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Talking Interior Design with Rebecca Jansma

Moodboard featuring Pony Rider rug, Wilfred sofa, Stanley side table and Alby ottoman from Jardan and One Fine Print of cabbage - Graze IV by Mark Lobo

Who are you and what are you about? 

I’m Rebecca Jansma, designer and creative director of Space Grace & Style. (Instagram @rebeccjansma)

We’re a small interior design studio, working across residential, commercial and hospitality.

I came to this career after an initial career in Medicine – I was a Haematologist; and then mining… that’s a subject for another blog!

Although I loved what I did, I never lived and breathed it as I do with interiors. One of my great mentors in life used to say “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”. I don’t think I fully understood that until I started to do this work. It’s the hardest and most complex work I’ve ever done but the most rewarding. I have a short attention span, so the ever-changing nature of this work suits me perfectly. The best part is seeing the finished project and the pleasure a well-executed space brings to people.

Describe your design style.

My style is simple and relaxed; personal and not prescriptive. I design for longevity and want to create spaces that people and families love and enjoy; spaces that enhance our experiences and create memories.

I select finishes and furnishings based on aesthetic appeal and never on what seems to be the current trend… although they can sometimes overlap!

I have a great weakness for beautiful craftsmanship in all it’s forms and try to impress that on my clients as well.

What is your favourite place to find inspiration?

Nature is my muse and the colours, forms and textures in the natural environment are a constant source of inspiration to me. Time alone in a wild place is my luxury; my whole life – now that I think of it – has consisted of periods of intense and committed work with breaks of relative solitude in crazy isolated and often extreme places.

What is your design motto or mantra that you try and live by?

My main motto is “just be nice”, it’s pretty simple, and the rest follows really!

There are few mantras! My clients laugh at me…

“Buy the best and you only cry once…”

“Learn all the rules, and then break them…”

“Deals come and go…”

“Pay me the money and let me do my job…”

“Yeah yeah, no…”

“The best things in life are free, the second-best are very expensive…”

“A little bit of what you fancy does you good…” this one is from my grandmother, who I blame for my ridiculously expensive taste in things.

What would be your absolute dream project?

I’ve long held a dream of designing and fitting out a small luxury hotel – where luxury is my understanding of the word – wilderness! Of course, it would be filled with the most beautiful things; lots of textiles, a divine mixture of furniture, antiques and art work. But not your typical five-star destination. I have the ideas, the team’s in place – I’m good to start right away, just need the go ahead from a fabulous, trusting client!

interior designer rebecca jansma portrait

How important is art in a space?

Art is non-negotiable for me.

In fact, the feel of a space and the colours will often start with the art. Artists have the best way with colour – much better than I could ever come up with – it’s a talent that I believe you can’t teach. I’ve also recently discovered the concept of dynamic symmetry and how it applies to all photography, art and everything really!

What advice would you give to a client when choosing art for their home?

I’m constantly sourcing art for clients, or arranging existing collections in spaces. My main rule for art work is that you must respond to it on a visceral level.

The best art you can’t stop thinking about, you will look at it every day, and it will make your life better!

Art has the ability to take you to another place emotionally, and for that reason is such a personal experience. All I can do is guide clients towards what I feel is right for the space, although I admit it’s often very synergistic and more often than not we agree on the same pieces and it’s selected easily.

Which is your favourite One Fine Print and why?

My long-time favourite One Fine Print is Watermarks by Paul Hoelen.

I was attracted to the colours, the non-geometrical geometry and the slightly abstract nature of the piece.

I loved it when I first saw it and love it still – my heart skips a beat. I guess it represents nature at one of it’s beautiful extremes.

My second favourite is Timepass by Emma McEvoy.

I’m having a moment with terracotta and this is perfection. The graphical elements of the shadows; the simple yet complex nature of the subject is mesmerising and to me, brilliantly executed.

Can you share a mood board including a One Fine Print and explain what/why you put together?

This is a mood board we prepared for a wonderful, colour-loving client. The starting point was actually the Rug Collection rug from a limited-edition range – this one by Pony Rider. We paired it with the divine Wilfred sofa, Stanley side table and Alby ottoman from Jardan. This One Fine Print piece – Graze IVby Mark Lobo – unites the scheme in a really exciting way.

Moodboard featuring Pony Rider rug, Wilfred sofa, Stanley side table and Alby ottoman from Jardan and One Fine Print of cabbage - Graze IV by Mark Lobo

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