10 Questions

Ask the Designer: Jill Metzler-Wiese

From staff reportsDecember 14, 2012 

Jill Metzler-Wiese of Just Jill! Interiors.


Jill Metzler-Wiese

Just Jill! Interiors in Durham



Your design philosophy in 10 words or less: Don’t love it? Don’t live with it.

Best way to dress a mantel:Clean it off and keep it simple. Fireplaces are a great architectural detail that need very little to make them come alive. For Hanukkah: Simple white candles placed in clear, silver and blue glass. For Christmas: Stockings can be nestled in a bed of pinecones and apples. For Kwanzaa: A kinara can replace the stockings on Dec. 26.

Best decor bargain you ever scored: Child-sized leather chair and ottoman that looked exactly like the one I bought his dad. Dad’s was real leather, made in Asheboro and will last forever, while Mini Me’s was wipeable leather-like plastic made in the Pacific Rim and will be replaced after he outgrows it. Both pieces cost $18, including tax.

Every guest room should have: A comfy bed that’s easy to get into at night and make in the morning (Translation: Let’s not get crazy with throw pillows!), a place to put their stuff so they don’t have to live out of a suitcase and an uncluttered night table with a good reading light.

How I turned a decor miss into a decor hit: A bad use of good space is a pet peeve of mine! Many downsizing empty nesters have what I like to call a “slash” room – that is office/guest room. One client had a twin bed and a small desk in their slash room too small for either function. I designed a Murphy bed to cover much of the wall space and included a dresser with lighted makeup mirror, built-in bookshelves, a large workstation, room for a fax and a printer. The bed folds down to reveal great art, two swing-out lamps and a shelf that doubles as a night stand.

Favorite design blog: ABC News “Made in America” and “Green Source.”

Your design inspiration: I use the homeowner’s. Try to do the same. Look at the space from a practical-use standpoint. Family needs and styles change about every five years. I tell people to re-evaluate their lives and needs – has a spouse come in or out? A child? Grandchild? Are you home more? Do you have a new hobby? Your space will need to change along with yur life.

Best idea for low-cost holiday centerpiece: For Christmas Eve, cut off the lowest branches of your Christmas tree. Lay them down the center of the table and pepper it with gold and silver ornaments and red votive candles. For Hanukkah, pick up mirrors of different sizes and shapes as well as some white or blue votives to sit atop.

Biggest design no-no: Knick-knack overload. It’s very easy to go from accessorizing to being on an episode of “Hoarders.”

My best tip for do-it-yourself designers: There’s a fine line between following a trend and throwing your money away on a fad. Invest in a comfortable, North Carolina-made sofa. Paint, pillows, art and even reupholstering are a more cost-effective way to follow a trend and not end up with a budget-busting tangerine leather sectional sofa.

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