Timeless, sophisticated, full of texture… these are all words that ring true in every space that Joyce Downing Pickens, Founder of JDP Interiors, adds her pretty touch to. She strives to create beautiful, comfortable and textural spaces—including this Palisades beaut we’re touring today. With a perfect blend between vintage and modern, your eye will move around on Amy Bartlam‘s images, jumping from one thoughtfully curated detail to the next.
Not only are we getting a peek inside this stunning home, we’re also sitting down for an interview with Joyce where she’s letting us in on what her ‘design style cocktail’ is, how many projects she takes on a year, her process, valuable lessons she’s learned as a biz owner and so much more.
How did you get your start as an interior designer? What did you do before JDP Interiors came to life?
After 4 years at the University of Texas I wasn’t sure what my next step was. I always loved interior design but I thought it was a job for someone later in life; maybe someone who starts their company in their 50’s when their friends have the money to hire them and then piggy back off of that. But the world of design was shifting towards a younger demographic with the start of blogging and instagram. I went back to design school in LA (mostly because I wasn’t sure what else I wanted to do ha!) but then was lucky enough to score an internship position at Nathan Turner on Melrose Ave. I learned so much about textiles and pattern, what design shops were the best to go to in LA and just an overall immersive-ness into design. But by the time I left there, I was 26 and had always had the urge to run my own company. I had heard it takes 5 years to grow a business so I knew I didn’t have any time to lose! I sort of just jumped in with my own little two room back house, designing for friends and family until I built up a portfolio.
If you had to describe your design style like a cocktail, what would it be?
Ooo, this is always a tough question. I would say modern with a swirl of old world sensibilities and splash of organic texture.
How many design projects do you take on a year and what does your design process look like in a nutshell?
This always depends! Last year we took on about 8 or so projects but only about 3 of those were full top to bottom designs where we buy everything down to the toilet paper, ha! The others were projects we started but will mostly be executed this year, smaller projects, styling jobs, or residual to do lists for clients from years previous.
What is your proudest accomplishment to date?
I’m hard on myself so I’d say , professionally speaking, I’m still waiting for it! It gives me something to strive towards and gives me that kick in the bum to keep going. I’d love to be in Architectural Digest one day.
What is the most fulfilling part of what you do?
The final “ta da” moment! Aka Install Day. This is the day where everything really comes together. Styling and accessories make a such a difference so to see it all come together makes the previous grind and toil all worth it. Oh! And getting the final photographs of the space. I’m sure the house will never look like that again because people have to actually live in the space! So those photos kind of preserve the space at its finest hour.
What are the most valuable lessons you’ve learned as a business owner?
The word “NO”! I find this lesson is hardest to learn as a woman. We are naturally taught to make everyone around us happy so to say no can feel like you are disappointing someone. But I’ve learned that boundaries are important and can actually allow clients, vendors, employees etc to respect you more if you learn to set them.
What is your best advice for growing an engaged community on Instagram?
Be authentic. Don’t try and make your page look like someone else’s. I personally work some days in my sweats and crazy hair! So recording myself talking to the camera every day sounds like misery to me so I don’t… Also, a curated page really is important. Make sure your posts work as a whole.
What advice would you give a budding designer just starting their business, or, taking that leap to make their dream a reality?
You need a portfolio to get started! Which can feel like a chicken and the egg sort of a situation. But it doesn’t have to be a completed 4 story house to get your aesthetic across. Curate mood boards of rooms you would design in your dreams, set up vignettes in your own apartment or a friend’s house and shoot it. Anything and everything to create content, content, content. People want to see what you can do before they hire you.
What timeless design elements are you looking forward to incorporating in your projects this year?
The design world is shifting from everything painted white to more raw woods like the 1950s-70s. I’d love to create a built in bookcase out of walnut wood or an entire room in wood paneling.
If you could sit next to any other boss babe in the world on flight across the country, who would it be and why?
Rose Uniacke. Love everything she does design wise and would love to pick her brain about creating such simple yet interesting designs. She exercises such restraint yet her spaces never feel unfinished.
What does a beautiful home mean to you and what is your number one tip for crafting a space you’ll love for years to come?
Classic furniture peices such as a charlotte perriand dining chair. Comfy, basic pieces such as a linen sofa you can add new pillows or a new rug to to change things up when you get bored.
What are some of your favorite shops/sources for home decor?
Nickey Kehoe, Hollywood at Home, The Future Perfect, Garde, Orange, Lawson Fenning
Instagram account(s) you’re currently crushing on:
@jakealexanderarnold, @heidicaillierdesign, @caseywsmith, @ak.designla
Current favorite book and/or podcast:
Second Life podcast
3 apps you can’t live without:
Google maps, Instagram, Calm
Favorite beats usually playing in the studio: