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CovetED’s Exclusive Interview with Jessica GerstenTuesday 30 January 2018
CovetED’s Exclusive Interview with Jessica Gersten ⇒ Having worked in the fashion industry for several years, Jessica Gersten grew an awareness for colours, fabrics and proportion. In 2008, Gersten founded her own interior design company and through a modern eclectic style, she manages to masterfully combine the use of neutral base colours and organic shapes, as well as ethnic patterns and textures while adding layers of mid-century lighting, bold sculptures and modern furniture designs. She collaborates closely with her clients in order to guarantee that each room evokes an emotion and represents their lifestyle needs. And these are just some of the reasons why her style projects a sense of distinctiveness and versatility.
CovetED Magazine: Being in love with our work is always the key to achieving better results. Are you in love with this job? What do you love most about being an interior designer?
Jessica Gersten: I absolutely LOVE this job. It was a ground-up construction and a huge 100,000 square feet. Each room is so special and so well thought out. I love being a designer because I get into the minds of my clients and try to bring joy and comfort into the home.
CM: Do you have a favourite project or story about one of your projects?
Gersten: Tenafly is hands down my favourite. It’s my largest and most passion-filled. [all pictures on this article belong to this project]
CM: How important is a perfect chemistry between you and your clients to achieve the best results?
Gersten: Chemistry is everything. It’s like dating! If we have a great rapport and similar minds, the results are outstanding.
CM: Do you think working with teams in interior design is better or worse than working alone?
Gersten: Working in a team is better. You bounce ideas off of each other and everybody has something interesting to add to the project.
CM: Keeping up to date with all the trends is essential for anyone who wants to conquer this market. In what ways do you keep current with new trends?
Gersten: Instagram is a major source of trends and staying current.
CM: How would you describe your work style? Do you have any kind of “signatures” that help to identify your projects?
Gersten: I always have something with an organic feeling in all my projects. Free-form, organic shapes and textures are my favourites. Whether a project is earthy or glamorous, I always have organic shapes included.
CM: All artists need some inspiration to work and interior designers are artists too. So, what or who really inspires you?
Gersten: Anything can inspire. A piece of art, a single piece of fabric, any type of beautiful artisanship or architecture.
CM: Choosing the best pieces to compose a project can be the secret to getting the best overall result. Although it seems easy, this is a delicate task and needs full attention on time to execute it. Do you have some tips for those who do not really know how to start a challenge like this?
Gersten: Start with a single piece that you love. A rug, a table, a sofa. If you are passionate about the starting piece, the rest will come. Keep adding on with the same passion.
CM: What are your favourite brands, those that can never be missed in one of your projects?
Gersten: Minotti, M2L, B&B Italia, Kyle Bunting and, of course, Boca do Lobo and Covet Group.
CM: How did you get involved in the interior design industry?
Gersten: I had a passion for antiques. I came from a fashion background but spent all my time searching for antiques and helping my friends design their homes. Then, I thought to try it as a business. Texture, proportion, colour – all the same principals as fashion.
CM: What brands/designers do you work with?
Gersten: Holly Hunt, Holland and Sherry for fabrics. Collected By, Roll and Hill for lighting.
CM: What is your philosophy in design and life?
Gersten: There is always the feeling of a moment. Sometimes it’s hard edge. Sometimes it’s fluidity. Things just feel right when they feel right.
⇒ Related Article: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: BOCA DO LOBO TALKS ABOUT DESIGN WITH ATTITUDE ⇐
CM: How can you characterize your potential client?
Gersten: Seeing their existing homes tells me a lot! And I always start a project by having clients show me pictures of what they “love”. That tells me what I need to know. Then it’s a personality match.
CM: Is there anything exciting that you are working on at the moment that you can tell us about?
Gersten: A beautiful prewar apartment on Central Park West in Manhattan. Another home in Tenafly, NJ, but with a totally different feeling than that one.
CM: Where do you prefer to spend your leisure/holidays?
Gersten: I love Tulum and some (unknown) places in Mexico for their relaxed vibe, beautiful beaches and outstanding food.
CM: What types of countertop materials do you use to design a kitchen?
Gersten: I like to use marble. But it’s not for everybody. There are some quartzites I’ve discovered which look just like marble and super durable.
CM: What is an interior design style you dislike?
Gersten: French country.
CM: Give me an example of an important goal you set for yourself and tell me about your progress in reaching that goal.
Gersten: To get featured in a magazine. It just happened and I got the cover!
CM: What has been the best career or life advice that you have received and what could you offer others?
Gersten: Keep thinking ahead.
CM: What’s next? Where do you see yourself and your firm in the next few years?
Gersten: Possibly extending into an online shopping venture.
CM: How did your childhood influence the designer you are today? Did your family help to foster this creativity or was it innate?
Gersten: I was always into fashion and style. Whatever trend was happening, I was on it.
CM: How would you describe your personal decorating style?
Gersten: It changes. But electric modern is always a constant.
CM: What has been your greatest accomplishment as a designer? What goals do you have for the future?
Gersten: Building this business from one client to a sustainable business with hopes to expand into other avenues of income.
⇒ Related Article: READ AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH RENOWNED DESIGNER CHRISTOPHER GUY ⇐
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