Spotlight : Jayme Armour

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Highlighted  today in my continuing 'Spotlight Series', is Atlanta based interior designer Jayme Armour (pictured above). I've previously mentioned Jayme here & here and was thrilled to learn more about her background and current projects in our featured focused Q&A.

For a number of years, Jayme was the proprietor of Armour & Co., a lovely home furnishings shop located in the Virginia Highland neighborhood of town. She now focuses her time on Residential & Commercial clients. I believe Jayme to be one of the great design talents of our city....  I find her strength lies in an expert ability at understanding composition and creating a space that reflects an almost effortless layered style - mixing important, modern, and found pieces with touches of texture & patina. Read more below & take a look into Jayme's portfolio ....

Are you originally from Atlanta?  If not, where are you from and how long have you lived here?

I was born in Miami and raised in Panama City, Florida.  I moved to Atlanta in 1994 for a job at the Apparel Mart.  I've been here 21 years now. This is home.

Could you provide some insight into the path you took to establishing yourself as an interior designer -- education, mentors, etc....

It started with the end of my career at Esprit de Corp when my division was suddenly shut down after a buyout.  After working in the fashion industry for years, I was saddened by the loss, but ready for a change.  I had always been interested in design, but at 30, I wasn’t looking to go back to school.  I met Randy and Courtney Tilinski of Bungalow though a mutual friend and fell in love with their store.  I bugged them for months until they finally hired me as their first employee. My sights were set on learning as much as I could, (and I did, they're so talented) but I honestly had no idea where it would lead at the time.   Years later, it lead to opening my own store and eventually moving beyond being a merchant and beginning to design for clients.

Was design always a field you wanted to work in?  Was there a particular "ah-ha" moment that cemented your desire to become a interior designer?

There was always that interest, but really I had to go through these various stages of life to realize I wanted to pursue decorating as my trade.  I actually found that moment cemented in the decision to close the store.  I’m sure that sounds strange, but running a home furnishings store and working as an interior designer are very separate jobs. It was time to pick one or the other and go with it. I closed the store and took some time making my next move.

How would you describe your design style?  Over the course of your career has your "look" evolved?  And currently, what do you find yourself inspired by?

Being from Florida, I carry with me a love for the colors of the gulf, sands, sunsets and the textures of it’s unique flora and fauna.  Those natural, organic elements are always a thread that runs through my work.   That being said, my color palette has evolved in a big way as evidenced in the home I share with my boyfriend, Daniel.  It’s a pretty big departure from the soft pastels I tended toward in earlier projects….i.e we have a magenta front door and the exterior of our house is painted black.  At the moment, large-scale pattern is making me happy.  I'm really into the work of Josef Frank whose prints from the thirties are a jolt of color and fantasy.

I find your spaces to be layered with the perfect mix of period decor, eye-catching printed fabrics, and interesting accessories....   How do you make this look so easy?! Do you have any local resources here in town you would recommend to seek out pieces to achieve this effortlessly collected "look"?

Well, I think it’s all about an unspoken language of how individual elements of design work with one another or as I like to say, ‘talk to one another’.  For me, I like to choose something that I find particularly beautiful or eye-catching as a starting place that will inform all the other pieces of the puzzle.   I think I inherited the gene for layering from my Grandmother.  She was a stylish lady that had traveled a good bit and had a real knack for combining all the things she picked up along the way. Hers was a 'more is more' approach.

There is some really great shopping in Atlanta.  A few of my favorite local spots to find interesting pieces are Noah J & Co, BD Jeffries and Townhouse. Lush Life is my favorite stop for plant life, crystals and organic objects.

Could you talk a bit about your experience with opening your home furnishings shop....    Would you have any suggestions to offer to others wanting to get involved in retail?

Armour & Co was an amazing experience that continues to give back to my life.  I met the best people, had a blast and learned, learned, learned.  Retail is not for the faint of heart, but nothing worth having ever comes easy.  Advice: If you love what you’re doing everyday, you’re in the right place.

Since closing the shop's doors, what type of projects have you been working on?  

Most of my clients are young families with busy schedules.  I love working to meet their needs and designing spaces that are reflective of their personalities and the lives they lead.  I’m not really into precious or overly glamorous spaces.  I’m interested in creating livable, functional homes that happen to be beautiful to look at and make the people who live in them happy.

Would you like to share any upcoming happenings for you on the horizon?

Besides the residential work I'm doing for some really great clients (everything from an old loft space in O4W to a majestic 1920's mountain home in Jasper, GA) I'm also working on my first commercial project: the executive offices for an Atlanta based company with a super creative culture. Stay tuned for big art-filled loft spaces in a popular mixed-use historic property. I'll let you know when I can share!

Images Sarah Dorio Photography

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