As a professional certified interior designer, it’s not all that surprising that Jacquelyn Clark’s Toronto-based home is filled with inspiration through every doorway and on every table. From light-filled spaces and enviable custom draperies to designer pillows and thoughtfully curated art, Jacquelyn’s home is a true testament to her talent as an up-and-coming interior designer and blogger. Happily, Jacquelyn is also one of the most down-to-earth creatives that our team has had the pleasure of interviewing, and her home tour is full of actionable tips and tricks that you can employ in your own home with ease. Read on for this burgeoning designer’s take on condo living, plus, learn how she turned her passion for interior style into the career of her dreams.
Retro flower pillow: PepperB | cream and blue floral pillow: Ariana Belle | leopard pillow: Ariana Belle | paint-dipped blanket/magazine baskets: Serena & Lily | blue and white floor pillows: Anthropologie | draperies: custom | polka dot blanket: souvenir from my trip to Ireland
You earned your NCIDQ Certification last year, which, as we understand it, is the standard for professional interior designers—congrats! When did you first realize that you were destined for life as a designer?
Thank you! I’m so glad to have that beast behind me! As far as my design career goes, I was very lucky that I skipped the “what do I want to do with my life” years that often plague people. For me, it was never a question. I was the kid who would skip over the comic section of the Sunday newspaper and go straight to the “new homes” pages so I could ogle floor plans. I was constantly arranging and rearranging my bedroom when I was little, and I’ve always been fascinated by color theory, fabric and the like. I remember one time in particular—I couldn’t have been more than 12 years old—when I was convinced that our home would function much more seamlessly if we flipped the configuration of the dining room and the living room. My mom always encouraged my passion, and helped me relocate every last piece of furniture to suit my vision. How great is that?
Shelving: Ikea, painted | lanterns: Anthropologie | fan: vintage | black vase: vintage | antique shoe horns: vintage, from the Christie Antique Market | artichoke candle: Anthropologie | letters: vintage, from the Christie Antique Market
How do you manage to juggle life as a blogger by day, and as an interior designer by night? What tools/apps do you use to stay organized?
I’m certain that there are more efficient ways to stay organized, but I’m still trying to find that groove. Right now, my entire blog life is found on Google Docs. I love it because it can be accessed anywhere, from any computer, all over the world. I have my editorial calendar in a clear and concise spreadsheet, tabs to jot down future post ideas, my weekly to-do lists and more. As far as my design business goes, I swear by DesignDocs. It’s a great program that helps me seamlessly manage all of my client projects, as well as all of the not-so-fun accounting bits that go along with it. I also use Hours Keeper, an app that easily tracks all of my billable hours.
What’s your shelf-styling secret? How do you achieve that signature collected and balanced look of yours?
My secret is two-fold: color and texture. If you’re a shelf-styling beginner, stick to a handful of items that fall within the same color family (like white, navy and gold or black, blush and gray). As long as your items feel cohesive as a group, you really can’t go wrong when you lay them all out. To take it to the next level, create interest by grouping objects with varying textures and sizes. And lastly, don’t be afraid to think outside the box. I’m all about an element of the unexpected. Driftwood, vintage printing blocks, an old wooden shoe mold or a glass vial with a single blade of grass are great ways to add texture and interest.
Chair: EQ3 | mirror: Ikea | dotted pillow: PepperB | graphic pillow: Ariana Belle | navy pillow: Chapters/Indigo | rug: RugsUSA | couch: Craigslist | lamps: Gold; HomeSense, Glass; Structube | cantaloupe flower pot: Anthropologie | TV stand: Ikea | art: my own and small painting from my trip to Paris
What are some of your favorite ways to find creative storage solutions at home that look great and are functional, too?
I’ve been a condo dweller for almost seven years now and have made it my mission to utilize every available square inch. We have 3M removable hooks on the inside of kitchen cupboard doors to hold measuring cups and KitchenAid mixer attachments. We have shallow containers tucked under our bed to house out-of-season clothing. And behind every cupboard door you’ll find carefully labelled bins and baskets to keep everything in place. None of it is terribly revolutionary, but I’m a firm believer that the secret to a home that functions like a well-oiled machine is to evaluate how you live, and then set up your space accordingly. From there, it’s just about maintenance (i.e., put it back where you found it when you’re finished).
Pipe bookshelf: custom (made by my boyfriend)
Thinking back on all of the DIY projects you’ve completed in your home, which one is your all-time favorite?
Oh, definitely the pipe bookshelf my boyfriend, Justin, and I made together. It’s a piece of art that just so happens to pull double duty as storage.
What can we always find in your fridge? Tell us about your favorite recipe!
Our go-to for an easy last-minute meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor is capellini with a hunk of fresh parmesan and truffle oil, so we always make sure to keep those items on hand! Otherwise, we’re really into one-pot meals. Stir-fry, curry dishes and the like are in heavy rotation around here, so our spice cupboard is packed, coconut milk is always aplenty and our refrigerator is usually bursting with whatever veggies we can get our hands on.
What are some of your tips and tricks for achieving a whole house color scheme that feels intentional and cohesive? You seem to have nailed that in your own house!
A great rule of thumb is to start with a neutral base: a heather gray couch, the softest shade of white on the walls, crisp white bedsheets and a great neutral rug is a wonderful start. If the first layer of your home feels cohesive, you can easily bring in throw pillows, curtains, artwork and the like in your favorite shades to give personality to each space. It’s a great way for me to be able to switch things up quickly without breaking the bank.
Throw pillows: PepperB | quilt and shams: Urban Outfitters | knot bed sheets:Serena & Lily | area rug: RugsUSA | wooden figure: Ikea | gold-dipped pillow: West Elm | art: my own | frames: Ikea, Pottery Barn and West Elm | draperies: custom
Tell us about your favorite places to shop for home goods! What’s your favorite high end shop? Favorite budget-friendly shop?
My favorite high end shop is a three-way tie between Elte, South Hill Home and Avenue Road. When looking for budget-friendly items, I rely heavily on Etsy, but Joss & Main is also an amazing resource!
Kiss statue: Souvenir from my trip to Africa | pink donkey plate: souvenir from my trip to Italy | white bowl: souvenir from my trip to Spain | green bowl: Chapters, Indigo | jewelry holder: DIY Necklace Tree
What’s in your beauty bag?
There are three products that I have recently added to my roster and currently swear by: Benefit “They’re Real” lengthening and volumizing mascara, Tata Harper’s resurfacing mask and Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle perfume (it smells like magic!).
Lamps:Serena & Lily | nightstands: Ikea | nightstand hardware: Anthropologie | candle: Illume | alarm clock: Pottery Barn | candle: Illume | flowers and vessel: Sweet Woodruff | campaign dresser: Craigslist
What is next for you and Lark & Linen Interior Design? Where do you see yourself and your business in five years?
One of the most amazing things about starting your own business is not really knowing where the journey will take you. I’m not entirely sure what my next move will be, but I will say that I’ve always wanted to design a fabric or wallpaper line, so we’ll see what happens in the years ahead!