Designer Spotlight Series: Jill May

This month, we turn our spotlight on Jill May, the woman behind Jill May Interiors — a full service residential interior decorating and design firm based here in Austin, Texas. We love Jill’s traditional meets modern sensibility, and we were happy that she took the time to collaborate with us for our series highlighting some of our favorite local designers.
A dining area Jill decorated in real life.

A dining area decorated by Jill May Interiors.

How did you end up becoming an interior designer? What led you to that path?

In 1998, while living in Beijing, I started Red Door Antiques. I sourced antique furniture, architectural pieces, accessories and contemporary art throughout China and wholesaled the pieces to high-end furniture and design showrooms throughout the United States. On occasion, while in China, people would ask me to decorate their offices and residences with my pieces. Then when I moved to Austin in 2002, a Red Door Antiques customer asked me to help design and decorate the new condo she was building. I’ve been decorating my heart out ever since.

What’s a decorative piece every person should own in his or her home?

Something that is meaningful to the person. For me, it’s a statue that my husband and I got on a trip we took to Peru right after we got engaged, a collection of 1920s picture frames that my dad got me when I turned 13, and a Honora Jacob painting that I bought for my husband for his 40th birthday. A home should tell the story of the people who live in it, and layering interesting and meaningful pieces into the house is the key to that. I have a weakness for great art. In Austin, one of my favorite galleries is Wally Workman. She represents some amazing artists, such as Ian Shults and Joyce Howell.

A breakfast area designed by Jill May.

A breakfast area designed by Jill May Interiors.

What are you favorite interior design trends for Spring? 

I’m loving the new Kelly Wearstler fabrics for 2014. They’re bold and subtle at the same time, and the color palette is incredible!

What can we expect to see from you in the upcoming year?

I’m obsessed with overdyed rugs, and I’m crossing my fingers that I have a client that will share my obsession! I’m planning a fall trip to New York City, and ABC Carpet and Home is definitely on the agenda – hopefully by then I’ll have a client who wants me to buy one of these gorgeous rugs for them.

A sitting room area design by Jill May.

A sitting room designed by Jill May Interiors. The pillows and chairs are by Spruce!

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

I love modern, traditional and everything in between. My personal design aesthetic is a pretty eclectic mix. For example, a living room would consist of a well-constructed American made sofa made by Lee Industries, an oversized modern piece of art and accessories acquired both from antique shops and West Elm!

Apart from showcasing examples of her styling, we presented Jill with a creative challenge. We asked Jill to curate two spaces using pieces from Spruce as well as other home goods. She created an entryway and a sunroom.  Let us know what you think in the comments section!

In this sunroom (above), I paired this fabulous sofa, pillow and chairs from Spruce with a vintage milk glass Murano chandelier and French school charts from Shop by Brown in Houston.

Thank you for taking the time to collaborate with us, Jill!