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Celebrating World Interior's Day 2022 - Pride of the Past, An Incentive for the Future - with Interior Designer Jill Delaney

May 2, 2022

This year, World Interiors Day is happening on May 28th. Though we’re inspired by amazing interiors constantly here at Highline, it is nice to be reminded to appreciate interior architecture and design for the amazing art it is. Who hasn’t walked into a room and had a wave of emotion rush over them?  We all know how powerful an interior space can be and how a space, designed right, can inspire us, lift us up, create a sense of serenity, or change our perspectives.

As a design-build firm, we’re fortunate enough to have in-house design experts. Our office manager, Tera, sat down with our interior designer, Jill, for an interview inspired by World Interiors Day. Here’s what Jill had to say…

Tera:      Thanks for joining me today in preparation for World Interiors Day. You are Highline's resident interiors guru, so I'm excited to chat with you. What does this year's "Pride of the Past, an Incentive for the Future" World Interiors Day theme mean to you or make you think about?

Jill:          This theme calls to mind the classic elements of good design combined with a thoughtfulness of how our design choices will impact our environment.  It's about honoring the amazing design classics but also incorporating technological improvements.  One example would be the touchless faucet that can have a classic look, but helps save water and keep us germ free.

Tera:      How do you see design trends of the past influencing the work you do today?

Jill:          There are so many design trends & materials that I feel are timeless.  Things like Carrara marble will never go out of style, but can be used in such a huge variety of ways.  I can use it in a traditional southern style room as easily as an ultra modern space.  I think the best designs always give a nod to a classic design trend in a new way, not just duplication.  Those elements will always provide a good foundation.

Tera:      Yes. Beautiful. Is there a particular designer you especially admire or person your work has been influenced by – maybe it’s a famous designer from history or maybe it’s a relative who had a creative eye? Tell us about any important people who have helped make you the designer you are today.

Jill:          Well, my mother was always pushing the design envelope in my childhood home – painting the living room a bold color, using a bold wallpaper on all the walls and ceilings of a small room. She had the guts to try new things.  She also tolerated, even encouraged, me changing my furniture around in my 10x12 bedroom constantly!  I am inspired by a lot of people’s work, in all kinds of styles.  Kelly Wearstler has always been fascinating to me in her use of color, drama, and her furniture design.

Tera:      Your mom sounds fun! I love that she was so encouraging. Now, it seems like it would be really important to have a strong eye for aesthetic as an interior designer, but I know the work we do at Highline is extremely client-centered. You have this way of utilizing your design knowledge to support our clients while still ensuring their style comes through and that their spaces become unique reflections of who they are and how they live. What’s your secret? Like, how is that so effortless for you?

Jill:          Ha! Well, that might be the fact that my fist degree is in Psychology!  I think the most important part of being a good designer is to listen to your client.  Not everyone can tell you right away what they want, but eventually, during conversations and image collecting, the essential elements show up.  It is important to take a look at how they want to use the space and how they want it to feel.  Asking the right questions....

Tera:      That makes sense. When working with a homeowner who wants to remodel their home while still preserving some of its original character, how do you help them hold on to that history while still creating a space that suits their modern way of living?

Jill:          First of all, it’s a matter of assessing the elements in the home that represent that character, then determining how they want to use the space, which elements they love, and which drive them crazy.  Then, it's all in the blend!

Tera:      What advantages do we have living in 2022 that maybe weren't there for designers 100 years ago?

Jill:          Gosh, the access to images of design now are pretty amazing with sites such as Houzz etc.  It also helps us communicate with our clients by identifying the elements in images that appeal to them.  There are also so many new materials to work with that provide more functionality and choices.

Tera:      You're so skilled, and Highline is so lucky to have you. When you reflect on your design career to date, how would you describe your proudest moment?

Jill:          Why, thank you. I am happy to be in Bellingham at Highline!  My proudest moments are always when my clients are happy with the end results!

Tera:      Your clients are happy, Jill. I know that. So, in sticking with our theme, would you say that "pride of your past" gives you some "incentive for the future" or motivation to continue creating the beautiful interiors we see you producing today?

Jill:          [Laugh] Absolutely! I am excited about the processes and direction that Highline is moving toward.  I am also continually inspired by all the new materials coming out every day!

Tera:      As we do think about the future, what advice would you give to a new designer just starting out or to someone considering interior design as a career path?

Jill:          I think some of the most important skills for a designer come from listening to their clients and also gaining experience working with installers to understand that part of the business.  It makes a world of difference to have a good working relationship with your tradespeople and to have enough knowledge to make smart choices at the beginning of a project!

Tera:      Good advice. Thanks, Jill. Like I said, we are so lucky to have you. You are so inspiring and I know that it’s not only our staff members who love working with you; our clients absolutely adore you! The work you do is a big part of what makes Highline special. Thank you.

Jill:          My pleasure.

Back to the Recently at Highline

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