For Jamilyn Fournier, life is—literally
and figuratively—a journey.
By John Roark | Photography by Garrett Cook
The Scottsdale-based interior designer has indulged her passion for travel by exploring the world, traversing borders and immersing herself in cultures in search of truly unique handcrafted treasures. From hand-forged metalwork and gilded serveware to religious antiquities and intricate wood-inlay furniture, each piece in her eclectic boutique, The Collector’s House, tells a tale that is worth listening to. And discovering creative people is what makes the journey so interesting.
“Artisans’ lives have stories, and those stories become part of their work,” she says. “The artists I meet are as fascinating to me as the pieces themselves. I love learning about their experiences and seeing how influences become a tangible expression through what they create.”
Here, Fournier shares insights on taking your interiors from forgettable to fabulous.
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BY EMBRACING DIFFERENCES
Fournier is a proponent of mixing cultures, styles and eras to embolden interiors. “It’s important to be open to diversity,” she stresses. “There are no rules, no formula. It depends on what moves you as a person. Old or new, it’s about scale, proportion and balance. Sleek contemporary lines can be complemented by an intricately carved antique. Too much of one style, color or theme doesn’t work. You can mix power with some bling. But I’m not one to have the whole room be powerful or blingy.”
BUT NOT MONOTONOUS
As a designer, Fournier is recognized for her luxe spaces that exude quiet sophistication and tranquility through a neutral palette. “I don’t do trendy or pretentious, and I’m not about interiors that are loud and over-the-top.
I stay true to classics,” she says. She stresses that quiet colors don’t have to be boring. “It’s very much about the environment that you’re in, the tones you’re choosing and the way you marry them. You can have punch and pow without using a lot of color. Excitement can come from texture. Choose organic materials and intriguing fabrics. Layer and contrast smooth objects and surfaces with shapes and patterns that have a subtle voice. It creates a space that is warm and inviting, like a hug.”
It is human nature to envelope ourselves with objects we love. “Home is where you play, laugh and cry. It’s where you have your memories,” says Fournier. “We need to surround ourselves with comfort and beauty.”
To best display disparate belongings, she recommends letting them breathe. “Adding space and air in between your treasures will help you appreciate them for their beauty,” she says. “Bring freshness into your collection by using risers to create a variety of levels. It’s no different than putting books on a shelf. You can line them up like you’re in a public library. But lay them on their sides, stack them, lean them—suddenly they’re interesting. The movement changes and captures your eye.”
FIND INSPIRATION THROUGH TRAVEL
To explore new ways to infuse your interiors with a breath of fresh air, Fournier believes there is no cure like travel.
“We have to see what is out there, to step beyond the familiar, otherwise we become stale,” she says. “I get my drive, energy and inspiration from others as much as the beauty that is growing in my own backyard. Open your eyes, put your phone down, get into your car and go. There’s a world out there. Breathe fresh air and experience something new. Hike Camelback Mountain, take a weekend drive to the beach, or get on a plane and fly to France. All of those activities help to develop your creativity.”