Here on the JMI blog, our content is often inspired by questions we get asked on a regular basis. We love using this platform to share the “why” behind our work, and today we’re talking about the concept of a signature style. I’m frequently asked to describe our studio’s aesthetic in a few words, and in phase one of a new project, we even ask our clients to do the same. But here’s the thing: narrowing down our work to a single category is nearly impossible from our perspective as designers. Over the years, we’ve worked with enough clients (and in our own homes!) to know that there are a million factors that go into the ‘style’ of our work.
That being said, we have identified a few key factors that remain consistent across each JMI project. These factors help us determine the overall direction of space and are the foundational elements of our signature style.
Project Beard Avenue | Photography: Amanda Marie Studio
We’ve found that the most influential and consistent factor in all of our work is the architecture of the home. Our projects run the gamut of styles—from a minimal new build nestled in the mountains to an early 1900s bungalow in an urban Minneapolis neighborhood. Whatever the circumstance, the age and general style of the home impacts our selections. Sometimes our job is to infuse a little character and warmth and sometimes our job is to support and not detract from the existing, which is generally the case with older homes. Either way, we’ve found that each home has a way of speaking to us, and we always let that guide our work.
Project River Road Remodel | Photography: Amanda Marie Studio
Client Wish List
Once we have the influence of the architecture nailed down, our job is to listen to our clients. We love getting to know what a client wants out of their property, which helps guide our selections from the very start. Some clients are most interested in design-forward pieces, some prioritize a durable family-friendly home, and others want to build a home to primarily host and entertain. No matter our clients’ end goal, we are there to help guide finishes to create a space that’s well-considered and comfortable down to every last decision.
When it comes to the selections, there are a few factors that make up our overarching aesthetic. We love a neutral palette infused with interesting shapes, saturated colors, loads of texture and items with a story. If we’re stuck, we often start with the large pieces of a space (most often the rug) and use that to anchor our work. We find that it’s easiest to find paint and fabrics to match our rug selection, but it’s much trickier the other way around. Similarly, if we’re using wallpaper in a room, we'll start with the paper selection and work backward from there.
Project Elliot Avenue | Photography: Amanda Marie Studio
Our Core Values
Our signature style is also housed in our core values as a studio. We’re passionate about socially conscious sourcing (meaning lots of vintage and smaller makers!), natural materials are supreme, and less is often more. We do a lot of custom pieces and believe in the beauty of handmade heirlooms that last a lifetime.
Our Senior Designer, Laura, has a phrase about “getting to know what each room wants to be,” and I think that’s the perfect way to describe our signature style. At the end of the day, we simply don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach. Each one of our spaces is a unique reflection of our clients and the larger story of their home.