Friday Guest Blog Interview: Janet of Living in a Nutshell & SPACEStv YouTube Channel

Happy Friday! I’m back with another awesome Friday Guest Blog Interview. It’s actually a two in one, because we’re featuring SPACEStv (that awesome new home and design YouTube channel that was just released) and Janet of Living in a Nutshell, a super stylish blogger with a fantastic little episode on SPACES, a new book and a lovely blog.

Have you heard of SPACEtv? A new YouTube channel that serves up home decorating ideas of all sizes – and it’s instantly available in cute little 5-15 minute chunks of delicious decorating morsels. I’m really loving discovering all of the various series! And if you’re like me and live sans cable, then this is an excellent HGTV alternative (plus, you can skip all of those pesky ads). A few of my favorites have been this inspirational Brooklyn loft crash, this roof deck on Urban Gardener, and of course, Janet’s eclectic How to Decorate a Small Apartment episode. So much goodness.

Janet is taking a few moments to answer our usual 4 design questions about her favorite trends, tips and design ideas. Janet is the voice behind Living in a Nutshell and her new book of the same title. How brilliant is that mix of color in the cover photo?

I was immediately intrigued to learn more about Janet’s style after watching her SPACES episode and checking out stills of her pint-sized NY apartment (including that above living room). Jump on out to the interview for a closer look.

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{PDB Interview with Janet of SPACEStv & Living In a Nutshell}

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What inspires your design style?

First, it’s the thrill of the chase to find ways of living splendidly in petite quarters that informs and inspires my design style. Then it’s a “mash-up” of bold colors and patterns, touches of retro (I have a penchant for the 40s and 50s) and anything French. My mother, Jin Hwa, is my style muse. I dedicated my book, Living in a Nutshell to her.  She raised six of us children on a tight budget in a foreign land but with a decorator’s eye, she intermixed oriental antiques with French provincial furniture anchored by a leopard skin rug. It all worked and I took notes as a young girl. She has bequeathed so many of her collections, fashion and décor, to me.  They are my treasures.

What do you love most about what you do?

I make the disclaimer right at the top that I am not a professional decorator or interior designer, just someone in the trenches sharing my discoveries and triumphs with others. I love it most when readers trust me as their design buddy and feel a decorating boost of confidence with my accessible design projects and tips. Most of the projects on my blog and in the book are ranked as “quickies”—DIY in one hour or less.  Once you’re successful with a project, it will embolden you to take on the next challenge. I’m with them cheering from the sidelines, “you can do it!”

What are your favorite design trends?

{1.} I love trompe l’oeil with a witty twist. Deborah Bowness’ hand-printed wallpapers of library books and old filing cabinets are irresistible. They are a bit of an investment so in the meantime…I printed a Louis-inspired chair onto wall decal paper and painted an Ikea stool to match.  It’s where I can sit and put on my shoes in the foyer.

I like finding ways to mimic the look and feel of a well-tailored home so I have also used inexpensive artist stretcher bars to feign the look of paneled molding on my generic folding closet doors.  My apartment is a rental so they are attached with removable picture hanging strips that I can take them with me when I leave.

{2.} Paint-dipped wooden chair legs, stools, candlesticks and cutting boards are divine. It’s a great way to introduce a bright, bold color into a space…kind of like putting a toe in the deep end before jumping head first. Color = Life + Happiness!

{3.} Liberty of London prints. I never get tired of looking at them at the fabric store. I like using them in unexpected ways like decoupaged onto kitchen cabinets,  tops of wooden stools, even on fronts of drawers.

What are three design suggestions that you would like to offer our readers?

{1.} Whether you live in tight quarters or not, my mantra for small space design can guide you through some tough decorating spots: Delight, Dazzle, Divert.

{2.} Delight guests with design details so thoughtful, original, even outrageous, they’ll hardly notice you live in a featureless box. Dazzle them with flattering lighting, luxurious fabrics, and accessories that give off a bit of sparkle and sheen.

{3.} Finally, divert any negative attention from the flaws of your space with whimsical decorative art and finishes.  Focus on what you can do, not what you can’t!

Thank you, Janet!

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If you loved this interview, check out more great spotlights {and tips & tricks!} from fantastic bloggers.

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