in imperfection and the journey that is represented in each object. Just like life, a home is the compilation of those who live there representing this wonderful journey called life.

A large part of your business is custom window treatments and bedding. So are you more a retail workroom or a decorator?

I am a decorator who loves to sew and create with fabric. I grew up around fabric, with every Saturday being spent in a huge fabric store with my mom and sister, just imagining the possibilities! Fabric is a major inspiration for all of my decorating projects.

Custom window treatments are a major expense in decorating, are they really necessary?

Yes, they certainly are an investment. But I don’t think most people realize everything quality treatments can do for a room. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but they provide warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer, not too mention light control, and sometimes most importantly, sound control. With vaulted ceilings and wood floors in so many homes, sound can bounce around and make a room feel like a gymnasium. Well designed and constructed window treatments can absorb that sound and bring intimacy to an area. And finally I believe they are the finishing touch to a room.

What projects need to be done in your own home?

As we go through life our needs change and our homes must be able to adapt. Right now I am trying to figure out the best way to accommodate large family gatherings. This is something I did not plan for 25 years ago when searching for a home, but the need got here quicker than I anticipated!

Any final words?

Buy what you love, you’ll always find a place for it. And use it! Don’t keep it packed away with plans of using it just for special occasions. Life is special, we should treat it as so.