Interviews

Jaclyn Peters on Design as a Hobby Turned Career

6/5/2019

Ever since we discovered Jaclyn Peters' Instagram feed a few months ago, we have been obsessing over every space she designs. We chatted with the self-taught interior designer and mother of two about what it looked like to get to where she is in her career, where she draws inspiration from, and what her room she designed as a teenager looked like. (Hint: it involved eggplant colored walls). If you do any form of self-care today, it should be going and treating yourself to Jaclyn's swoon-worthy feed.

Shop Jaclyn Peters' Faves

 

Valarie Poster Bed

$2,990 to $3,450

 

You have your own design firm. Tell us a little about how you got started and how it has evolved over the last 12 years since starting it. 

I do! I'm so thankful that I get to do what I love every day, but it definitely didn’t start that way.  I’ve always been obsessed with interior design (even as a young girl), and always loved rearranging my bedroom and flipping through shelter magazines.  I really got to dabble in interiors though when my husband and I bought a fixer upper in 2006. Our home was built in 1971 and is a mid-century ranch style. It needed a TON of work, and there’s nothing like gutting and renovating a house with a 15-month-old and 3-month-old, right?! I absolutely loved the process though, and it really kicked off my career.  Friends and family started asking if I could help with their projects, which I did on the side as I had a day job working in accounting (so completely opposite from anything creative!!), and then I went out on my own full-time in 2011.  Overall, the last two years have been the most amazing. My business grew so quickly after I showcased a few big projects on Instagram, and I’ve been scrambling to keep up ever since! I recently hired a Marketing/Social Media Manager and a Design Intern, which have both been life savers.  I’m exactly where I’ve always dreamed of being in my career and I’m constantly pinching myself.

You live in Manitoba, Canada. What’s your favorite thing about living there?

The Canadian Prairies really are a lovely place to live.  We don’thave mountains or ocean outside our door but we have 4 distinct seasons, a family cottage only 2 hours away on a beautiful lake, and we are lucky enough to be able to travel quite often when we are feeling adventurous.  But by far the best thing about living here is the people. My parents and in-laws live a short 5 minute drive away, we have siblings close by, friends that we have known since we were teenagers, and all of these people have helped us raise our two daughters.  Nothing could beat those relationships….although living somewhere that didn’t get down to -40 in the winter would come close!

Your designs have a fresh, modern take to them. What do you want someone to think or feel when they see the spaces you have designed?

Thank you so much!  For me, 95% of design is how you feel when you’re in the space. I’m a self proclaimed Homebody, so having a beautiful, functional, well-designed home is incredibly important to me.  My home is my sanctuary, and I want my clients to feel the same about their homes. My ultimate goal for every project is for my clients to feel relaxed, safe, and proud of their spaces.  A place that brings them joy and a place to share with the people they love the most.

What is your favorite space in your home?

Our home was built by a Naval Officer and he designed the living room in the shape of a bow of a ship.  It has this beautiful v-shape at one end with a vaulted ceiling and massive windows that look out over our yard which has the most beautiful 50 year old trees.  There is a woodburning masonry fireplace that follows the same v-shape and is clad in locally sourced field stone, all original to the home. My favorite times in our home are cozying up on the sofa with my husband and two girls, a fire blazing, and nothing on the agenda.

How would you describe your style in terms of design?

I get asked this question a lot and I always struggle with how to answer! My favorite part of my job is getting to create homes in so many different styles.  Mid-century, traditional, tudor, it’s what keeps me engaged and eager to try new ideas! I definitely can’t choose one over the other but I recently made a client presentation and described the direction as casual, collected, luxury.  I think that pretty much nails my aesthetic.

Aside from designing, what are a few other things you are passionate about?

I’m a voracious reader and I read every night to wind down before I go to sleep.  It’s my meditation time really, to unplug and have some me time. I love to travel with my family and am always planning our next trip.  I can’t live without yoga and I love to cook when I have the time. And of course I love spending time with my girls. Being a teenager is TOUGH and I’m trying my best to stay connected and keep them talking to me and sharing their triumphs and struggles.  I’m obsessed with those two.

When you were younger, what would your dream childhood room have looked like?

Oh, I HAD my dream bedroom!  When I was 15 or 16 my mom let me design my own room.  It had eggplant purple walls, a black iron canopy bed, ar ust colored duvet cover with yellow and purple flowers on it with purple piping, and a yellow bed skirt.  I mean can’t you just picture it??  It was hideous but at the time I thought it was the prettiest room I had ever seen.

When you are feeling uninspired, where do you go for inspiration?

Traveling is one of my biggest sources of inspiration.  I’m obsessed with hotel and restaurant design and spend hours searching out the most well-designed spots wherever we happen to be going.  And of course I’m incredibly inspired by other designers around the world. I’m constantly amazed at the talent out there and the incredibly designed spaces that I’ve been seeing lately!  I love the lack of rules these days in the design world. Anything goes when it’s well put together!

On top of running your business, you also have two daughters. What are some of your best tips you have learned for a healthy balance between work and life?

Oh the elusive work/life balance. Sometimes I wonder if there’s such a thing. There is always some mom guilt when I’m working late, or can’t sit at their swim practices, but they both know how fiercely loved they are, and that’s really what kids need the most, right? My girls are old enough now to be really supportive of my career, and I love that they get to see me working hard to accomplish my dreams.  When the mom guilt is feeling extra heavy I try to remind myself that I’m teaching them a really valuable lesson in that. My husband is also my biggest cheerleader, and I really couldn’t do life without him.


When do you feel satisfied with a project?

When it looks like it belongs in a magazine!!  Ha! Luckily the majority of my clients hire me for full-service design.  Getting to choose every single finish for a build or reno, plus every piece of furniture, and piece of decor, puts me in my happy place.  Being able to style out the home in the exact way I had envisioned in my brain is a feeling like no other for me. Seeing my designs comes to life is incredibly rewarding.

What’s next for you and Jaclyn Peters Design?

I currently have a bunch of projects wrapping up this summer that I’m super excited to share. Each one has been incredible and there’s nothing quite like seeing all of the hard work come to life! On a daily basis I’m focused on keeping all the moving parts of my business going (and there’s a lot of moving parts). I’m learning and growing everyday and just happy to be doing what I’m doing – creating, designing, and dreaming up new ideas. I absolutely love my job and feel so lucky to have projects continue to come my way!


Photos by Arianna Tennyson

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