“Insights Into Design” is a Riggs series on local designers highlighting the process, style, and inspiration that drives impactful design. Each post will feature a local designer and their designs to gain an inside perspective into the work and imagination of their kitchen projects. This edition features the designer Julie Johnson-Holland, of Interior Design by JJH.
Tell us a little about your background. What factors contributed to you becoming a designer? How did you decide to become a designer?
I was raised in Southern California, but have always designed in resort mountain communities. First in Mammoth Lakes, and then in the Truckee/Lake Tahoe area when I later opened my own business. Prior to becoming an interior designer, I worked in retail design where I believe I learned the significance of visual impact and how it can influence a space. I have long had a passion for design, so it was truly just a matter of how it would manifest.
What is your process like when you approach new projects? What would you like new clients to know about your design process?
My goal is to approach each project with a fresh perspective. No two projects are ever quite the same, so I strive to tailor every project to the requests and desires of each individual client. I am looking to develop the clients’ own style, rather than impose a particular style. Discovery is also key to my process–I really invest the time to discover what my clients are looking for in the project they are starting, as well as the small details that have a big impact, such as whether they have children, like to entertain, or enjoy cooking. I am always mindful of each clients’ budget and timeline as well.
How does living in the West Coast affect your design practice and your design thinking?
By nature, California is a relaxed culture. Many of my clients choose to embrace that lifestyle by choosing materials that are durable, wear well, or are reclaimed and therefore already worn–finishes and materials that can withstand an active, outdoor lifestyle. We create spaces that are functional and meant to be lived in. Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove products provide the well-designed, functional, and aesthetic fit for such a high-end custom home. We are also fortunate to have access to many immensely talented local craftspeople which has been an invaluable resource.
Tell us about your 2015-16 Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove KDC entry. How did the addition of Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove enhance the design?
This project is a striking lakefront home, tailored to fit the energetic lifestyle of the family it was built for. The home boasts breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe’s north shore as well as several custom finishes which tastefully complement the Sub-Zero, Wolf, and Cove products. The home offered several unique opportunities to utilize these products not only in the kitchen, but also in the lower level bar, wet bar, and master suite. The appliances were an important consideration from the initial phases of the project, being required to function as a family kitchen, entertain large groups of friends, as well as act as a test-kitchen for creating fun, simple, and healthy recipes to share on the clients’ popular blog.
If you were to give your younger self advice in regards to a career in design, what would it be?
The design advice I would offer my younger self, or anyone pursuing design, is to always channel a timeless look. Trends come and go, but timelessness never goes out of style. This is true for so many elements of design–be it furniture, flooring, lighting, etc.
Tell us something fun about yourself: Any hobbies about with you are passionate? A most recent book that you finished reading? Up next on the Netflix queue?
I spend a lot of time in Mexico which is a vast source of inspiration for me. The art, culture, and history I experience is so stimulating and grounding at the same time. It’s my time to recharge and reflect.