a small chat
jill sorensen of marmalade interiors / live.like.you.

Another amazing A SMALL CHAT for you small space dwellers. This one feature the talented and sweet Jill Sorenson, owner of Marmalade Interiors and blog, Live.Like.You. As an interior designer, Jill has such a design eye and a real passion for creating impactful and comfortable spaces for clients. Enjoy her small chat below to hear about her design process, using color in small spaces, her launch of her decor line and how she ended up in the design industry. There are so many great tips here - enjoy them!

You are the owner of Marmalade Interiors, a design firm in Georgetown, DC. I love your story about how you got into the world of interior design...the company that you had hired to do your space, hired you! That is some passion you have for design and feeling good in a home. Can you share more about your love of design and what inspires you? 
Everything pretty much inspires me. Improving someones life by improving their home inspires me, making people happy when they come home from work inspires me, changing someones outlook via design inspires me. Moving someones senses with design inspires me. It's all about helping people and making them happy. I'm by an extremely visual person and I can remember the tiniest design detail or color combination in any space I walk in, and get a gut instinct of what to do or what I think needs to be done. So using that ability to help others makes sense to me.

Aside from a fantastic design portfolio, you also have a popular blog that is full of great ideas, thoughts and your favorite things. I love the title - Live. Like. You. YES! I am true believer in this idea and how important it is to live your best self in your home and in your life. I especially love your PERSONALITY section where you provide entire room inspiration based on emotions (A Happy Home? Yep, I'll take that one. And the gorgeous blue chandelier too) Share your thoughts on "living like you" and what that means.  
LiveLikeYou was created because I wanted to make design available to people who can't afford an interior designer. Most people go to the major retailers when designing a home, PB, Ikea etc. they are not sure what to buy, so they buy something safe..like a beige couch. And they're often insecure about what color to paint the wall, or they don't have time to deal with it- so they pick something safe like beige, or never paint because the simply can't make a decision. And go on living like like every body else... not living like the unique human beings they are!!
Interiors deeply affect your well being and possibly even your future. So I wanted to shake people up, and think outside the box and enhance their lives. Because we are not all the same...so why should we live the same? I think we all would be much happier if we loved where we live.

Starting the design process can often be overwhelming for many small space dwellers - creating a floor plan that works, curating furniture, concepting a color scheme...it's a lot to do in a smaller space. How do you start the design process for some of your smaller scale homes? Can you offer a few tips for small space dwellers on getting the design process up and running going and keeping it going? 
Step 1) Go through what you have. See what you can use, what you can reinvent (paint etc.) and what needs to be thrown away. Clearing clutter is key! Nothing will look good unless you do.

Step 2) Try the pieces you already have in different areas to see where they work best. In a small space let rooms double task. Use a couch at the end of a bed, or a desk at the end of a bed or as a bedside table. Be space efficient.

Step 3) Look at inspiration photos to see what colors and styles you're drawn to.

Step 4) Think Outside of the Box and forget boring design rules. Be creative and organized and allow your space to evolve over time.

I recently started doing Skype Consultations and to go through space and help people create a to-do list. You can make remarkable progress and come up with an entire plan in 2 hours.

You have such an eye for balance, cohesive and accessible design and (my fave) color. What are your thoughts on color in small spaces? How can readers use your awesome COLOR section to concept ideas for their own homes?
Don't be afraid of using color in a small space. A color will make the space feel warmer and more engulfing and perhaps even hide just how small the space is.  The important thing when picking a color is selecting colors that look great together. In all the LLY personalities I've picked wall colors for the rooms that work together nicely to help people with color schemes. If you have selected a wall color and have an accent color you would like to add, I suggest using or color section too see what you can add that gives it that occasional pop of color. I personally love to shop via color, because I believe color is the most important and most fun aspect of design.

Aside from designing gorgeous spaces and keeping up with your community on the blog, you also have launched some new products - congrats! Tell us more about your favorites and why we need to have them in our small spaces.  
Small space should never mean small style. The carpet that comes out next week offers a bold honeycomb pattern in fun colors. I like to call it the perfect Recessionista buy because the carpet offers enough pattern and style for the entire apartment so you can save money on the rest. Mix it with all IKEA and it will make IKEA look expensive. The bedding has the same philosophy. It's graphic and makes all the statement you need in a room, yet versatile in a variation of interiors. Again, I just design what I love, and what I haven't been able to find for the right price. I like things with good quality, fairly affordable with a spunky classic vibe. 

Thank you, Jill!! Check out Jill's work and style at Marmalade Interiors, her fantastic and fun blog, Live.Like.You. and catch her over @livelikeyou

Enjoy over 100 more small space tips in the A SMALL CHAT series, including chats with...

 :: images courtesy of Marmalade Interiors ::



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