Notes From the Janery Studio
Create a nursery space that's bold and kid-friendly, where pets are welcome and the decor will accommodate a growing child.
From day one, We knew we didn’t want a traditional pink or trendy white/pastel nursery for our baby girl. We wanted a colorful, happy, and bold room filled with art and other interesting decor items that could hold her interest as she grew into a spirited toddler and then a little girl.
We pulled inspiration for the nursery design from two elements: a red kilim rug and the colorful Japanese fabrics used for some of Janery’s most popular pillows. My former office - now the nursery - was painted in Sherwin Williams’ “Lively Yellow”. That existing paint (more green than yellow) worked well with the fabrics and rug, so we kept it.
We chose a simple, modern, handmade crib from Kalon Studios, a small artisan business in New England. The smooth-sanded, unpainted Maple wood design was fitting for our “little sapling”, and is nontoxic if she chewed on the bars of her crib.
In lieu of a standard nursery rocker, we recovered my grandmother’s cozy vintage swivel rocker in a stain-resistant blue velvet. The velvet was nearly identical to the original blue upholstery and was much more pet-friendly than the original nubby woven upholstery - which my parents’ cat couldn’t resist.
A simple hanging pendant lamp from our favorite vintage furniture shop completed the reading nook. We framed sections of my favorite out-of-print Japanese fabrics in embroidery hoops to add a little art - another learning opportunity - to the wall.
Wanting even the closet to be fun, we removed the bifold doors, replacing them with curtains in yet another colorful Japanese linen. We installed the Elfa closet system, but installed hardwood boards for shelves instead of the laminate shelves sold by the Container Store. You can find clothes a lot easier if they’re all hanging in a row, so we added a clothes bar to the bottom shelf to avoid having to store all the clothes in a dresser. (Bonus: now that our daughter is 3, when she dresses herself she doesn’t have to pull a million outfits out of a dresser.)
Over the vintage dresser, we created a gallery wall of inspiring art, topped with a fun bird mobile from the Museum of Modern Art. Again, we chose items that could fit in our home in other ways once Maple was old enough to insist on redecorating her room. :)
Sparked by the birds in the window valance fabric and the ottoman, we painted a mural - with the help of a talented friend - over the crib.
Our “little sapling” is 3 years old now, and the nursery is going strong. She loves it, and we aren’t tired of playing or sitting in it with her.
Laura Metzler Photography
Jeannine and I met years ago when we were both blogging about decorating small homes and apartments. Today Jeannine is busy styling both weddings and homes with her boutique embroidery and monogram business, BeLoved Thread, but she continues to apply her eye for timeless, elegant style as she carefully renovates and decorates a new home.
Custom wedding monogram by Jeannine of BeLoved Thread. Photo: Jen Fariello
Her love for animals is evident in the art she works into the design of many rooms, whether it’s a John Matthew Moore painting of a cow or a Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams “Black Sheep” sculpture.
Jeannine has tastefully mixed tones of cream, blush, and blue in her formal living room. She needed a luxurious dog bed to help Jack, her handsome Golden Retriever, feel at home in the space - without sacrificing her style.
Our Morganite Charlie Cushion, part of the Gemstone Collection, paired perfectly with Jeannine’s classic blue sofa, timeless pottery and a neutral sisal rug that grounds the space.
Jeannine was kind enough to tell us more about Jack’s story, and share tips for decorating with pets below:
How old is Jack, and what was the inspiration for Jack’s name?
Jack, who turned 3 on April 11th, was named after the late Dean of Admission at University of Virginia, Jack Blackburn. Jack hired me in 2005 and didn't object when I incorporated my first dog into my social media work for the Office of Admission. After years of having a dog with two names (Baxter at home and CavDog on the UVA Grounds), I decided to simplify with our second dog.
How did Jack join your family?
Baxter was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma and had his spleen removed in the summer of 2015. Though he recovered physically from the surgery, he wasn't returning to his happy, playful self and someone suggested that we get him a puppy. We searched websites and Facebook groups for a young friend for Baxter and found Jack, who had been returned to a breeder by his first owner. Baxter ignored Jack at first, but he was back to running and playing within a few days.
What are some of Jack's funniest habits?
- Jack earned his nickname, Doodlebug or Bug, because he often flips over on his back and curls up into a ball when playing. Sometimes he'll add a Thumper-style kick at the end of the curl-up motion.
- Jack's also obsessed with sticks. If he can carry a stick around, he's a happy boy.
- He LOVES the UVA students who visit my office. I'm pretty sure he knows the names of his favorites - Carolina, Win, and Gillian.
- When he fetches, he does a complete flip in the air at the start of his run. I have a friend whose dog does this and we recently realized that our dogs are half-brothers!
What’s Jack’s sleeping style? Is he a curler-upper, a stretcher-outer, or a flop-down-anywhere sort of pet?
Jack either sleeps curled up in a circle or in "timber" position, which is when a dog looks like they were tipped over while standing.
What kind of treats does Jack go crazy for?
Jack's motto is "if it fits in my mouth, it's food!" His favorite treats: banana, peanut butter, cream cheese, and any animal parts he gives him (duck feet, turkey necks, etc). When it comes to store-bought treats, he likes Zuke’s and Old Mother Hubbard bones.
How has Jack changed your life/your family’s life for the better?
Jack is a goofy dog who always has us laughing. It's great to have a family member like that in your life! Having him was especially helpful when Baxter died. We were devastated, but coming home to a sweet puppy was so good for us.
What has been your biggest challenge with Jack?
We lived in the city when we got our first dog and his manners were excellent because of his daily interactions with different situations, people, and dogs. We moved to a residential neighborhood before we got Jack, so working on his manners while on a leash had been a challenge.
He's so friendly and happy that he wants to meet every person and animal he sees while on his walks, so he zig-zags all over the sidewalk. Now that he's three he's starting the calm down a little bit.
If you could give prospective or new pet owners one piece of advice, what would it be?
Read books or watch Youtube videos about positive reinforcement (sometimes called Nothing in Life is Free or NILIF) and stash treats in every pocket.
And Jeannine’s top tip for living stylishly with your pets?
You can have nice things in your home as long as you give your pup a few comfy spots and teach them some rules.
Jack has a bed on each floor of the house, so no matter where we are, he has his own, special spot to rest. We make Jack go to his Charlie Cushion for "jackpot" treats. If you hold a Kong and say "where do you go?" he'll trot to his bed, constantly looking back to make sure you are following him. Good things happen when he is on his bed, so furniture doesn't really tempt him.
When it comes to furniture, we trained Jack to wait for an invitation before getting on two specific pieces of furniture, a leather sofa by Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams (they love pets!) and our bed. It took several days of firmly saying "off" when he tried to help himself to the sofa as a puppy. He now knows that an invitation only comes after a calm sit and that he has to wait for a blanket to go on that sofa before he can hop up on it. Jack is a silly, goofy dog, but he still understands the rules.
Great style feels like it belongs, and dog beds are no exception. Jack may not be able to appreciate how his Charlie Cushion matches the Shell Pink walls, but I know Jeannine does. She and Jack prove that good style and good “boys” don’t have to live in different houses.
With proper care, washable home decor - including Janery’s dog beds - can last for years. Here’s how to keep your pillows and pet beds looking fabulous in any room.
As a maker, a musician, and a lover of interior design, it’s important to me to build a collection of meaningful art and design elements for our home. Things created by other makers and business owners; things that will inspire and energize me on a daily basis.
I’ve been intentional about purchasing only art that I love to line the walls of our house - even though it means our house has been “in progress” for years. You won’t find what I call “waiting room” decor in my home. But when I fall hard for the work of an artist, I want to share their work with you. In this instance, that means Juniper Briggs.
(Source Juniper Briggs)
When I completed my black and white home office, I treated myself to her framed Nefertiti print. Not only did I love the figure’s elegance, I loved the use of color and geometric lines to create something so modern yet timeless. Additionally, it honored my mom’s memory; she always told me she wanted to name me Nefertiti as a baby because I had such a long elegant neck. (Thank goodness she didn’t.)
I found not only art but a spirit of creativity and balance in the self-taught artist as well. Like me, Juniper is local to the Washington, DC area (we’re practically neighbors!), and a hard-working mom, splitting time between small children and a studio space in her home. I’m always inspired to see her glimpses of balancing work and family time in her Instagram stories.
(Source Juniper Briggs)
Here’s how she describes her work:
“I think of my paintings as an outward reflection of the intertwined relationship between the body and the soul. I am fascinated by the juxtaposition between a calm outward stare and the wilderness of thought and emotion within. The clean confidence we present to the world versus the beautifully complex struggle we contain.”
I don’t know about you, but I certainly identify with that struggle.
I’m honored to have a fine art print of Juniper’s work in my home. If you like what you see here, I think you’ll love following her on Instagram or joining her newsletter for the first glimpse at her newest pieces. But be warned - her original paintings sell out quickly!Top photo, the Janery office, by Laura Metzler.
When choosing pet-friendly upholstery, velvet is a gorgeous and luscious fabric that is often overlooked, probably because it seems more delicate than it is. If you’re in the market for new upholstered furniture you’re in luck, because velvet is definitely having a trendy moment in the spotlight.
(Pink chair image credit: The Pink House.)
Unlike some trends (ahem, chevron?), however, velvet is also timeless and classic, and won’t feel dated by the time the next season rolls around.
Five years ago, my husband and I decided to reupholster our Crate & Barrel sofa. Their standard fabric upholstery was not durable - for people, pets, or life in general. The fabric attracted stains, pilled easily, and its rough weave held onto pet hair for dear life. And the fabric was that basket weave texture that cats love to dig their nails into.
I wanted to revitalize the sofa with a rich purple velvet. My husband said that would make our living room “look like a brothel.” We agreed to disagree . . .
I wasn’t seeing a lot of velvet in the design blogging world four years ago. I was excited by the idea of doing my own thing, but more importantly, I knew that velvet was a great choice for pet-friendly upholstery.
Are you surprised?
Velvet is a woven fabric, but the threads are cut to give the fabric a short pile, kind of like a rug. This is why the fibers release pet hair so easily, rather than trapping it like traditional woven fabrics. Also, most cats don’t like to claw it because it lacks that woven texture.
Pro tip: Applying a protective coating such as Scotchguard helps it weather stains and spills even better. We had our upholsterer do this professionally when they recovered a vintage chair in navy velvet for our baby's nursery. And it works for most fabrics, not just velvet!
Velvet can be made with many fibers, from the more affordable and washable polyester and cottons, to the higher end wools and silks.
There’s a vibrancy to velvet that adds a touch of glamour to any room. The fabric works in a almost every design style, too, from Art Deco to English Country to streamlined Modernism.
And don't get my started on how amazing it looks in the dining room.
I’ve always loved upholstered headboards, but many are covered in woven fabric. That’s a definite NO in our pet-friendly house! My cat would like nothing more than to stretttttch her legs up to the top of that headboard and rake the claws down through a rough woven fabric.
When I eventually do our master bedroom update, my first DIY will be to upholster the headboard in a deep peacock blue velvet. I have a thing for all shades of blue-green, and headboards look amazing in velvet.
Fast-forward to the present day where velvet is now totally on-trend. I never did get my luscious purple velvet sofa. We compromised and went with a mid-century inspired, distressed leather upholstery in a buttery pecan. While far from my vision of luscious purple opulence, it’s stood the test of time with pets, toddlers, and the occasional wine-spilling adult. But that’s a story for another time.
If I’ve now sparked an velvety idea for your next room makeover, here are a few great resources from three of my favorite designers:
- The always-fabulous Kate at Centsational Girl shares more detailed information on velvet
- Lauren Liess discusses the family-friendly qualities of several fabrics - scroll past all the furniture photos to get to the meat of the info
- Some great pet friendly design tips from Emily Henderson
It’s the final day of the One Room Challenge, and I’m thrilled to be revealing two finished rooms here on the blog - my office and my sewing studio. I’ve divided the “reveal” of the finished spaces into two posts because I had so much to say about each.
But first, the background! The Challenge is hosted by Linda of Calling It Home with media partner House Beautiful, and over six weeks many bloggers work to makeover a space (or two) in their home. It’s my first time participating and it was super stressful but amazingly rewarding!
My sewing studio is the most important part of my One (or Two) Room Challenge, because it’s where I sew all the products for my home decor and pet bed business, Janery. As my business grew, our landlord agreed to expand the room using part of our unfinished basement. I then didn’t put any permanent systems into place because I wanted to work in the room and figure out the best layout, etc.
One year later it was definitely time to implement some long-term solutions and systems. Let me give you a tour!
The sewing studio is behind the french doors at one end of our large basement rec room.
As you enter the room, you see my large and tall fabric cutting table. It's a beast that is about 5 feet square, large enough for me to roll out bolts of fabric.
This was the most important piece of furniture that I built for the space, because it's customized to my hip height. Spending hours cutting fabric can hurt your back if you have to bend over to a normal-height table. (Ask me how I know ;)
I built a picture ledge to hang above the cutting table so that I could display things like my favorite photo of Charlie, who inspired the business, and the covers of magazines that my products have been in.
Oh, and see that gold border around the ceiling? I used gold Washi tape to do that! A perfect renter-friendly solution.
The wall opposite the table has large cork boards made from homasote panels covered in fabric. I use the cork boards to pin up orders, but also fabric swatches I'm eyeing and any magazine pages that make me happy and inspired. (No joke, I've been saving some magazine pages for years just for this cork wall. I also added some strong hooks because some fabrics, like velvet, should be stored hanging so they don't get creases.
The base of my cutting table is a solid block of storage, and though I was unsure at first, I'm now really happy with how it worked out. I took the easy route and built a two-tier table top that fits over a base made with four Ikea Kallax shelving units. It wasn't the cheapest approach to buy 4 Ikea units, but it was the easiest. I don't have time to DIY every single piece of furniture.
I love how the Kallax shelves make my fabric bolts so easily accessible when I'm cutting orders! And I stocked up on square polka dot bins from Target. You can't see it all, but the shelves that don't hold bolts are full of bins holding my lesser-used supplies such as quilting fabrics and materials, and extra rolls of packing tape.
The top tier of the shelves I built, and I made it tall enough to hold my tissue paper and shipping envelopes on the side pictured - while the other side holds shipping boxes.
Below you can see the wall facing the cutting table. The Elfa shelves (from my former office) were the perfect size for this wall, and they hold my bins of fabric scraps as well as my small shipping supplies and stationery.
(See the sewing machine? That's the machine that started it all. . . a generous birthday gift from my husband when we were first dating!)
Having all my shipping supplies within grabbing reach makes a huge difference. If you're running a product business, you need to make the shipping process as easy as possible. Now I can just line up my packages on the cutting table, then grab the hang tags, tagging gun, business cards, package enclosure cards - really everything I put into completing the package.
(My larger products are stored in a private nook in another part of the basement, but they are easy to grab and bring to the studio for packing.)
Psst: Look at the right side of the photo above: my cutting ruler sits on a lip below the cutting table. This is one of those tiny details that actually makes my life SO much easier when I'm cutting from large bolts!
The smaller, nook-like area of the room is the "addition" that our landlord added last spring. It turned out to be the perfect size for the sewing part of the room.
We did a little recycling here, using scraps from an old DIY table as the table tops for my serger and for my sewing machine. The serger got attached to its table with a screw (because it operates at high speed and you don't want it dancing across the table) and my husband built a dropped platform to hold my sewing machine at table height.
These are little details that don't matter aesthetically, but matter from a sewing process standpoint. (I still need to paint the dropped platform for the sewing machine, but no biggie.
Let's chat details for a minute - the pegboard wall storage is another game changer, and I'm sure I'll fill it up over time. A magnetic strip from the hardware store holds my screwdriver and sewing machine feet, and the thread and bobbins are right above it. A plastic drawer unit below the table holds all the zippers I use on a daily basis.
Let's be honest - I'm excited about pretty much everything about this room. Nothing makes work better than having everything you need right where you need it.
Huge thanks to photographer Laura Metzler who does all the product photography for Janery (and makes me feel less silly in front of the lens)!
Also, thank you again to Linda for hosting this challenge. Please be sure to visit the other guest participants - you can find them all here!
It’s the final day of the One Room Challenge, and I’m thrilled to be revealing two finished rooms here on the blog!
The Challenge is created by Calling It Home in conjunction with House Beautiful, and over six weeks many bloggers work to makeover a space (or two) in their home. It’s my first time participating and I’m so thankful I did. I needed something to motivate me to not just start, but complete the projects and this did the trick!
Paper Flower Bouquet / Nefertiti Print / Black Deco Dog Bed / Deco Diamonds Wall Stencil
Am I happy with my new office? Yes, I think it is fabulous - with the exception of my white rug being too small - but I can change that easily.
My goal was to create an elegant, art-deco inspired corner office nook to complement the larger makeover of our long basement rec room. The makeover is happening in three phases: Office, TV room, Playroom. I also wanted to push my interior design skills and try new things, such as a bold black and white statement.
The wall stencil challenged me the most - read more here and here - but I do love the result. I spent hours touching up the stencil with tiny artist brushes, and could do more. It makes my office fabulous, there’s no doubt about that.
Let's peek at what I had before. The image on the left is what is now my office, and the image on the right is my old office corner:
What a world of difference!!! This is honestly the best before and after I've ever done.
In addition to stenciling I removed some bigger items, moved the Janery storage, and purged a lot of office clutter. Both my old office shelves and a random dresser stored a lot of office supplies, most of which I didn’t need.
I built a wooden riser for my desk so that my monitor would be at a healthy height. I can use the space underneath to charge my phone, my tablet, etc. I also tried several fancy gold or brass lamps before deciding I preferred a fun zebra lamp! I’ll share more about that in another post.
Once the new wall was stenciled and I moved my desk and computer in, I realized that the decorative shelves I’d planned for would just cause visual clutter. I pared down my office supplies and stored them in my new filing cabinet and the beautiful white box on my desk.
I initially envisioned big, lush hanging plants all over the space, but during the last week I realized the space was too small for all my ideas. Instead, I jumped on the terrarium bandwagon and had a lot of fun making them! The chains are anchored into the ceiling beam so there is no risk that they’ll fall on my computer.
Now, let’s talk about the art!
I’m slowly collecting pieces I love for the house, and the office is no exception. See that small painting hanging with my terrariums? It’s part of the BOOBS! series by Rachel Roellke of Funnelcloud Studio. The boobs are gold leaf and so much fun in person. She also did the Things That Are Awesome print that is hanging by my studio doors below.
The paper flower bouquet in the vase is by Paper Rose, and I'm blown away by the quality.
And finally, the biggest piece in the space is that large bust of a woman, the Nefertiti print by Juniper Briggs. Words can’t describe how much I love it. My mom always told me she wanted to name me Nefertiti because, as a baby, I had a long neck. The memory of her telling the story cracks me up. When I decided on the black and white theme for my office, I knew this painting had to be in it.
Before you go, let’s discuss the design elephant in the room:
My white rug is too small to completely cover the tile floor and it bums me out. I decided to order a custom cut and bound carpet, but there’s a delay. At the last minute I ordered this this cheap area rug for the photo shoot, which I will save and use for future product shoots.
The one room challenge may be over, but the fun continues with phases 2 and 3. I’ll be finishing the TV area next, followed by the playroom corner for my toddler. I hope you’ll stick around to see the basement come to completion!
PS: My office only represents about a third of my work in the One Room Challenge. I hope you’ll view the reveal of my professional sewing studio as well, which is right off my office! Just step through the french doors, or click here. :)
Also, thank you again to Linda for hosting this challenge. It feels so good to have this space started! Please be sure to visit the other guest participants - you can find them all here!