Interior Designer, Mom & #Bosslady, Justene Spaulding has turned her love for creativity and all-things design into a successful interior design business. Juggling two boys (with a little lady on the way), she somehow finds time to create, design, and style some of the most stylish spaces in the city—including CIS’s very own Maureen Dahill’s house! We caught up with Justene to get the scoop on the latest happenings, trends, and what’s inspiring her lately.
1. Describe your business ,background (and yourself!) a little bit. What do you love about being an interior designer? What are some of the challenges?
I started in the field at age 20 as an office assistant to an Interior Design firm in Weston. It was at that point I realized I really loved the work. Before, I was a hair dresser, glazier (glass worker) and even an office manager.
After learning the trade hands-on, I started JS Interiors in the summer of 2009 at the age of 25. It was a very scary leap! I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support of my family, friends and a few clients that truly believed in me. Over the past 8 years a lot has changed personally and professionally, I’m now a mom to 2 healthy/ crazy boys and am expecting a little girl this summer. My business has evolved from high-end residential to development and more commercial work. We also now have an amazing team and our motto has always been quality over quantity.
I really love what I do and take great pride in my work. Just recently, we have been featured in the Globe magazine, New England Home, and have won Best of Houzz the last 3 years in a row. The biggest challenge I now face is my time management. It’s sometimes a struggle to juggle being a mom and running a business! Interior design itself is very personal, almost like a hair stylist, you really have to get to know the people you are servicing. Being able to express my creativity keeps me going and there’s never a dull day here last JS interiors.
2. What trends are you seeing in the interior design space right now? Your favorites? Any that you dislike?
There’s a lot happening in the design world right now! Artistically, it’s driven by our surroundings, just like the change in weather or moods. Mid-century modern has definitely made a full comeback. I like some of the clean lines and velvet textures, but find that some of the pieces (while being aesthetically nice) are a little uncomfortable. I find myself being a little more subdued and gravitating towards classic lines with a preppy background, and lots of tone on tone color palettes. Navy blue has always been my favorite color to work with and I’m so happy to see that it has been picking up a lot of traction. I’ve also been loving earth tones. Maybe the month of March has something to do with it or maybe I’m over the winter or just really love hunter green? We’re completing a kitchen install soon where we actually did the island cabinetry in a color called sweet pea.
3. What projects are you working on currently?
We’re currently working on a few larger developments locally in Massachusetts, all while helping people get their summer homes ready. Architects & developers hire us often to help with their floor plans, kitchens and bathroom designs, and to make sure their building standards flow. Ultimately, we help them deliver a beautiful project to their potential buyers.
Coastal design has always been in my wheelhouse. I am 100% in my zone when working on projects by the water. In the past, we’ve worked in Boston, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Palm Beach, Kennebunk, ME & Lajolla, California.
There is something to be said about the colors you can pull from nature and the ocean by far is the most beautiful.
With the hot real estate in South Boston, we find ourselves doing a lot of kitchen and bathroom renovations for local Southie folk. It’s great to see both life-long and new residents re-invest in their homes—Southie has never looked so good! It has definitely changed from the 80’s when I was growing up here. I really do like a few of the newer buildings, one in particular is the much-debated Starbucks on L & Broadway. The architect and builder did a great job with the use of brick while maintaining the original feel of the neighborhood.
And as always, kitchen design can be challenging. Being city-dwellers, we tend to live in smaller spaces, but find ourselves wanting the function of a larger place. Take Maureen’s kitchen as an example, we literally kept the same footprint of her small kitchenette, but re-purposed every square inch to function differently—I kept saying we built it like a ship!
And last but not least, are you taking new clients?
We are always taking on new clients! From big to small, we do it all. We also have being doing a lot of e-design lately. E-design is increasingly popular, it’s more budget-friendly for the homeowner, as it allows them to do more footwork, but they end up having an inspiring, professionally designed space. It’s a win-win.
To see more of Justene’s work – you can check out her portfolio here!