Small Luxuries, Big Impact

Small Luxuries, Big Impact

Werklab Woman, Jamie Gerus Talks Luxury

Although an Interior Designer by trade, Jamie Gerus’ skills go far beyond spatial design. One look at her portfolio and you will see a wide variety of projects including fashion, tech and even playground design in partnership with architect, Frank Gehry (yes, she is that legit). In terms of her day-to-day, Jamie is part of the team at Amanda Hamilton Design, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta where she is responsible for design and brand growth of the AHD Vancouver branch. Having lived in Brazil, Calgary, Los Angeles, San Francisco and now Vancouver, Jamie has a keen awareness of the influences of design and is passionate about the unique place where design, technology and people intersect – no matter the locale.

Because of her adoration and talent within the Interior Design world, we asked Jamie to shed some light on how to brighten your home sanctuary through small implementations of luxury. In the words of Jamie:

The Simple Things

Firstly, I believe in making thoughtfully designed spaces available to everyone. How interiors are designed gives incredible insight into our relationship to and our behaviour within that environment. Bringing luxury into your home doesn’t have to equate to spending an exuberant amount of money on your things. In fact, luxury is bringing attention to daily routines that consider the glorified normalness of the human experience. This is similar to AMD where we put wellbeing at the core of each project. Christina Disler (founder of Werkläb) once said that her favourite thing to indulge in are at-home luxuries which aren’t meant to please anyone else - things that we do for ourselves as a matter of self care rather than self image. These are the true luxuries in life. This statement speaks to Disler’s relationship with her home; her interior is not just a shopping list of furniture but an experience of treating herself to special rituals within her interior environment.

Plants

Bringing plants into your home helps to foster a sense of wellbeing in your routine. Creating environments that are able to improve your sense of clarity by making people feel better after being in the space is something that is important to our practice. Plants clean the air in our homes and help to purify off-gassing from our furniture, electronics and the materials themselves from which our homes are made. The presence of plants is not only good for air quality but also to instil positive behavioural effects including enhancing your mood, increasing creative thinking, giving you a sense of productivity and increasing memory retention while decreasing anxiety and fatigue.

Books

Luxury doesn’t end there: books are a great way to implement an added human touch that speaks to your interests and curiosities. This is a way to re-invent your routine and bring thoughtfulness to your at-home experience. Opting to reach for a book rather than your phone or TV remote will give you a sense of wellbeing and tactual experience. Enjoying analog experiences is a perfect example of an at-home luxury. My personal recommendation is any book from the publisher Phaidon – a great resource for coffee table books. Some favourites of mine are ‘Mexico the Cookbook’ by Margarita Carillo, Arronte's, ‘Plant: Exploring the Botanical World’ by the editors at Phaidon and ‘Caro’ by Anthony Caro. These books often inspire me to host a dinner party and share new recipes or get me motivated to start my spring gardening and landscaping and even ideas for work.

The power of an interior lies in it’s ability to amplify and express the life of the place you reside and the story of its inhabitants. Even if it’s just one room in your home, a fresh coat of paint is a game-changer for spatial transformations. The feeling of a fresh identity throughout all of your living space will fill you up.

If you are ok with adding a little drama, I love to look to spring as a time to go really dark with walls - the transition won’t seem so dramatic paired with the extra hours of daylight. Personally, I love dining rooms in Benjamin Moore’s Hunter Green with clean white trim. Whatever the change of seasons may bring, make sure that you are changing with it and bringing a newfound sense of luxury and light along with you.