When Jessica Waks decscribed her style as "maximalist", I knew we were onto something fun! She is the owner of Jessica Claire Interiors based in our hometown of Toronto. We have been long-time fans of Jessica's maximalist style and follow her features in Style at Home and appearances on Cityline and The Marilyn Denis Show. With an eye for detail and an eclectic sensibility, Jessica layers the principles of design on a classical foundation to create unique spaces. We recently connected and had the opportunity to ask her a few design-inspired questions. Enjoy!
I am much more of a maximalist than a minimalist. I love adding detail and layers to a room which ultimately creates a cohesive space that keeps the eye moving and absorbing all the nuances. I also enjoy blending styles and eras in unexpected ways. It’s the biggest complement when someone tells me they would never have thought to pair certain things together, but that they are thrilled with the end result. Eclectic with an undercurrent of glam is my signature, but having said that, I do also love working on traditional summer homes that feel rustic yet refined. I think it’s the level of detail and layers that is the constant theme in my work.
There are so many designers I look to for inspiration, but one constant who I am always amazed by is Miles Redd. His designs have a sophisticated sense of wonder and a larger than life quality, but done on an intimate scale.
It sounds cliché, but travel is truly an amazing way for me to soak up inspiration. The colours, architecture, shops and landscape - it all helps inform my work and design choices. I don’t think my lake home designs would be what they are today without a trip I took one summer with my husband to Nantucket and Newport! I’m hoping to make it to Charleston and Savannah next to help unleash the southern decorator that lives inside me. Another constant source is the hospitality industry - I like seeing what hotels and restaurants do with their colour palettes and use of materials. They’re not afraid to think outside of the box.
I think colour is a big part of creating an instant wow factor. While it is a challenge for a lot of clients to commit, I’m all for going for bold splashes of colour on bigger pieces, such as sofas or area rugs. I love working with people who aren’t afraid to have fun and push the envelope.
Dorothy Draper would be so wonderful to sit down with. She was a trailblazer in the field of decorating and was all about creating a brand that centred around the idea of a lifestyle rather than just a product or design. It’s always been a dream of mine to design a boutique hotel or inn, from the rooms right down to the linens and menus, and she got to do all of that with the Greenbrier Hotel (pictured below). She was so ahead of her time and had such personal flair!