January Member Spotlight: Julianna Mathers

 Julianna Mathers, Julianna Mathers Design - North Dallas, TX

When did you realize that you wanted to become an interior designer?

My mother is a fine artist, seamstress and designer, and I grew up in aesthetic environments, fabric stores, and amidst renovations.  My love for beautiful interiors was established at a young age.  As a young woman I worked in the corporate marketing world but loved decorating my tiny apartments and devouring shelter magazines, reading them cover to cover.  As a young mom I began working for an ASID architect and designer and that’s when I realized I wanted to combine my personal passion for interiors with my business experience and turn it into a vocation.  My work started organically with friends asking for help with renovations and decorating.  It grew from there.

Who was the first interior designer to make an impression on you?

There are so many!  I would have to say Kathryn M Ireland with her beautiful sunny spaces and wonderful use of texture and textiles.  I love her elevated yet accessible style and her fondness for antiques and beloved family pieces.  She mixes a contemporary vibe with more traditional lines so masterfully.  As a southern girl at heart, I am also very influenced by James Farmer and his southern graciousness.  His interiors are so beautiful and yet so welcoming.  I also adore Katie Ridder with her genius use of color.  I learn so much from her interiors. 

What are some of the things that influence you, aside from furniture and décor?

I love color and I love fabric.  Especially in unusual combinations. I love adding vibrancy to a space with a jolt of unexpected color or an unconventional fabric pattern appropriately dosed within a traditional space.  I’m also captivated by the tension between modern art, wall covering, and fabric in traditional environments.  I love a dash of the unexpected. 

What are your go-to basics?

My philosophy is, if it’s costly or difficult to replace I design with a timeless, clean, classic aesthetic.  If it’s inexpensive or easy to replace we go a little zany and add a touch of whimsy or incorporate a trend or two.  I also feel that color is more timeless than the current trendy neutral (gray, greige, taupe, beige), so I often encourage my clients to add their favorite colors to their interiors.  I think it brings more joy and delight.  

Are you seeing any particular style requests trending amongst your clients?

Multifunctional living environments have been common requests.  Folks are really claiming their homes for how they personally live and I love that!  I’ve turned a formal dining room into a wine and game room, and I’ve added bunkbeds to the back wall of a media room to make it a sleep over spot for cousins and future grandkids.  And of course, we are needing to eke out study spaces and home offices wherever we can.   I’m also renovating a lot of bathrooms.  People are home so much more, and they really want the most used spaces in their homes to feel fresh and updated.

What’s been your career highlight to date?

For me the highlights of my career are the people I meet doing what I love.  I have the best clients!  And I’ve been fortunate to meet wonderful coaches, mentors and other designers.  I saw a lot of business growth in 2020, as many designers did, and that has been such a thrill, despite all the hardships of this year.  

What’s the most treasured item in your own home?

The people I share it with!  I’m an adoptive mom of two awesome kids, a 16- and 12-year-old, and I have one of those amazing husbands who supports me in all I do.  We also have 2 beloved Maltese dogs.  As for actual items, I am privileged to have a few of my mother’s landscape oil paintings, and they are very dear to me. 


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