Colorful Living

Interior designer Janie Molster gives a talk at The Woman’s Club about her new book.

If you’re struggling with design inspiration and direction, all you have to do “is look in the mirror.” Southern designer Janie Molster’s new book House Dressing: Interiors for Colorful Living (Monacelli Press) gives an in-depth look at her design style and the houses she’s worked on—many situated right here in Virginia. At a recent event hosted by The Woman’s Club of Virginia, Molster discussed her methods and her own inspirations (mainly found in 70s fashion) in her unique and chic style. Not only is she a sought-after voice in the media, but she is a mother of five and is mindful in her designs of this fact. She notes that you should “keep rooms accessible and welcoming to every generation, equally child-friendly and parent-approved.” This is just the tip of the paintbrush when it comes to good design advice.

As in her book, Molster began the talk with her design choices for her own home in Richmond, Virginia. If you failed to notice from the first few pictures, one of her favorite colors to use is pink (though she wore a black-and-white patterned dress at the event). Pink curtains, pink paintings, pink pillows, pinkish refrigerator door, and even a pink window bay. “For a big splash of color, you can ensure equilibrium in the room by mirroring it elsewhere through a smaller portion,” Molster states. And she does this dynamically in her house as well as in her clients’ houses (thankfully not always in that sweltering shade).

When designing for others, this Richmond-based designer says to look inside and to project what you are already comfortable with outward. She delightfully muses, “So much can be gleaned about your preferences from how you present yourself to the world … your muse may be no further than your reflection.” Whether the client is a meditation teacher or a doctor, Molster mixes what they have and what they might not have thought to get in sometimes incongruous ways. However, she is not striving for perfection, she is striving for fun and function. “I want people to have fun with their homes. There has to be something irreverent and playful and wrong in each room,” Molster says. Always creating a space to allow for multiple people, multiple personalities, multiple purposes, Janie Molster allows not only her steadfast savior faire but the house’s history to speak.


Look for more of Molster’s work in our next issue, coming November 1.

Konstantin Rega
A graduate of East Anglia’s renowned Creative Writing MA, Konstantin’s been published by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Poetry Salzburg Review, www.jonimitchell.com, the Republic of Consciousness Prize (etc.). He contributes to Publisher Weekly and Treblezine.
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