By Cheryl Ricer
When your business is a nationally recognized, award-winning interior design firm, some things should never change. Such is the case for Juliana Ewer, owner of J Squared Interior Designs. For the past five years, Juliana has delivered her client-focused interior designs and elevated style to those lucky and wise enough to work alongside her and her team.
“Our goal and the key to our success,” said Ewer, “has always been to deliver gorgeous designs, easy onboarding, client-centric service, and a transparent process and pricing expectations.”
One thing that has changed, however, is the location of her elegant and beautiful new design studio in Missouri City (open by appointment), which showcases all J Squared Interior Designs’ offerings, including samples for fabrics, upholstery, and wallpaper, along with finished furniture samples.
“We outgrew our smaller office in the Rosenberg area,” said Ewer, “While most of the time we’re on-site space-planning with our clients, the second half of design process is when fabrics, upholstery, and finishes are selected. Now we have a beautiful studio space to present all our favorite vendors offerings.”
The J Squared Style
Ewer’s signature is taking her client’s vision to an elevated level. She and her team are dedicated to the client’s vision and upleveling it beyond expectations, whether the home is ultra-modern, mid-century, traditional, transitional, or something in between.
“I don’t have a ‘signature style,’” said Ewer. “I feel as though there are many designers who when you see their work, it’s recognizable. Not so much in my case because I want my clients’ homes to reflect their style, rather than mine. We want to understand what their style is, then put our flare on it, which is an elevated, livable space, taking into consideration their lifestyle preferences.”
Ewer accomplishes this by taking someone’s vision, customizing it to their lifestyle, and making it better than they thought it could be. She initially asks clients to send inspiration photos of rooms and design elements that they like in order to understand their individual taste and affinity for a specific style. From those details, along with conversations about their goals, she offers design plans that elevate their preferred look.
“If people have children and pets,” she explained, “depending on the phase of life they’re in, some things that they love—like an entire white living room—may not be a good idea, but finding performance fabrics and adding pattern and color to a piece will allow them to enjoy the space and style preferences, while making a livable space for actual lifestyle.”
The Design Process
The entire process is easily presented on the J Squared website (j2homedesigns.com) where potential clients can simply click on the design process tab to understand the process. The next step is the complementary “discovery call,” which usually takes about 30 minutes. Before the call, they’ll receive a design questionnaire that pinpoints their needs and time frame. This form will also disclose price points for different services. Once both parties agree that they’re a good fit, the J Squared team makes an on-site visit and tours the spaces to be improved.
“Once we start design-boarding their spaces, we offer three different designs for each,” said Ewer. “The first and second looks will be based on what they’ve indicated they want, while the third look may be a little out of the box. Ironically, a lot of times people say, ‘Wow, I said I wanted this, but I actually like that.’ It’s a good way to pinpoint their vision.”
Once the client has decided on a final design plan, transparent pricing of the sourced items is detailed, and each item is signed off before it is procured and ordered, which—if custom—can take around eight to ten weeks. J Squared primarily takes on whole home projects with a minimum opening budget of $20,000 for furnishings and décor.
“We love to take on clients that feel we are a good fit,” said Ewer, “and we provide options for their vision that are even more beautiful than they imagined. We’re a vendor for most manufacturers including custom-designed furniture, lighting and decor.”
While many J Squared clients simply want a refurbished interior, Ewer and her team also work closely with contractors and architects on new builds and remodeling projects, working in tandem with either a J Squared contractor partner or the client’s contractor. While waiting on the build out or while orders are in process, prep work on the space begins with painting, wallpaper, electrical outlets, and lighting, if required. Once the project is complete and the furniture and accessories arrive, the final “white-glove” installation and reveal day are scheduled.
“Our clients literally leave for the day—sometimes for the weekend—while we install the house,” explained Ewer, “and we have an ‘HGTV’ sort of moment where they come home and everything is installed, all the artwork is hung, every accessory is in place, everything that we’ve planned together is implemented, and they come home to a completely livable space. It’s the most fun, and we even do a champagne toast.”
J Squared loves all the updates currently trending for outdoor living spaces. Most of their clients express a desire to merge their outdoor and indoor spaces so that their living can simply overflow from their family room out into their patio. Clients are installing retractable or large sliding glass doors, replacing dated and uncomfortable outdoor furniture with comfortable pieces that match the indoor furniture, installing great new ceiling fans and outdoor chandeliers, and painting outdoor brick to lighten and brighten dark spaces.
“It’s amazing what they’re doing with outdoor furniture right now,” said Ewer. “Options include marine grade fabrics and foams that allow you to have a sofa on your patio that looks like it belongs inside, but it’s completely customized for the outdoors. Your outdoor space shouldn’t be an afterthought. Updating your outdoor living area makes the space more approachable.”