Jacqueline deMontravel Founder of Ducks Goose
What led you to become an interior designer?
After spending a career in profiling inspiring homes as a magazine editor, where styling a shoot so a room is camera-ready, it was a natural transition.
What is your favorite aspect of being an interior designer?
Meeting people and having an intimate connection to them through their homes. The best way to understand a person is to see how they live, how they cook, what they are proud of, if they allow their kids to drink juice boxes on the couch, and where the pet falls into the family dynamic.
What have you learned the most from your career in interior design?
How design is constantly evolving from a decorate-your-home-once mentality to a perpetual assessment of your home’s decor and how your tastes evolves through considering the quickening pulse of home design.Home design has caught up to fashion--how you can update your style every season. Though ordering furniture is not as simple as a new pair of boots, there are simple ways to tweak your spaces though colors, textures and accents.
What tips and ideas do you have for other’s who would like to be interior designers?
Connect, connect, connect! If you can’t find that special coffee table, work with a craftsman to design one. Want to wallpaper that awkwardly-spaced powder room? Have the best paint and paper specialist on hand to help you navigate such a challenge. You cannot do it all, thus build a list of design experts to help you to achieve your goals.
What are your favorite features of being an interior designer?
The long reach of relationships, from clients, craftsmen and industry tradesman who design those amazing products that give a home that wow factor.
What is at the heart of your career in interior design that you want your clients to take home?
For me it’s a creative process that is more than strategic placement of pretty objects in a room. It’s a mix of the investigative and of psychology with a stylish execution, You must analyze your life and how you want your home to uphold your routine--what colors make you happy: pieces that can be edited from a room and an overall balance so all dwellers are in sync.
I also fear that an overly-designed look where everything is hotel room perfect--so perfect that an entire room can go into design disarray just because your child didn’t leave his backpack in his personalized cubby could lead to you contributing to a tightly-wound generation. A home’s true worth is in its ability to make family and guests feel comfortable. As a stylist and designer, I try to find a balance between real life and style. Personally, I have many beloved things that were either passed down or accumulated on travels that may not fit into today’s designer scheme but that’s what makes my home interesting and personalized: every belonging has a story that no store bought accessory can match.
What may be my most valued treasure is my art collection. Since I can remember, my mother educated me in art history as she earned her masters and went on to run an art gallery. She would take me to the New York City museums and enlist me to help her analyze the works of art she studied. We traveled often, and those influences are also strong as Art was always a part of my lexicon, my homes, and my interests. Now that I am fully educated on the past rock stars of art, such as Rothko, Milton Avery and deKooning, I am interested in today’s creators. Though I still see so many visions inside of me that I have unleashed in photography, canvas and mixed media, it has been my greatest design achievement to see my works in other people’s homes, so the pieces add beauty to their homes and enhance their lives.
Photos Courtesy of Jacqueline deMontravel
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