Q&A with DE­SIGNER JANET GUST

Décor - - Modern Merger -

Hav­ing had a self-taught dec­o­ra­tor and avid seam­stress as a mother, Janet Gust can’t re­mem­ber a time when de­sign and fash­ion weren’t part of her life.

Q: What ex­cites you about help­ing peo­ple de­sign a home?

A: I love to be the in­ter­preter of my client’s vi­sions, and to tell the story for them, even if they do not know how to get there. It’s im­por­tant to me to de­liver com­fort and dura­bil­ity for a fam­ily, whether they have five dogs and/or three kids. I also love when a client has a col­lec­tion of any­thing to in­spire a project, even if it is just one thing that is spe­cial.

Q: What ma­te­ri­als do you grav­i­tate to and why?

A: I ap­pre­ci­ate fab­rics that are both beau­ti­ful and easy to main­tain, such as those by Peren­ni­als, which of­fer lux­ury and high per­for­mance. Then of course, I love fab­rics that are cou­ture in both de­sign and struc­ture. They are like a fine dress—when they are made of the best fab­rics and are time­less in de­sign, they hold up to the test of time. On an ac­ces­sories front, I try to cu­rate hand­made ob­jects that are one-of-a-kind and that in­ter­est my clients. If a client does not col­lect any­thing, I try to en­cour­age them to start. Even if it is books (which I love).

Q: How do you add depth to a room?

A: I al­ways try to mix new and old items from yes­ter­day and to­day. I love baroque, French, Ital­ian, and mid­cen­tury pieces. I al­ways start a room with an in­spi­ra­tion piece, whether it is art or a fab­ric with great depth from ei­ther a pat­tern or a solid color. I grav­i­tate to items that are de­signed by ar­ti­sans or hand­made as op­posed to ma­chine made or mass pro­duced.

Q: Do you al­ways go bold and in­ject a pop of color in your projects?

A: I al­ways try to find a “wow” in a room—it can be a bold color or fab­ric I start with as in­spi­ra­tion and build on. Each item is then cu­rated with the oth­ers in mind. For ex­am­ple, the idea for the rug in my liv­ing room came to me af­ter the other items were se­lected. I wanted an iconic rug, which is why I opted for one from an artist. The rug’s pat­tern is from a pho­to­graph of a bridge. We had it col­ored to our pal­ette of neu­tral and navy.

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