Many of our customers are always looking for the newest trend to try in their homes. In order to keep you in the loop with the latest styles, materials, and aesthetics, we reached out to local interior designer Jana Valdez of Haven Design and Construction. She provides personalized design advice that will make your home feel sophisticated, stylish, and unique. Take a look at the full interview here and be sure to follow Jana on her blog, Facebook, and Houzz.
Please tell us a little about yourself and your business.
I have been an interior designer for almost 15 years. I discovered my passion for design when I renovated my late grandfather’s house during college. That first design project prompted me to make a radical change to my career path. I changed my major from Public Relations to Interior Design at the 11th hour, with only an internship and one college semester left in Public Relations! It was the craziest and best decision that I ever made and I have never looked back. After graduating with a B.S. in Interior Design three years later, I began my design career in Georgia. I also practiced in South Carolina before settling in Texas five years ago. I met my amazing contractor husband in San Antonio and our professions were a natural fit. After a year of marriage, we knew that the next step was to start a business together, specializing in luxury design and remodeling. Our concept was to provide clients with a combined design and construction team to complete every detail of their project from start to finish. At “Haven”, we develop the initial design concept, draw up the plans, demo the existing space, complete all the construction, install the new project and complete all the fine design details. People have embraced the comprehensive design and construction idea and it has really taken off!
What is your thought process when designing for a new client?
When designing for a new client, I enjoy interviewing them to discover how they will use their space, what they love and what they don’t love, and a general idea of what their personal “dream space” would look like in their own mind. The fun part of my job is that each and every person has a distinctly unique dream for their space. It’s my job to play detective and to uncover all the clues that they give me in order to create a beautiful and comprehensive design that’s exactly what they wanted. The name of our business evolved from a desire to create each client’s “personal haven”.
What advice do you have for a homeowner thinking of redesigning?
These days, Pinterest and Houzz make it easy to create an inspiration design board for your project. Start by pinning rooms or photos that you love. Write notes on each photo like, “I really like the floor tile” or “I love the wall color” or “I love everything about this room”! These inspiration boards are invaluable to help your designer to understand your personal style. It also helps them to uncover some common themes that run throughout your photo selections. It’s been so helpful to me to have my clients to do this. I have found that sometimes what “contemporary” means to them may not be what it means to me. Photos are often a much clearer way to communicate than words.
When searching for a designer, read their reviews, look at their project photos online and then call the ones who feel like the best match. Have a phone conversation with each one and see who you “click with the best.” Invite that designer to your home for an initial look at the space and a preliminary consultation. Do you feel like they “get” what you want? Are you comfortable with their personality and fees? What is their availability? How do they communicate with clients throughout the design process? After this process, you should have a pretty good idea who’s the right fit for your project.
What are some design or flooring trends that have been popular in 2017?
Gold accents are back in a big way! Thankfully, it’s not reminiscent of the 1980’s gaudy polished brass. Softer gold accents are extremely popular, with brushed gold or antiqued gold being the shades of choice. As far as flooring trends go, I am seeing a turn away from travertine and brown tile tones. Clients are favoring more whites, grays and neutral color palates. Ease in cleaning has become significantly more important to clients and sleeker less porous surfaces, like ceramic and porcelain have become very popular choices. Hardwood floors are classic and are always a great choice. I don’t see them going anywhere anytime soon.
Can you tell us about a recent project that you loved?
When our young professional clients purchased a new home, they wanted to update the dated brown kitchen cabinets and awkward layout. They requested an elegant kitchen design that would reflect their classically tailored personal style. Their wish list consisted of a custom wood range hood, glass cabinet doors with curved mullions, double ovens and a gas range top. We began by gutting the entire kitchen and rearranging the location of the appliances. Custom white frameless cabinets brighten the space and a new curved wood hood serves as a focal point where there was not one previously. Acacia wood flooring adds warmth and flows between all the downstairs rooms, creating a more open and cohesive design. The kitchen island features a hidden spice rack on one end and a sleek outlet strip on the other end that incorporates a handy USB outlet for charging a phone or tablet. The countertops are Mont Blanc quartzite and the perimeter backsplash features the same material as full height splashes. The crowning touch is the sparkling marble mosaic backsplash that graces the wall behind the range hood.
This classic kitchen design is sure to stand the test of time and is built to serve the needs of this family for years to come. This family was a joy to work with and are thrilled with the results of their kitchen remodel.
Check out the photos here: