Joyce Downing Pickens, L.A. based designer and owner of JDP Interiors, designed a soothing escape in her own L.A. home. We chatted with Joyce about the space, as well as her recent partnership with the Expert.
Joyce, tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into interior design?
I was always interested in interior design and worked for a few of my mom's friends who were designers when I was in college. I wasn't sure what I wanted to do after school so I decided to go back to school for design. I sort of thought it was a career for later in life. I thought I would just get the degree on the off chance I would do that later and then use that time to figure out what I was going to do in the immediate future. However, the landscape of the design world started changing right after I finished my degree. I saw a need for more approachable design. So I stuck with it. I worked for a talented designer in LA for a few years and then leaped out on my own, sort of accidentally and the rest is history! It hasn't always been an easy road, and there have been a lot of learning curves, but the best way to learn is on the job! One of the biggest misconceptions is that it’s all pretty furniture and fabrics! It is 95% running a business, logistics, and admin and the rest is that small bit of creativity you see at the end of a final project, ha!
This bathroom screams relaxation and we’re here for it! What can you tell us about this project?
This is my own home! I take a bath here every night and it’s my little happy place and wind down spot after long workdays. Our home is an old 1910 cabin/cape cod style home so I wanted to keep the simplicity of the original molding but add in warmth via cream paint (it was kind of a yucky purple before!) and a shaggy rug. Adding a tree was also key! There was a blank spot between the tub and the wall. The tree added height and filled in the gap. The Weezie towels were the icing on the cake! The sand piping fell right into place and was exactly what I was looking for.
The perfect plant can really liven up a space. What are your favorite indoor plants? Any go-to pot sources?
Ugh! An olive tree if it will survive and get enough light (they don’t often do well inside)! Otherwise I try and find anything that feels dainty and asymmetrical and gives off a similar feel to an olive. Nothing with too perfect of a shape to it. Also, a really great fake can be a great alternative to olive. It has to be a good one though! The Tropics in LA has some amazing pot options but they are pricey. Alternatively, Berbere Imports in LA also has great ones for a bit less.
You have such a great eye for antiques, art, and unique pieces like the stool in your bathroom! What are your favorite sources for art and antiques?!
We’re beyond intrigued by @theexpert and the opportunity to get a video consult from the best of the best in the design industry. You recently joined - congrats! What can you tell us about the unique service?
It’s great! It allows me to connect with those who need a bit of design help from all over the US without signing on for our full-service offerings. It’s best for those who need a confirmation on design direction or a professional to bounce ideas off of. It doesn’t replace full service design but is such a great alternative!
You’re in great company at The Expert- what three designers would you choose for your own consult?!
- Favorite Coffee Table Book: Axel Verdoordt: Wabi Inspirations looks great on any coffee table and is such a fun one to browse through.
- Favorite Brand Follows: Devol Kitchens, any vintage vendors like Eneby Home and Nickey Kehoe.
- Favorite Designer Follows: Heidi Cailler, Jake Arnold, Sabbe Interiors (she’s just so darn funny not to mention a great designer :)