Today, we would like to share more on the women Behind the Design, Jane-Marie Bloomberg of Embellishments Design Studio!
My start in design may have been around 9 years old when I would ask to rearrange and clean my friends’ rooms if we got bored – I’m sure their parents loved that. Or maybe it was scouring for antiques with my parents and creating little vignettes with my finds at age 13. But professionally, after a career in finance and retail buying, I decided to follow my passion and launched my design business in 2001. I put my home on the Minneapolis/St. Paul Home Tour which landed me the opportunity to do a few episodes on an HGTV show. I primarily focused on custom window treatment design and fabrication but soon was offering custom furniture selection, floor plans, paint consultations and more.
Jane-Marie’s concept for the space was to keep it cozy and kid-friendly but with an upscale bed & breakfast feel. Overall a very warm and serene space.
Q. Was there a specific thing or person who inspired the design concept for this project?
“From the beginning, I could tell how passionate the owner, Amy Johnson-Grass, was about her business and how important it was to create a warm, caring, safe environment for the families who would utilize the center. We really worked in tandem to create a place that represents her vision. What also inspired me was the idea that this was a center for parents-to-be first more so than a place for kids like a pediatric clinic would be, so I took the idea of the primary colors – colors you think of as the “kid” colors – and tweaked them to be more adult-friendly: Red became spice red, blue became robins egg blue with a hint of turquoise, yellow became mustard yellow, etc.”
Q. What was the most challenging aspect of this project?
We wanted to create a space that looked and felt like a home but would withstand the wear and tear of a medical clinic. We were on the hunt to find just the right Crypton fabric that would feel soft and inviting. We wanted the moms-to-be to feel like this was their home away from home, so we gave it a bed and breakfast kind of feel, but using eco-friendly fabrics as much as possible that were also fire retardant was important to us as well.
Q. How long did the process take? What steps are involved in a public space project? How is that different from a residential home?
The total process, from a design standpoint, took about 16 months. We originally met in Sept of ’09 and furniture was getting delivered from Dec – Feb for Phase I.
Phase II carried us through the summer and then we had odds and ends to do until the following Dec in 2010.
A lot had happened before I came into the picture. The owner had worked with an architect and a contractor to built out the space, so I was responsible for finish selections and soft furnishings. Getting buy-in from staff as well as the owners, learning how the facility operates on a daily basis, understanding their clientele – all of this information is similar to what goes into designing spaces for a residence.
However, in those situations, it’s on a smaller scale – a family of 4 needs to be serviced rather than an entire community. The fact that we wanted this to feel like a home allowed us to treat this much in the same way as a residential project with just a few more bells and whistles in place in order for it to withstand the wear and tear of being a public space.
Q. What is your favorite element in this space?
So many favorite things – the custom artwork that tells the story of new life beginning, the cute, cute, cute bench sofa in the prenatal room, the way we honored the traditional elements of the architecture yet brought in a nice transitional look with the furniture to appeal to today’s parents, and then the vibe you get from the space – it’s like going to someone’s house where everything is picked up and clean and nothing is out of order – just ready for you to be welcomed.
Q. Who is your favorite Twin Cities based-artist? Why?
After finding Candice Simpson through Artful Decor (more on them this week!), who did a phenomenal job on the pieces in the birthing suite, I was challenged to find another artist that was unique enough AND who could liven up the waiting areas where more toddlers and younger kids pass through.
I searched high and low for Berry Holz. I think I looked through about 80 different artists on the Northeast Minneapolis Art Directory before finding her work. Her art is like nothing I’ve seen before. Her pieces have a playfulness that was so right for the public spaces. I’m actually working with her on a baby nursery right now.
I also love Ernest Miller’s pottery. Every home should have a piece of his work – it is so beautiful and fluid.
Photos Courtesy: Gwendolyn Waite Photography
TOMORROW Part 3 of 4! – Shop Local with Artful Decor