This week we introduce Jennifer Ghatan, one of our newest designers and the founder and lead designer of JKG Interiors. Jennifer hails from across the Pond and studied Interior Design at Parsons School of Design in New York and has recently had her design work featured in a number of high end publications.
We chat to Jennifer about what drew her to become an interior designer, her perfect Sunday and designing interiors for a good cause.
What are you most looking forward to as you begin to work with RoomLab?
I am looking forward to being exposed to clients to whom I would not have otherwise met if not for RoomLab. I am also looking forward to the challenge of designing a space I haven’t seen in person within a tight deadline. I think it’s an exciting way to work. It can keep me busy during quiet times and allows me to be in charge of my own projects within a freelance-style framework. I am a true New Yorker and so I love innovation and a fast pace!
What drew you to become an interior designer?
I am naturally drawn to the arts. From the age of 6, I was studying both French and piano after school. I love beautiful things!! It really was just a decision as to where to focus my artistic energy. What better than to directly affect the human sensory experience by designing the spaces they inhabit?!
What influences your interior design choices?
I am not set on using one particular style. Instead my design choices are dictated first and foremost by the space itself, the inhabitants and its intended use. If this is a space that has already been built, then it is easier to assess the natural light, the existing architecture and the strengths and limitations of the structure. I take all of these elements into account and I work with that. The clients personalities and lifestyles are paramount in the design process since they will occupy the space.
What are the key elements for great design?
A balance of symmetry and asymmetry, variation such as different shades of a color being applied and distinctive textures. Repetition such that some elements are repeated throughout a space is equally important and every room needs a combination of dark and light elements to keep it from feeling ‘blah’ and the designer must decide where the room’s focal points will lie. Lastly, I believe nearly every space needs some kind of reflective surface, be it a metal or a mirror to keep it from feeling flat.
Which items do you often look to use in your schemes to elevate them from the norm?
I almost always do up a wall with wallpaper, a textured paint, or clad it in a brick or floor-to-ceiling mirror. I have nothing against paint and do use it often to enhance a space that is architecturally striking.
In your experience, what concerns clients most when they begin a project with you?
Timeliness, keeping within the budget, and when specifying bespoke pieces, they may worry the product may not match their expectations. They also often worry that they are bothering me too often but that comes with the territory of being a designer. We are “on-call” all the time.
What are the most common interior design myths?
1- “Less is more.” Sometimes it is, but sometimes less just isn’t enough!
2- “Being an interior designer is a glamorous job.” Much of our time is spent behind our desks much like any other jobs and on construction sites or chasing joiners, upholsterers, and the AV consultants to call us back! Luckily for me, I love my job!
Describe a project that was most rewarding and why?
In 2008, I worked at an architecture firm in New York City called Bluarch Architecture + Lighting, which has a remarkable hospitality & retail portfolio. I introduced the Principal Architect of the firm to various anti-trafficking organizations that provided shelter and training for trafficking victims. I established a pro-bono sector within Bluarch that developed half-way houses.
Who would be your dream client and why?
I would love to design a spa with an indoor pool in a boutique hotel or a London house. I love creating moods that change from room to room and a spa lends itself to just that! I also would love being able to integrate natural and raw materials like teak and bamboo…very Maldive-esque!
What’s your favourite High Street store for soft furnishings such as cushions and rugs?
Designers Guild has a huge range of colours and materials and so I can often find exactly what I need at a good price point.
What makes your perfect Sunday?
Sunday is the day my husband and I dedicate solely to the children. No gym. No work. You can find us at the London Zoo, the playground by Primrose Hill, or at one of London’s amazing museums. We are likely having brunch at Baker & Spice in Little Venice.