Jaime Walters has been an active member of the design community for more than a decade. Fusing contemporary and classic elements with her signature global aesthetic, Walters brings her knowledge of home products and design build to create interiors that are unique to each client. Having worked extensively as a designer and as project manager for several television shows, she has amassed a talented and trusted team of artisans and contractors over the years, helping to bring each interior to its full potential.
What inspired this career path for you?
Growing up overseas, I watched my mother work with local artisans to create the furniture pieces for our home. With each international move, she could have shipped a houseful of store-bought furniture from the US. But creating a home reflective of local culture and artistry was always part of our assimilation. So I grew up in homes rich in texture, pattern, and international tradition. What a gift!
What is your go-to source for inspiration?
My clients! I’m inspired by problem solving, and each client’s unique approach to home life. I’ve designed homes that begin as the same contractor-grade box in the same Manhattan building and, because of my clients’ unique needs and tastes, have two very different ends.
Tell us about your creative process.
My creative process begins with an interview with the client, determining their practical needs and their no-limits design dreams. So often this process is like being a detective, rooting around in someone’s mind to gather all the clues and realize the final vision. Outside of the client relationship, I look for inspiration from product lines. I’m looking for a creative trigger from a furniture piece, a textile pattern, an innovative mirror finish; something new to me that makes me think “what if”. Conversely, I don’t find finished room shots helpful in my creative process. That is someone else’s vision. And, while I can admire and appreciate photos (and spend hours on Instagram doing just that!), it isn’t what helps me get a room plan out of my brain and onto the design board.
Describe your style in 6 words or less.
International eclectic sophistication. Layered.
What’s a staple in your tool kit?
Measuring tape. Measure twice, cut once.
Who do you look up to in the design world?
I look up to the makers. Anyone with the design eye to create a project, then have the diligence to see it through to installation is a hero of mine.
If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be?
I’d really like to get back to my home, Indonesia. I had the best time last summer in Bali with a tight-knit group of kids I’ve known since grade school in Jakarta. Together, we stayed in a commune of sorts; private lanais gathered around the essentials: outdoor dining room, kitchen, and pool. So that would be my ideal project: a Bali retreat for friends, outfitted for entertaining and decorated with accents of contemporary (where we’re going) and antique (where we’ve been). (Go Dragons!)
Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote.
Moist. Ha, no. I dedicate my Instagram to inspirational quotes that, for me, relate to images of interiors I’ve designed. But my favorite quote, by far, is from President Barack Obama:
“One voice can change a room. And if one voice can change a room, then it can change a city. And if it can change a city, it can change a state. And if it can change a state, it can change a nation, and if it can change a nation it can change the world. Your voice can change the world.”
That quote is the caption for my favorite living room; a room that reflects world travel and my design voice.
Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without?
Interior design can so often feel like a solitary process, alone in my office sourcing and problem solving for the client at hand. So I enjoy design media where I can relax, watch, and think, “ha, yeah, that happened to me too!” For me, that show is Flipping Out with Jeff Lewis. I’ve seen all the same pitfalls in renovation projects, and love to see how he manages tricky client relationships. Jeff “gets” me. He just doesn’t know it yet.
What do you love about Viyet?
I love the ability to shop high-end showroom samples from the comfort of my office. It saves me a lot of valuable time. The photos are detailed and the descriptions allow me to make a quick decision on whether the piece will work. I’ve also really appreciated the concierge service from Viyet. I always come back to vendors with great service and quality.