Do you want to re-decorate your space? Are you intimidated by the process? Are you hoping this won’t take an infinity? Well, decorating is an extremely important facet of Home Improvement Month and I am happy to say that there is an excellent course you can take, taught by speed decorator and professional stager extraordinaire, Jill Vegas. It’s called The School of Speed Decorating – the class runs for four weeks, it’s online, and it starts September 17.
I was lucky to nab an interview with Jill Vegas. She is actually a friend of mine – we met in graduate school at Sarah Lawrence College. She is an energetic, creative, and inspiring person, so know this course is going to be excellent.
Jocelyn Jane Cox: Can you tell us a bit about this class?
Jill Vegas: Each week you’ll receive an email letting you know that a new module has been posted. There are 4 modules that will be presented one at a time over the course of 4 weeks. Each module consists of 3 videos. Most of the videos are 3-6 minutes. In some videos, we’ll do the work together. In others, you’ll just listen and then take action on your own. Some videos demonstrate my decorating tips and techniques.
Assignments are downloadable PDFs included below each video to explain the task at hand and provide guidance where you can record ideas and inspiration. You will create a decorating tool box. This is where you’ll keep your assignments and gather inspiration. You can print the PDFs and write on them and collect them in a 3 ring binder or folder, or you can write in your decorating journal, or you can write notes in your phone, or use a Word or Google doc.
After you complete the assignment, you are invited to share your thoughts in the comments section under the video. You may ask questions or anything you’d like regarding that particular lesson. I’ll answer your comments — we learn by doing and from each other. I’m here to help every step of the way.
Here is what you’ll learn:
- Seven Steps to Decorating Success which are the building blocks for every decorating project: calm, condition, style, arrangement, light, color, and details. This last step is vital because it will give your home instant personality.
- Acquire quick and dirty decorating tips that design genius Jonathan Adler gives two thumbs up, “A must for anybody who is impatient and loves decorating,” he says. “Jill Vegas finally brings decorating up to speed with the rest of life.”
- Get practical and fun guidance including tips and ideas on how to create “a bombshell bookcase” and get “lighting that’s inviting.”
- Discuss the latest in customizing your kitchen and optimizing space.
- Gain the confidence to revamp your living room so it’s bright, warm and inviting.
- Get inspired with fresh ideas on how to update your bedroom so it feels like a 5 star hotel.
- Learn to work your magic and transform any blahzay room into a cinematic masterpiece.
- Accessorize, organize, select paint colors and fabrics with the confidence of an interior design legend.
- Nail your personal style and showcase your fabulous personality through the rooms you live in.
JJC: This is great! Who is the class for? Who will benefit?
Jill: The School of Speed Decorating is for someone who wants to love the home they’re in right now. Whether it’s a dorm room or new home, the decorating principles apply to all. You will benefit most if you…want to revamp your home but are overwhelmed with where to start, or if you just want to add some color into your home but wonder where to begin and which color to choose and then loose all your steam/motivation/opinions and settle for doing nothing. Or if you feel bored with your decor and are ready to liven things up but just need some professional guidance to get started.
JJC: How did you get involved in staging and decorating? Tell us a little about your background and how you got here?
Jill: Decorating was something I always just did, naturally. I had no idea I could make a living doing this. But 8 years ago we put our home on the market and received a record price with five offers. The broker told me it was because our apartment was staged. I’d never heard that word before and didn’t know what she was talking about. I just assumed everyone made their home buyer-ready. Boy was I wrong! I’d been working in advertising and understood the principles of emotional buying so I just applied that to my own home — how to create a seduction the moment potential buyers walked in the front door.
The broker asked for permission to give out my info and within a week I had my first client. I made over their apartment and then they received seven offers for over asking price. They gave out my number and well, within months I was staging full time. The entire business has all grown by word of mouth.
JJC: I understand you’re coming out with some products (birch wallpaper, bedding, etc.) Can you tell us about these lines and what inspired them?
Jill: I’m having a lot of fun coming up with solutions that inspire me. Nature is a huge source of inspiration — I know you love clouds and so do I. That’s why I thought of the cloud light fixture. I thought it’d be fun to have something dreamy like a cloud floating in the room. It works in the dining room and also the bedroom. The faux barnwood wallpaper was fun to create an accent wall. I love the idea of taking an ordinary space and turning it into something that has it’s own personality. Wallpaper is a quick and easy way to make the magic happen. An easy way to makeover a bedroom is to simply invest in new bedding. I love Italian linens so worked with an Italian manufacturer to come up with bedding that’s quality and gorgeous. I also love that bedding is a personal decadence — it’s worth it to invest in good sheets because you spend so much time sleeping. It’s a way to feel really good.
JJC: Have you had any funny experiences in this business?
Jill: I have seen so many crazy things in this business… How about the lady on 6th Avenue with cockatoos flying around her apartment? It was horrifying seeing her apartment. They were pooping where ever and flying all over the place. We were NOT a good fit.
On Park Avenue I worked with a client who had original Picassos just randomly lying around in an unused shower stall. Can you imagine??? Quelle Horruer!
In an estate apartment on the UWS the ghost of the person who used to live there kept locking me in the apartment and I couldn’t get it. It was frightening. I swear it was a ghost. I had to call the super to come and let me out.
JJC: Ha! Thanks so much, Jill. The class sounds both fun and informative.
If you want more info on this course, visit: http://www.speeddecorate.com/
I can’t think of a better way to hug your house…