JLim Designs

"Bringing the indoors out and the outdoors in..."

An Interview with Jeffrey Lim of JLim Designs....


How do you explain your approach in what you term "lifestyle design"?

Well, by lifestyle design I mean I dont make a great distinction between what is conventionally termed interior design and landscape (exterior) design.  Indoor outdoor living is a lifestyle.  Hence the proliferation of beds or snuggly outdoor pavilions with plush cushions, curtains and furnishings normally found indoors.

People want to spend more time outdoors just as much as they spend indoors.

The challenge is to carefully design for inside and outside the 'house.'


What do you mean 'carefully design?'

For example you cannot have a total disconnection in style, concept or theme for the indoors and outdoors.  Integrating or proper transitioning is the challenge so it doesnt go from minimalist interior to English garden exterior for example.  I mean can you do it? Create a 'seamless' non-cheesy design integrating two opposing style? 


So what is your indoor design style?

It's easier for me to answer what is not!  I dont design using European (English, French, Baroque etc) and early American (Federalist, country, log cabin etc) styles.

I gravitate towards a strong Asian aesthetic.  But this Asian influence is not simply placing Asian furnishings.  I mean I won't just place Asian pieces. 

Take for example a huanghuali altar table or a cloisonne vessel.  Will they be out of place surrounded by minimalist post modern or bauhaus white-on-white-stainless-steel-leather furnishings?  I think not.  I mean you are placing or curating a piece of art-soul-culture-beauty into what I will otherwise describe as sterile-clinical. 

It's like adding hi touch to hi tech....traditional and long history handcraftsmanship to modern industrial production.


Tell us how you approached the East Hampton interior design project?

The property used to belong to Ward Bennett, an Interior Designer Hall of Fame inductee. Of course the client had a strong Asian aesthetic.  But discovering that WB as an interior designer was also inspired by Japanese design made the task easier.  So the choices for the furnishings, lighting, floor coverings are carefully selected to work in harmony with WB's legacy and still meet the desires of the client's Chinese aesthetic. 


And the interior style and themes were extended to the landscaping.


Where do you see design trends heading?

With this current economy there's less discretionary income.  I think people will think twice before opening their wallets.  There will be a lot more do-it-yourselfers.  However watching tv shows doesn't mean they can pull it off.  Good value designers will be sought out.  What's good design (hence the designer) beofre will continue to be good design now.  People will do with less, become more selective and perhaps scale down expectations.  "Do I need it? Is it foolish?  Can I afford it?" are going to be recurring questions.