Pasadena-based interior designer Gail Jamentz founded Soul Interiors Design to create homes that enhance her clients' health and well-being. “Our happiness, productivity, and physical well-being are all greatly impacted by the environments we live and work in, says Gail, and her designs showcase a perfect balance of style, comfort, and functionality.
The designer does an in-depth intake process with each client to understand their needs, lifestyle, and health concerns, if any. She then designs their homes to fit their daily routine perfectly. This client-centric approach results in homes that reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve productivity.
Gail agreed to sit down with me to share about her world of design. So without further ado, please welcome Gail.
Q: You use the phrase “thrive through environment” as your business slogan. Can you elaborate on that?
Gail: Yes. I truly believe that our happiness, productivity, and physical well-being are all significantly impacted by the environments we live and work in. For example, just imagine what your life would be like if you had a beautiful kitchen designed around appliances that promote healthy cooking, a relaxing master bathroom that provides the sanctuary you desire to recharge, or an inspiring home office that supports your productivity, health, and wealth.
These are just a few examples of how your home can be your partner in enhancing your well-being, joy, and prosperity. And how you can thrive through environment if thoughtfully planned.
Q: How do your interior designs enhance or support your clients’ physical and emotional well-being?
Gail: Our client’s tell us their newly designed spaces help reduce stress, make them feel happier, and improve their efficiency quite frequently, and nothing makes us happier to know that we have helped improve someone’s life. This is accomplished through an in-depth, signature client intake process in which we discuss their functional and aesthetic wishes, any health concerns they may have, their lifestyle goals and really get to know their family and values before designing.
Q: What should a person consider when buying/renovating a home in Pasadena?
Gail: If someone is buying in Pasadena, I would suggest they consider the “walkability” of their potential new neighborhood as there are a lot of charming areas in our beautiful city that are next to some wonderful restaurants and stores which is very convenient. I’d also suggest they evaluate if they are up to the challenge of caring for an older, historic home, of which there are many, or if they want the ease and convenience of a new build.
If they are considering renovating a home in the Pasadena area, I would advise that they first do some in person or on-line shopping for plumbing fixtures, appliances, furnishings, lighting, etc., so they have a sense of today’s costs and they approach the project with a realistic budget. Additionally, they should consider investing in a local trade professional such as an architect or designer who can help them select the best licensed general contractor for their type of project and budget. This is a role I often serve in for my clients, and they always appreciate having not just my expertise, but also my network of vetted industry connections.
Q: How do you balance aesthetics with practical design?
Gail: Functionality always comes first when collaborating with a client, and then we make the design aesthetically pleasing. If a design solution doesn’t support our client’s needs and lifestyle, no amount of styling will make it work.
Q: I see a lot of neutral, elegant palettes in your designs. What inspires the color palette you choose for a project?
Gail: Our client’s preferences and home location are always the driving force behind their color palette development. We have found they find inspiration from a childhood memory, a favorite outfit, beautiful serveware, a movie they saw, a hotel they vacationed in; you name it! And then, we refine it and develop their home’s color story. That’s what makes our job fun; every job is unique.
Q: Do your clients inspire the design language you choose for their home? If so, how?
Gail: Absolutely, it is a collaborative process. We work together to create the concept for the space which serves as the anchor, or North arrow, for all design decisions. I learned that early on in my training at UCLA, the concept drives the design decisions.
Q: What is the future of interior design?
Gail: It is a very exciting time to be a part of the design and architecture industry as smart home technology is going to play an even larger role in improving the way we live.
For example, there are some very exciting developments in the kitchen and bath industry which include voice-activated appliances, augmented reality, app-based automatic appliance upgrades requiring no service technician, and the incorporation of biometrics in the home. Our job as designers is to attend trade shows and speak to manufacturers as much as possible to stay abreast of these developments so we can educate homeowners on the options.
Wellness and green design will also be a large part of the conversation going forward as homeowners are more open to these types of discussions as we continue to endure the pandemic, as well as witness the changes in our world’s climate.
As far as remodeling and decorating a home, our industry has some challenges ahead until most likely Spring 2022 as we negotiate supply chain issues involving overseas shipping, understaffed ports, a lack of truck drivers to forward product, increased construction material costs, and closed City Building Departments. All of these factors are contributing to the need for us to think creatively on how we will finish projects this year, as well as manage our client’s expectations.
I do believe there are silver linings in all of these challenges as we have learned to be more streamlined and source more locally.
AA: Thank you for so generously sharing your time, Gail.
Getting to know Gail’s well-being-oriented world of interiors was an absolute joy.