Jennifer Russell, interior designer, has a knack for beautifying the home. The extremely talented Ole Miss alum has a passion for her profession. HottyToddy.com’s Steve Vassallo sat down with Russell to discuss how her passion began with her mother’s influence.
Vassallo: Jennifer, how did your passion for Interior Decorating actually begin?
Russell: Growing up in Holcomb, Mississippi there was always an interior designer at our home. My mother greatly influenced me as she also had a strong interest in this area. My first major project was designing my dorm room in Martin.
Vassallo: Do you have a signature style?
Russell: I do not. I prefer to take what style my clients like and maximize their choices as to selecting the very best options.
Vassallo: What would you say is the number one thing that you are asked about?
Russell: Fresh ideas! I get involved in assisting clients with little things to designing homes from the ground up. Selecting fixtures, faucets, lighting and overall design are just a fraction of the areas that I become involved.
Vassallo: What would be a realistic budget for a client to redesign just one room?
Russell: This could vary tremendously working within the client’s budget. It could range anywhere from $1,000 to $25,000 or even greater depending upon a range of variables. Little things, however, can make a huge difference. One of my favorite sayings…”There are areas in which to save and then there are areas to splurge.”
Vassallo: What are currently the most popular colors for interior walls?
Russell: Here in Mississippi, I would say whites and grays. We are seeing a major trend, however, with color returning with a vengeance.
Vassallo: Do you not also have an art degree from Ole Miss?
Russell: Yes I do. My passion for art and decorating continued through college and into adult life. Being a member of the Kappa Delta sorority also allowed me in meeting friends who became a great support system and encouragement in starting my own business.
Vassallo: What are today’s feelings toward wallpaper?
Russell: Wallpaper is huge! Not every wall has to be painted the same color. Typically, the two top areas for wallpaper are powder rooms and foyers. Even dining rooms, as well as other rooms of the home, can be well served with wallpaper.
Vassallo: What can you recommend to clients who want to make
a major difference in their home inexpensively?
Russell: From rearranging a few pieces of furniture, decluttering, or fresh coat of paint can have a significant impact. Also, little things such as throw pillows and new accessories can give a room a fresh, new look.
Vassallo: Any suggestions/ideas for front doors?
Russell: I spent one whole year designing my front door as I wanted a center doorknob. This was quite a challenge! It actually depends upon the design of the home as what is best to do and remaining consistent with that design.
Vassallo: Should one’s artwork match the furnishings?
Russell: A consistent flow is the best approach.
Vassallo: What is the most challenging aspect of designing a home?
Russell: Undoubtedly the available budget when one is presented a lower number that is sometimes unrealistic. I do love a challenge and find these type projects ones that make me think outside of the box. Also, there’s the challenge when the husband and wife have completely different ideas. In those instances, I like to present “idea boards” where basically on one sheet of paper, images and room renderings can be presented highlighting different options.
Vassallo: Where do you obtain your inspiration?
Russell: Little things can spark an idea. I study a great deal and utilize social media regularly to acquire new and exciting ideas. I keep up with current trends and have a great network of reps who help me stay on top of things.
Vassallo: For anyone desiring your expertise and services, what is the easiest and best way to reach out to you?
Russell: Via Facebook at JenniferRussellInteriorDesigns / Instagram @jenniferrussellinterios or simply calling me at 662-417-0770.
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. Currently, Steve is an active Economic Development Consultant working with communities globally who lives in Oxford with his wife Rosie. You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.