Jessi Helbig is a lead designer for San Diego-based interior design firm Blythe Interiors. Her design experiences in both Florida and California have given her a keen eye for all styles of design, as well as the drive to help clients find joy through beautiful spaces. We reached out to talk to Jessi about her design philosophy and recent projects.
Why is home design that’s equally exceptional and accessible important to you?
Growing up, my family always took great care in our home, and it played an important role in my upbringing. Comfort was key, and although we didn’t have much money, yard sales and secondhand sourcing provided just the right look and feel that we were going for at the time. My home was my safe haven, and friends often gravitated there for group hangouts. I believe everyone deserves to feel comforted by their space, and money shouldn’t be the wrench in that wheel. I love working on projects where the whole family gets involved in the design process. I know that I’m helping to create that same kind of nurturing haven for others.
Where do you look for inspiration?
I get so much inspiration from my Blythe Interiors team. Everyone, from our administrative team to our handyman, has their own insights and tricks-of-the-trade to share. This keeps me motivated and allows me to look at my projects in ways that I wouldn’t have before. We discuss current projects at every weekly meeting and actively participate throughout the design process. This keeps ideas flowing and inspiration sparking!
You’re faced with an empty room – where do you begin?
I begin by understanding what the client wishes to experience in that room. I ask them to be as specific as possible, as this really is the foundation of the design, and the details are what will make it special. Once I know how a space will be enjoyed, I can think through what is needed to make that happen for them. The rest is the fun of figuring out what elements and colors make their smiles shine the brightest.
Is there a design rule you always follow and one you often break?
Scale is a major design rule that I am constantly working to perfect. It keeps me on my design toes! Determining the best size for furniture, art, and rugs can be a continuous battle, but it’s a challenge I love to take on. Often, rules tend to go out the window when working with our clientele. We design around our clients’ lifestyles – including existing furniture pieces, family habits, and even pet behaviors – we like to make the space work for their lifestyle instead of what’s being shown in magazines.
What is your favorite room to redesign for clients?
Kitchens, especially when I get to transform a kitchen from yesteryear that was designed to hide the chef away in a dark hole. Kitchens are the heart of the home and should be the main event!
Any styles or trends we should be on the lookout for?
Blending outdoor and indoor spaces is becoming more of a common idea. It is not a new idea by any means, but the creativity that goes into the merging of the two gets more and more exciting. People are more appreciative of nature these days, and I love how they bring it into their homes.
Tell us about the photos featured above.
My client was a professional mom with dreams of living in a sophisticated bohemian home with soft, airy elements to create a tranquil sanctuary for her and her son. When design development began, she gave me an inspiration photo and her complete confidence, and I was able to create exactly what she wanted. When someone has that kind of trust in what I do, it allows me to drop concerns and design freely, making it an all-around pleasant process for everyone!