Design Experts

20 questions with Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators

20 questions with Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators Author: Style At Home

Design Experts

20 questions with Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators

Jennifer Flores started her blog, Rambling Renovators, in 2007 after purchasing her home with husband, Sean Stanwick. Jennifer, a self-professed "wannabe designer" and Sean, an architect, enjoy chronicling their renovation adventures as they tear down and rebuild their home room by room to perfectly suit their style. This ultimate, do-it-yourself tag team has even taken their love for all things design outside the home and published a book! Focusing on contemporary design, their book, Design City Toronto, showcases interior and architectural projects around Toronto, Ontario in Canada.

After being featured on multiple design sites, magazines and even the Nate Berkus show, I was lucky enough to catch up with Jennifer to find out everything - from her source of design inspiration to how she spends a lazy Sunday.

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1 If you could shadow any designer for a day, who would it be?
Jennifer Flores Barbara Barry. Her work is the epitome of timeless livable luxury. Plus, I admire her personal style and she seems to exude class and warmth.

2 Where do you look for an obscure source of inspiration?
JF Everywhere really. Whether I’m walking through a shop and notice the great herringbone floor, admiring the colour combo in a package of teas at the grocery, or am drawn to the stack of vintage linens at the thrift shop. I can never tell what will stick with me and what projects or designs it will inspire.

3 Favourite restaurant?
JF Coquine, it’s a local French bistro. It's my husband and my favourite place for date night. But the place I dream of going back to is Ristorante Paoli in Florence, Italy. It’s a hidden gem with vaulted ceilings adorned with 18th century frescoes and the most delicious Tuscan fare.

4 What’s your favourite room to decorate?
JF Definitely kids’ rooms, nurseries and playrooms. You can be much more playful and fun when decorating these rooms. They also invite you to be bolder with colour and break some of the decorating rules – kids’ spaces dare you to be unexpected, whimsical, and unique. rambling-renovators-bedroom.jpg
5 What’s your current paint colour obsession?
JF Yellow in all its forms, from pale banana cream to citrus shades with zing.

6 If one song could be the soundtrack to your life, what would it be?
JF Hmm, tough question! It would have to be something fun and happy that makes me feel nostalgic. How about Bubbly by Colbie Caillat? Her songs always makes me smile.

7 What’s the one store you could spend hours browsing?
JF Muji. Whenever I travel, I check to see if my destination has a Muji store. I could spend hours pouring over their toiletry cases, office supplies, cutlery, and organizational storage. Their objects have a utilitarian beauty and simplicity.

8 London, Paris or New York?

JF Paris, always. It’s unforgettable and leaves an imprint on your soul. rambling-renovators-bath.jpg
9 If money were no object, what one thing would you buy?
JF A beachfront home in the Hamptons. It would have wonderfully weathered cedar shakes, white paneling everywhere, transom windows that fill the rooms with natural light, and oak floors.

10 What do you consider to be the most iconic design piece of the past century?
JF The iPhone. It has redefined our notion of what a telephone is, in a single swipe.

11 Favourite movie?

JF West Side Story. The music and styling of the 1961 film really captures the era.

12 What’s your favourite movie interior?

JF The iconic kitchen in Something’s Gotta Give. I love that whole house actually. rambling-renovators-books.jpg
13 What do you think is the easiest way to update a room?
JF Clear the clutter, put things away, and move things around. It’s gives you a fresh look for no money.

14 Best coffee table book?
JF Design City Toronto, not only because I wrote it with my husband Sean Stanwick, but also because it really showcases the world class architecture we have right here in our home town.

15 What’s your favourite way to spend a lazy Sunday?
JF Start with my husband’s fabulous Nutella crepes and a foamy latte, take a walk to the park with my daughter Chloe, then spend the afternoon on the sofa curled up with design magazines and blogs, and end it with takeout from our favourite sushi restaurant.

16 Do you like to be the entertainer or be entertained?
JF Depends on the season. I like entertaining in the winter months, making hearty meals and setting an elaborate table. But in the summertime, I love heading out to friends who have bigger backyards than our tiny patch of grass to enjoy messy, loud, fun summer barbeques. rambling-renovators-kids-rm.jpg
17 What do you think is the best renovation you can do to your home?
JF The kitchen. There’s nothing like cooking in a well-planned, organized kitchen where every pot, utensil, spice jar, and small appliance has its place.

18 What is your favourite space that you’ve designed?
JF Our bedroom. Two very simple changes (flushing out a bump out in the wall, and adding panelling) transformed the space. I love when that happens – good design needn’t be complicated, expensive or elaborate.

19 What’s the biggest design faux pas?
JF Rushing to get to the "after", buying things just to fill a space, or making impulsive purchases of things you don’t really need. Taking the time to fill your home with only the pieces you really love is key to creating a space you will enjoy not only today, but years from now.

20 Marilyn, Audrey or Jackie?
JF Jackie. She appeals to me as a style icon, mother, and wife.
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Design Experts

20 questions with Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators