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Coming Together…

24 Jan

A project that I have been working on for several months in the U Street/Logan Circle neighborhood of DC is really chugging along…

Here is a dark, mysterious, shadowy photo of it. The details are really incredible, and the blue (in many shades) color pops are everywhere (hard to see, but believe me, they are).

New Project!


If you think this looks smashing, I can’t WAIT to show you the real photographs (when we take them)! Stay tuned…


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.


ANOTHER Sneak Peek: A Great Green Space!

14 Nov

I certainly haven’t been blogging regularly lately, but…as promised…I have another sneak peek to share!

This client wanted an urban, casual yet grown up, simple and green space on a fairly modest budget. I think we managed quite nicely and I am thrilled with how it turned out.

For my clients who think they recognize the Otis Chairs and Seguro Coffee Table: you certainly do. I was 100% honest when I told you “I like to use these a lot.” Because I do.


I really like the textures here, and the way that the neutral walls give the art some room to breathe. …and those vintage wallpaper bolts by the fireplace are a favorite find of mine from Trohv.

Hope you like it, too!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Sneak Peek!

5 Nov

I snapped some photos today at a longtime client’s house, where we’re working on finishing up three kids’ rooms. I’m in love with the little girl’s space, and can’t wait to see the little boys’ rooms completed.

Here are a few sneak peeks:


This is a little girl’s room where we used an amazing light fixture as the focal point, and blended just the right shades of pink and green to create a space she loves and her parents can happily live with.



…and this is more of a staging area right now for a bunch of little boy items. Not quite ready yet, but it’s coming together. I do love the rug!


I haven’t taken portfolio pictures in long time, so there are many more to come in the next few months because I’m really overdue with documenting my projects. I’m super grateful for all of my clients – I love them all – and I can’t thank them enough for allowing me to document our projects.

…If you’re interested in working together on one, I’m now booking for 2013!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Mood Boards for Monday!

29 May

I like to share my work on my blog, and there’s nothing I like to share more than the process of design. With many – or even most – of my clients, I like to start off with mood boards. My mood boards are typically the kick-off to a multi-step process, and are usually presented when we’re still getting to know each other. They allow me to get a better handle on my clients’ preferences, and allow my clients to experiment with stepping outside of their comfort zone. Sometimes people go on to buy lots of items that I’ve featured on a mood board. Sometimes we mix the options up and ultimately create a blend of all of the boards. Sometimes they are in love with a particular item that happens to be in price range that is unfathomable, so we use it for inspiration.

This weekend I presented a new set of living room boards to a couple who just purchased a home right outside of the city. I gave them three options, and I’d love to share them with you here. They had a definite, no-contest, absolutely-positively-sure-about-it favorite. Can you guess which one it is?


Here’s the first option:


And the second:


And the third (which was a bonus, as we’d agreed on two):


Which one is your favorite? …and is the same as my client’s?


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Flor is coming to DC!

27 Mar

By now you’ve surely heard of Flor, the modular carpet tile company that is fashionable and reasonably priced.  If not, you’re going to love it. Luckily, you’ll soon be able to check our their wares in person because they are going to be opening a store in Georgetown!

One of my favorites: "Sophistikat," 4 colors, $12.49 a tile (image via Flor)


I have so many good things to say and tips to share about Flor, so here’s my Flor primer…straight from me to you:


The color range is HUGE. You can even shop by color. This is just the color range for one of their popular tiles, called “Toy Poodle.” So many!

(image via Flor)


The pile, well, it’s a bit of a shock to the system for those of you who are used to plush rugs and shags. Though some are thicker than others, Flor tiles are generally less cushy than a true rug. You may want to use them in a playroom, family room, or transitional or utility space and save the plushness for your living room and bedroom. So that’s something to be aware of. As you may expect, the thinner/more industrial the pile the cheaper the tile; the one picture below is just $7.99 (for one)!

"Reverb" in Magenta. (image via Flor)


I love love love how you can just swap one out if it is bears the brunt of a catastrophic spill (pets? kids?…you know what I mean). I recommend them highly for dining rooms, because the pile is low so they easily accommodate chair scoots, and their interchangeability is friendly to spilled red wine/marinara sauce/all that stain-ey stuff.

"Working Class" (image via Flor)


They stick to the floor with little circles of adhesive, and though they can be removed easily they really stay put. They’re only for use on hard surfaces though, so unfortunately, there’s no carpet layering going on with these colorful squares. (Do try a test sticker or contact your flooring manufacturer if you have a laminate…we don’t want any stripping of the finish).


Flor tiles are customizable, which means you can size them into rugs, cut them to make specialty shapes or sizes, and use just a few to create fun runners or entry mats. See?

L: "Parallel Reality" R: "Fedora" (images via Flor)


Until now, when specifying Flor for clients I’ve always ordered samples from the company (they do charge shipping for samples) or used a few that I have on hand to give clients a feel for the tiles. So I am thrilled to be able to hop in my car and head over to Georgetown to see their tiles in person on a more regular basis.

Three cheers for Flor! I can’t wait!


(I rarely say this, but I feel like this is one of those posts that is so gushingly complementary that I need to clearly state: “I was neither compensated nor asked by Flor to write any of this.”)


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Zoo Weekend!

12 Mar

What a lovely weekend this was! My family and I had a great time spending much of it outside, and even managed to squeeze in a long morning trip to the National Zoo!

Are we the only family who can’t ever manage to get a photo of all three of us?

At the zoo, we saw boldly striped zebras

Zebra Sky Papier-Mache Head, Dwell Studio, $76 (image via Dwell Studio)


big, gentle elephants

Antique Art Print, $22 via Etsy seller BlackBaroque (image via Etsy)


and those crazy reminders of dinosaurs long gone: crocodiles!

Maison Crocodile Blue Rug by The Rug Market, staring at $800 (image via Bold Rugs)


We also made chocolate chip cookies (yum!), got some new soccer gear (for the boys, one of whom tried on his first pair of mini cleats!), made it through the headache of day light savings time, and (shudder…) went to Taco Bell for those new Doritos-shelled tacos (don’t judge us).

Hope your weekend was equally relaxing, and that your week is spectacular!


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Jonathan Adler Comes to DC!

5 Mar

I don’t know about you, but I love a little bit of pop, lacquer, and 70s chic in my life. So naturally, I’m thrilled to hear that Jonathan Adler is coming to the Georgetown neighborhood of DC this spring! How did I miss this?

Like this room? The website will point you to everything in it via their "buy this room" tab! Or better yet, you can head to their DC store sometime this year and hunt for the pieces yourself! (image via Jonathan Adler)

Earlier this month, a presentation was made to the Old Georgetown Board by Chris Gray of Cox, Graae and Spack Architects for a building on Wisconsin and N Streets NW, which will be the location of the new Jonathan Adler Furniture store! According to The Georgetown Dish, “Plans to modify the façade included an orange and grey color scheme, raising the canopy and a new awning with signage.” You can read more about the pending fabulousness here.

Just to whet your mod appetite, here are ten stunning and unique picks from Jonathan Adler. Enjoy!


1.) Lacquer Nesting Tables, $995; 2.) Pink and Blue Bargello Zig Zag Pillow, $165; 3.) Scales Duchess Tote, $198; 4.) Greek Key 4 Piece Setting, $50; 5.) Mr. and Mrs. Muse Salt and Pepper Shakers, $48; 6.) Haines Chair in Oslo Sea, $1395; 7.) Syrie Wallpaper, $250/roll; 8.) Zebra Rug, $995; 9.) Bond Console, $3,800; 10.) Rider Tripod Table, $795 (all images via Jonathan Adler)

Just what DC needs! A lot more color, a little more fun, and way less blah. Don’t you agree?


Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Washington Post’s House Calls! It’s My Turn!

1 Mar

I just had the opportunity to be the “designer on call” for The Washington Post’s House Calls column, and it was an absolute blast! You can see my design, which was a sunroom for a family of four in Springfield, VA, here.  This is the lovely illustration of the space, by The Post’s very talented Julius Goyanko.

(image via The Washington Post, illustration by Julius Goyanko, design by Jessica Bonness)


The whole process for House Calls is thorough and interesting, so I thought I’d recap it for you briefly. When I was initially contacted about the column, a room had already been selected for me. I thought this one was a great match that allowed me to engage in one of my favorite types of design: family-friendly. I was able to contact the homeowner, who filled me in on the uses of the room and preferences. In this case, they wanted a place to play, relax, watch television (but they watch television primarily in another room), and sometimes even snack in.

I had a great time selecting all of the child-friendly elements of the room, particularly a table that ultimately wasn’t shown in the drawing (can’t show it all!), that has a durable metal top, casters, and is situated underneath a wall mounted chalkboard. There’s also a book nook with comfy ottomans (that can double as middle-of-the-room seating) in a corner where the wall is painted in wide horizontal stripes to add some visual interest. The ample seating and durable fabrics are well-suited to a large family. The television is amidst a wall-collage that conceals it, but still provides a central view; it’s mounted just over a low media console. The coffee table is a gorgeous play table that features pull our drawers to hold toys, magazines, or whatever else lands there. And finally, there’s some lovely art floating around on all the walls (and all of it is very reasonably priced).  Here is the rough, scaled plan I provided to The Post. 

If it appears there have been some minor layout changes between this and the illustration, there have been. Mostly for purposes of representation. (image via JGB Interiors)


With the plan, I included a key of items that indicated the sources for furnishings, fixtures, and finishes. This is that collage (without the mountains of text; though, if you have a specific source question, feel free to leave a comment or drop me an email).

(image via JGB Interiors)


You may notice that many of the pieces are from children’s stores: Land of Nod and Restoration Hardware Baby and Child in particular. One of the tricks I use often, and certainly did here, is to mix up more expensive pieces (like the media console from Gus Modern) with less expensive, unconventional alternatives (like the art on the wall from Urban Outfitters). It’s a sort of “catalog curating” that is full of style, but costs less than it looks. …and can’t we all appreciate that?

I hope you enjoyed this week’s column as much as I did participating in it! I can’t wait to do it again sometime, and I hope to be one of the DC designers who contributes regularly. Many thanks to Megan and Julius at the Post for a seamless and fun experience!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Another Sneak Peek: A Peaceful Bedroom!

6 Feb

This sneak peek of a calming, green and neutral-toned bedroom is literally just a tiny peek, but I think it’s worth it.

Are you ready?

Ok. Here we go.

First up is the bed: a gorgeous combination of about seven different fabrics ranging from a lovely suzani print to an elegant lattice to velvets to linens to an off-the-shelf Restoration Hardware print that I had cut to use as cording and flange material. (Phew – that was a lot!) The rug is a simple woven jute and wool – and was a steal if you believe it! – and the fantastic patina-finish bed was existing to the client’s home. I am beyond thrilled with the results.


Next up (and last up — I told you it was a super tiny peek) is the fantastic mirror I chose for the wall that is adjacent to the bed. With the reflection of all those perfect textiles in it, it looks, well, perfect!


Pulling together fabric collections is incredibly fun, and satisfying when it turns out well. These photos make me so happy! Thankfully, my client feels the same way (and gets to live in the room)!

Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.

Architecture and Design in the Classroom.

31 Jan

While I was perusing my iPhoto library this morning, I came across photos of the final project I did with elementary school kids back in 2006, when I was still in graduate school and teaching a few afternoons a week at an upper NW charter school for an after-school enrichment program. My class was “Architecture.” That may make you a bit confused, because you see, I’m not an architect. But these kids were eight and they weren’t exactly ready for their M.Arch yet. They were however, eager, focused, sharp, and they impressed me so much with their enthusiasm for learning and their limitless creativity. It took a matter of days before I realized that I could divide them into teams, give them each a box of straws and a handful of rubber bands, and they’d start figuring out how to build stable and structurally sound towers by using trial and error. I didn’t even have to show them first — they got it, and they liked it. Our final project was to build a neighborhood using boxes and “trash” they brought from home – cereal boxes, yogurt cups – the kinds of things that parents of school-aged-children know all about having to save. Their task was also to plan the city so that it made sense and was efficient and safe. Beyond suggesting that they rethink locating the jail next to the neighborhood school, I was able to mostly take a backseat to their ideas; they had good ones. This is what the town ended up looking like:


Finding these images is fortunate timing because I’m starting to think about future classes that I’ll be teaching this year – for graduate students, not kids. As heavy and stressful as that can be, I do love it, and I find that once I get some basic themes and a good structure going I tend to find good ideas for class exercises and projects all over the place. They come in the form of podcasts I hear in the car, rise out of conversations I have with vendors about new products, and they’re always popping up in my RSS-feed. As advanced and worldly as the adult students I now have are, I’ve found that they benefit greatly from some of the same exercises I used to give eight year olds. Not because they’re in need of review or an easy activity to keep busy, but because some of the most creative solutions come when your tasks are fun, open-ended, and colorful. In many ways it’s more challenging to work that way.

Being a designer is great, and being an instructor on top of that is awesome. It’s a complementary pairing, and I feel lucky to be able to do the work that I do. In fact, I’m lovin’ it (…get it?).



Design consultations for all styles and budgets: JGB Interiors.