Décor & More with a Local Expert

Plymouth’s “Best Interior Designer” is keeping clients up-to-date in the ever-changing landscape of home décor. Now she offers these tips to stay on top of the trends.
An elegant hearth is a focal point in Jan Gamble’s home.

In a 30-plus-year career, Plymouth interior decorator Jayne Morrison has seen home décor trends come and go. She attends conventions and shows in Las Vegas and elsewhere twice a year to assure she’s on top of what’s new in home remodeling and design.

One thing that doesn’t come and go, however, is her commitment to her clients’ individuality: “I’ve never done two jobs that look alike,” she says. “My gift is that I quickly pick up on my client’s style when meeting with them in their home.” Another element of her success: Morrison admits to a love of meeting people. “I have no problem talking to just about anyone,” she says.

Four recent clients, all Plymouth residents, readily agree that Morrison is friendly, talented and the ultimate professional. They chatted with us about how Morrison has taken what’s new and modern and adapted it to uniquely beautify their homes.

Gray is the New Neutral

While warm tones like browns and oranges are also trending, the new neutral, says Morrison, is gray—and it has been for about a year. Marcy Fahrenholtz completed a kitchen remodel with Morrison in late 2014. Her new kitchen walls are painted gray, and she chose mustard for contrasting accents.

Another example of this once-bland color palette finding success is Jan Gamble’s bathroom project—not just one, but all three bathrooms in 2015. “The master bath has white tile and light gray walls,” she says. A second bathroom also sports gray walls, although a different shade from the master.

Kitchens Are Bigger and Brighter

“Kitchen remodels are big right now,” Morrison says, and really, when are they not? As the most-used room in the home, it’s not always aesthetic that dictates a need for a change—it’s often overuse, too. In the Fahrenholtz kitchen remodel, for example, Morrison helped clients update and expand a small kitchen in a traditional 1980s rambler.

“We’d been in this house more than 30 years,” Fahrenholtz says. “The kitchen was small, without much counter space.” By taking out a wall, they connected the kitchen with living and dining areas. They replaced dark wood cabinets with white and added Cambria countertops. Fahrenholtz’s new appliances are a bright, cool stainless steel; her new-style refrigerator equipped with French doors and a bottom-drawer freezer. The new range includes a double oven, one of which is convection. “My husband is a bread baker,” Fahrenholtz says. “Convection ovens have a setting for bread to rise.” Her husband now has counter space to spread out when he’s baking, and also a cabinet dedicated to a pop-up mixer.

Fahrenholtz herself loves the kitchen’s new lighting, which includes pendant, recessed and under-cabinet lighting. “I love that my new kitchen is light and bright,” Fahrenholtz says.

Other trends not implemented in the Fahrenhholtz kitchen remodel, says Morrison, include islands and panel-ready refrigerators and dishwashers. In each case, the trend is to have everything look more like furniture, blending in or contrasting nicely with existing cabinetry.

(Shower photo courtesy of Heirloom Portraits; kitchen and living room photos by Marissa Martinson)

Jacuzzi Baths Are Going Down the Drain

Morrison has completed several bath remodels and redecorations in the past year. In Louise Morgan’s “fabulous new bathroom,” Morrison says, they “took out the Jacuzzi and replaced it, in part, with an enlarged closet and, in the other part, with a big, beautiful spa shower.” Why are people abandoning their Jacuzzis? “They’re just not using them,” Morrison says. “Now it’s all about the shower.” A spa shower might include lots of space, beautiful tile work, big glass doors and a wide variety and number of showerheads. The showerheads, says Morrison, can deliver steam or massaging water flow from above or from any other body-spraying locations.

Morgan is especially fond of her spa shower, which includes all of the above and then some. She loves the “extra little shower heads on the side, which, if you sit on the enclosed bench, aim right at your back,” she says. Morgan also likes the convenience of a flexible-hose showerhead, in addition to the overhead one. Beautiful shower tile work and a unique shower floor of small stones top it all off, she says. The Morgan bathroom remodel also includes new sinks, countertops and a slightly higher toilet. “Comfort height” toilets and extra lighting, says Morrison, are popular in baby boomer bath remodels.

Not all bathroom updates are remodels, however, says Morrison. She recently has redecorated three bathrooms, including one powder room, for the Gamble family. Jan Gamble wanted to incorporate a more European, contemporary bathroom style, one “with clean lines and sparseness,” she says. Gamble’s new master bath has a “white floating vanity and white, custom-made cabinet doors to match the vanity.” All three bathrooms got new, Euro-style toilets. Asked about the outcome of the project, Gamble says simply, “I love it!”

Family Rooms Are for Family Living

Trends in family rooms, says Morrison, include big TVs mounted on the wall, sectionals, large rugs on a wood floor and maybe even a diva chair, she says, because doesn’t every diva need a chair? “It’s not a two-person chair,” explains Morrison, “but a large, luxurious chair and ottoman for one.” Often clients want a fireplace; now, it’s usually gas-fueled.

Over time, the Hegele family has “re-done almost their entire house with Jayne,” says Sharon Hegele. Work with Morrison has included bathroom and kitchen remodels, carpeting, and paint (replacing wallpaper) in the living, dining and bedrooms and the home’s lower level. Morrison has helped the family choose new furniture for many rooms. One advantage of whole-house redecorating, says Hegele, is that “she coordinated all of the colors and styles throughout. Jayne keeps us up on all the trends.”

Trends are always changing: Get more ideas and tips from Jayne Morrison for your spring refresh at her website here.