Fort Wayne, Indiana has a knack for style, and interior designer Jamie Larkin enjoys helping people make their homes reflect their own personal tastes. The Design Studios at Furniture Row help personalize each and every customer’s shopping experience to ensure that every space is everything the client wanted and more. Today, we go behind the scenes to see what makes this decorating guru tick! Meet Jamie Larkin!
Front Door: How do you describe your signature design style?
Jamie Larkin: I enjoy the diversity of each design project, however my personal taste is usually a bit more risky. I would describe my signature design style as Scandinavian glam. I like to start with a mix of natural and painted wood anchored with some great modern leather furniture, draped with a fabulous plush fur. Mix in a few metallic lamps and accessories such as some colorful kids’ art or a rug. This is one of my favorite aesthetics.
FD: Where do you draw the most inspiration for fall decor?
JL: Without a doubt it’s the beautiful fall foliage. I enjoy hiking and biking, and it’s even more spectacular as fall comes into full bloom. The contrasting and complementary colors of fall inspire creativity and make me happy.
SHOP THE LOOK: Aria Sectional and Ottoman (1), Pacific Heights II Pick-Shaped End Table (2), Bell Jar Table Lamp (3), Special Order Rug (4), Oki Vases (5), Harper Glass Table Lamp (6), Aurora 10 Drawer Chest (7), Pacific Heights II Sofa Table (8), Splitter Splatter Canvas (9), Galvanized Plant Stands (10), Grayson Accent Chair (11), Pacific Heights II Bookcase (12), Facet Vase (13)
FD: Do you have any tips for decorating or updating your home for the cooler months?
JL: Here are a few simple things you can do to create a more cozy and festive environment:
- Change out your throw pillows for something more seasonal to set the mood.
- Find some fun metallic or natural stone coasters, which can add color or sparkle to your space.
- Add a string of white lights on a mantel or ledge for a soft touch of ambient lighting.
- Choose one of our electric fireplaces and add to any room for the warm glow of a hassle free faux fire.
- Layer your furniture with real furs or faux fur throws, creating a cozy touch of luxury.
For a more budget-friendly approach try one or all of the following:
- Bring home some raw wood from outside. Birch wood is fabulous! Pick two nice branches, cut them into three pieces and bundle them with string or ribbon. You can then stand them on end by a front door, fireplace, or display them in one of our many baskets.
- If you can’t replace your pillows or you are short on storage, you can buy some cut yardage and create a temporary pillow cover with a more festive look.
- Add candles of all shapes and sizes. These are an inexpensive way to bring warmth and romance into any room.
FD: What color, pattern, or texture do you find yourself turning to again and again? Why are you drawn to them?
JL: I love real fur, leather, stone, and raw woods. I am drawn to the uniqueness of each piece because there is not one alike. My many trips to Norway have definitely influenced my romance with these natural elements. I am particularly drawn to the blue pine. Its color is a result of a little beetle that ends up killing the tree. However, it produces some fascinating shades of blue and blue-gray throughout the wood. It is simply gorgeous! And can be used in furniture and every type of building project you can imagine.
FD: What element of a room do you recommend starting with and why?
JL: As a general rule, I recommend starting with the larger upholstered furniture pieces as a foundation. This is important because you are limited on your fabric selections and this is normally where you spend the greater portion of your budget. Also the comfort and fit of the furniture may determine the selection and ultimately influence the style. We have access to all of our rug vendor styles so you literally have hundreds of colors and styles to choose from, and with our new custom rug program anything is possible! Tables, lamps, and accessories are easy picks once your larger items have been established.
FD: What’s your favorite space in your own home?
JL: My family room. I adore a real wood fireplace, so naturally that’s where I will be spending time with my family in the cold months ahead. Plus, it houses some of my favorite furniture pieces and kids’ art.
FD: Do you currently have any projects to share with the Front Door?
JL: Yes, I have several awesome projects that I am currently working on.
- Project #1: I was recently given some beautiful black walnut from some dear friends. I am having a tabletop made from it that will have a live edge on both sides. I will actually be attaching some steel hairpin legs to complete the look. This is part of my new kitchen remodel!
- Project #2: I have decided to repurpose a pallet to use over my sofa in the family room. This will serve as a backdrop/frame for my children’s art work. This way I can change it out as each masterpiece is created and give everyone a chance in the spotlight.
FD: Do you see any trends forming this fall, leading into winter?
JL: Accessories, blues, plaid, and fur are at the top of my list this season.
- Accessories! Chunky cable knit scarves and sweaters complete your personal look, and cable knit blankets, throw pillows, and poufs add a cozy element to your home.
- Navy, midnight blue, and ink colors are still on the move and work well with all the bling that hangs around for the holidays.
- Plaid is also making its debut in the fashion industry, branching out from its usual marriage with cowboy boots and hats, and taking a more refined approach in scarves, tunics, skirts and dresses. You can also find touches in home accessories.
- Real, as well as faux fur throws and pillows cozy up your family room, den, or bedroom.
FD: Anything else we should know about you?
JL: I am blessed to spend time each year in the oldest city in the United States – St. Augustine, Florida. Its beautiful cobblestone roads and coquina architecture takes you back to a simpler life. For me this is my home away from home and my place to relax and unwind. Thankfully, it survived Hurricane Matthew.
I have been vacationing there since I was a child. When walking the beach and shell hunting, I would try to find the most perfect shells, throwing back any that were broken or marred. After losing both of my parents to illness and getting older myself, my perspective has drastically changed. Now when shell hunting, some of my most favorite finds are the shells that are broken and marred. They have been changed by the water and sand constantly beating and breaking them down. They have been transformed into something so different and unique. I now see the beauty in the imperfection of these broken shells…perfection is truly in the eye of the beholder.