“Luke wanted a room that was nothing but blue, blue & blue. I had to talk him in to some accent colors and the only ones he would allow were black and white.”
And speaking of Black and White, Interior Designer Jill Sorenson knows a thing or two about these bold, hip hues! In an interview with Blogging in Black and White, the former Ford Agency model, co-founder of the hugely successful Knock Out Abuse Against Women organization and interior designer talks to us about her design firm, use of black and white throughout her home, the importance of “color play” for children and what’s next up for her.
Tell us about Marmalade Interiors and Live.Like.You.
Marmalade Interiors is a residential and commercial interior design firm. My latest venture is the site LiveLikeYou. I’ve felt frustrated for a long time that only certain people can afford an interior designer. I launched LiveLikeYou to offer FREE “design rooms” by individual personality types (renderings and printable mood boards.) From paint color, furniture, furnishings and layouts…for all budgets. I believe everyone should have access to good design, with more than just the big retailers as solutions. We should live like an expression of ourselves, not a retailers idea on how we should live.
How did your design career unfold?
I studied art in Sweden and never had a specific interests in interiors. When I got married, we bought an old home and hired an interior designer to help. Within a couple of months the designer offered me a job with her firm. It was an instant unexpected fit. I was use to playing with colors and shapes, but had not applied that vision to a room yet.
Black and White are showcased prominently throughout your home and design projects…explain your attraction to these hues.
Black and white defines and outlines everything so nicely. Chanel and Dorothy Draper have been a huge inspiration for me in using those hues. It also adds an old fashioned yet completely modern touch to any interior.
In a recent interview, you mentioned that your son’s bedroom is royal blue with black and white accents throughout. Why this color combination? What was his role in creating the look and feel of the room?
Luke wanted a room that was nothing but blue, blue & blue. I had to talk him in to some accent colors and the only ones he would allow were black and white. He was the design director!
How important is “color play” (drawing, painting, coloring, etc) in early childhood?
I think drawing, painting and allowing children to express their creativity is fantastic. My brothers and I spent hours drawing daily as kids. I believe children can express a lot more than just their artistic side with drawing.
Also, in that same article, you mentioned wanting ”to give a guide for living in more imaginative ways.” Please give us one tip to bring out our ”imaginative” side when it comes to creating a well designed home?
Think outside of the box. Wood doesn’t just have to be brown for example. Legs on a chair look great in orange, green & really any color you can imagine. Allow yourself not to be stuck with what is normal all the time. Paint an old chest of drawers or firescreen a fun color.
What are you up to next?
Currently I’m taking on very few private clients. Focusing most of my time on growing LiveLikeYou. We are partnering with some apartment buildings to use LLY (Live.Like.You) to help tenants furnish their apartments. I’m also working on a book and a TV Show. I’m obsessed with encouraging people to live like themselves - not how others dictate. Life is short - time to LIVE. LIKE. YOU!
(Jill arrives at Sukio (soo-kee-oh) on U Street in DC for a design special event, where she was the guests speaker.)