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Interior designer Jenika Kurtz bought her first house a little over two years ago and took on a major renovation project fixing up each room. Personalizing her house was very important to Jenika and over time she has been adding small touches such as throw pillows, personal pictures, DIY window treatments, etc. to add her own personality to the design. Jenika's own home has become a showcase for her work as an interior designer. She uses it as an example to show how you can personalize your own home.
LAMPS PLUS: Moving into your first house is very exciting. What is the first step for personalizing your new home?
JENIKA KURTZ: As funny as it sounds, installing window coverings. It was the perfect way to soften, make the space feel like home, and infuse each room with a bit of personality.
LAMPS PLUS: Hiring and working with contractors can sometimes be overwhelming. What are some tips for simplifying the process?
JENIKA KURTZ: The number one most important thing to have is a good rapport with whoever you work with. It is essential for both you and your contractor to have a very clear understanding of one another. This leaves little room for misinterpretation and the more you trust someone and feel the lines of communication are open, the more successful the project will turn out.
LAMPS PLUS: Complete home remodels can overwhelm the budget very quickly. What are some quick remodeling fixes that are easy on the checkbook, yet have a big impact?
JENIKA KURTZ: Paint! Whether it's a rundown looking room, kitchen cabinets or piece of furniture, paint is an easy, quick, and inexpensive way to transform the look of something.
LAMPS PLUS: What are some tips for personalizing your home through paint?
JENIKA KURTZ: The possibilities are endless. Don't be afraid of color or, as mentioned previously, using it on things other than walls. For the more adventurous, try painting a wood floor that you think might need replacing. Instead of spending a couple thousand you only have to spend a couple hundred and it gives you a completely new look.
LAMPS PLUS: What are some factors to take into account when selecting drapery?
JENIKA KURTZ: Definitely consider what kind of statement you want your drapes to make. If you want other features in the room to speak a little louder than choose a fabric that's a solid or has a subtle texture. If you want to notice the drapes more, then choose a fun color or pattern. It is about balance.
LAMPS PLUS: It is the small details in the home that give the design "the finish." What are a few ideas for incorporating smaller accessories into the overall design?
JENIKA KURTZ: Choose accessories that mean something or make sense. For example, place a colorful ceramic bowl that you picked up on your last vacation at your entry to hold your keys when you walk in. Put a cookbook of your favorite cuisine on a stand on your kitchen counter. Personal is always better.
LAMPS PLUS: What is your advice for updating and personalizing the home's exterior and landscape design?
JENIKA KURTZ: Be thoughtful. The exterior is an area that people don't often think needs to be "designed," but it is hugely important. When planting trees, shrubs or bushes you should consider color, scale, and proportion just as much as you should with the interior furniture. Before you start, make a plan and draw in areas with points of interest. Always remember lighting as well.
LAMPS PLUS: What is the best process for designing your home's lighting scheme?
JENIKA KURTZ: First consider function then consider levels. I always like to have at least two or three levels of light. Level one would be the functional light; maybe you add recessed lighting that gives you an overall wash of the space. Second would be hanging or flushmount decorative fixtures. Third would be floor lamps and/or table lamps. All should be dimmable so you can play with different moods for different activities.
LAMPS PLUS: What are your favorite table lamps from Lamps Plus?
JENIKA KURTZ: The following table lamps are all transitional and clean with a fun vibe that could work in a number of spaces.
Moderne Brushed Steel Finish Table Lamp (no longer available)
Blue Calliope Linen Giclee Paley White Table Lamp
Robert Abbey Odelia Night Light Glass Table Lamp (no longer available)
Images: Jessica Comingore
Great article and photos!