September 20, 2017 | Blog

Q&A with JBDB’s Lead Home Designer Emily

Emily Thull has been a part of the James Barton Design-Build team for over three years and has helped bring the dreams of countless homeowners to life during that time. We recently sat down with her to learn more about her background in the industry, her home design process, and what she likes best about her job.

What drew you to the home design industry? 

Growing up, I used to love flipping to the “Home” section of the newspaper and studying the floorplans they printed. I would then draw out my own plans in a graph paper notebook for houses I would like to live in. I also couldn’t wait to be old enough to move out – not for the freedom as most teens want, but for the creativity of designing and decorating my own place.

What do you like best about your job? 

I love the personal relationships that develop working with homeowners. Designing within someone’s home is such a personal experience and I am honored to be trusted to be involved with that.

Where do you get started when designing a home? 

Right from the first meeting I start learning about the project goals of my clients, how they live in their home, and what their likes and dislikes are. I also clue in on how they have furnished their home. What colors am I seeing? What style of art do they have? Do they have clean lines on their furniture or is it a more collected, eclectic look?

What things do you consider when starting a design? 

I always want to find out the reason for our clients wanting to do a home remodeling project with us. Is it purely aesthetic? Is something in the home design not functional? How does the family live? Do they have pets? How long do they plan on staying in the home? These are all very important things to consider when laying out their goals.

How involved are the homeowners in the design process? 

My clients definitely drive the home design process but with me gently guiding them. It is my job to listen to their goals for their project and help them achieve their dreams and beyond.

What is your favorite part of the home design process? 

My favorite part of any home renovation is probably our homeowners worst – the construction. I love to see everything demo’d to dust and then see it start to transform during the rebuild.

Do you have a favorite home design that you have worked on? 

I love when clients give me a hesitant look, say “I’m going to have to trust you on this one” and be blown away at the results. Unexpected elements make for a more interesting home design and I love a good mix! I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t push my clients out of their comfort zone a bit.

What are some new home design trends that we should keep an eye out for? 

A mix of styles, materials, and finishes are hot right now. A comfortable, lived in feel but definitely a bit more minimal than years past. I’ve also started to see a surge in jewel tones both in the retail market as well as home design magazines. Kelly greens, rich teals, and deep eggplant can really pop against a more neutral background. Some great new trends for neutral colors include warmer tones of taupe, brown, and cream.

Ready to work with Emily on your home renovation?

Take the first steps of your home remodel project by contacting the home design team at JBDB!

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