Meet Janie Molster Designs: Eccentric American interior designer

Portrait of Janie © Tasha Tolliver

Artsper is delighted to introduce you to Janie Molster of Janie Molster Designs. We caught up with the American interior designer about her career journey, the use of contemporary art in her projects, and her personal and professional design style. Keep reading our conversation with Janie to learn more about her unique taste and design process!

1. Hi Janie! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Could you start by introducing yourself to our readers? How did your career in interior design come to be?

I've always loved reading and literature and as a younger person envisioned myself teaching or writing. The turn toward design developed organically. I moved into my first home in my early 20's and was long on ideas but short on budget. I tried a few edgy ideas and slowly friends began asking for design advice. Then the calls were from friends of friends and so on. On a birthday, a friend had business cards printed for me and JMD was launched. 

2. When it comes to interior design, could you walk us through your creative process? What inspires you when approaching a new project?

The clients are the key inspiration. I love discovering the way people actually live in their homes—the little idiosyncrasies that make their lifestyle unique. My process is to study their preferences and work to elevate and beautify everything. If I am working with a client who is new to the process, I suggest they channel a muse and I'll create an environment for the way they aspire to live. If good architecture or a client's willingness to experiment are part of the mix, we can make magic happen.  

Left: Aspire Magazine Designer Showhouse © Gordon Gregory / Right: Riverfront Contemporary © Gordon Gregory 

3. How would you describe your design style?

Ultimately I am a traditionalist and I always give a nod to the past. Even in our most modern projects, we sprinkle antiques about to add a little “old soul" to the mix. That said, I am drawn to the silhouettes of more contemporary forms in furnishings and artwork. I like to put a room together as if I am planning a dinner party, bringing together different personalities with different points of view. There needs to be a little rub of contrasts in perspective. A sexy element is always a plus as is an irreverent and colorful risk taker.

4. What role does contemporary artwork play in your design process?

To me, without artwork a room falls flat. Because we often work in traditional and historic homes, the use of contemporary art is a game changer. It works almost as a palette cleanser—an element that generates a restart and a brand new visual stimulation.

5. What style of art do you gravitate towards personally? What elements do you look for in a piece of artwork?  

While I love abstract artwork, there must be an underlying structure. I go through phases of being drawn to the absence of color (a palette of black and white) to pieces with very bold use of color. Lately, I've been proposing a lot of photography in our projects. Provocative images that cause you to stop, study, and pontificate a bit are the most appealing to me. Lastly, I am drawn to the human form and rarely say no to an anthropomorphic sculpture.

LeftColorful Floridian Condo © Carmel Brantley / Right: Bohemian Bungalow © Mali Azima

6. We're curious, what is your favorite room in a home to decorate?  

A large, salon-scaled living area. Rooms of this nature offer more design opportunities and rooms that are multipurpose always attract me. For example, a living room with multiple conversation areas, a working desk, a table surface for impromptu dining, windows with views, and fireplaces to cozy up to.

7. We can't wait to see your future projects! Is there anything especially exciting that you're working on that you could share with us?  

Yes, so many! Next month we are installing a family compound with multiple structures on an island off the coast of Florida. We have had trusting clients and an expansive footprint that has afforded us the chance to create so many different spaces, each with a separate vibe. This project marries contemporary architecture and interiors with welcoming color and comfort—-the ultimate goal of our client. 

In addition, we are in the full swing of renovation of a riverfront home in Virginia. There is a central room that was built to resemble the interior of a large sailing vessel. Our client's Mother commissioned the space as a sort of folly. It's very large, charming, and full of incredible craftsmanship including an amazing post and beam structure.

Left: Sunny Colonial Cottage © Gordon Gregory / Right: Elegant Georgian © Mali Azima

Their favorite artworks

Print, Rougir (jeune homme aux gants), Françoise Pétrovitch

Rougir (jeune homme aux gants)

Françoise Pétrovitch

Print - 70 x 100 cm Print - 27.6 x 39.4 inch


Photography, Untitled 1, Juan Pablo Castro

Untitled 1

Juan Pablo Castro

Photography - 61 x 91.4 x 0.3 cm Photography - 24 x 36 x 0.1 inch


Painting, Artémis, Laurent Betremieux


Laurent Betremieux

Painting - 76 x 57 cm Painting - 29.9 x 22.4 inch


Sculpture, Nu sur fond rouge, Franck Sadock

Nu sur fond rouge

Franck Sadock

Sculpture - 67 x 51 x 6 cm Sculpture - 26.4 x 20.1 x 2.4 inch


Photography, Scala Settembre XX, Loic Flament

Scala Settembre XX

Loic Flament

Photography - 40.6 x 30.5 cm Photography - 16 x 12 inch


Fine Art Drawings, Après l'expo, Laurent Anastay-Ponsolle

Après l'expo

Laurent Anastay-Ponsolle

Fine Art Drawings - 70 x 50 x 0.5 cm Fine Art Drawings - 27.6 x 19.7 x 0.2 inch


Sculpture, Peur, Larroche



Sculpture - 42 x 39 x 12 cm Sculpture - 16.5 x 15.4 x 4.7 inch


Sculpture, Tahitienne Dansant, Maud Bora

Tahitienne Dansant

Maud Bora

Sculpture - 44 x 29 x 29 cm Sculpture - 17.3 x 11.4 x 11.4 inch


Painting, Composition aléatoire (Polyptyque), Jean-Pierre Petit

Composition aléatoire (Polyptyque)

Jean-Pierre Petit

Painting - 60 x 200 x 2 cm Painting - 23.6 x 78.7 x 0.8 inch


Photography, Le Baiser - Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg, Tony Frank

Le Baiser - Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg

Tony Frank

Photography - 75 x 110 x 4 cm Photography - 29.5 x 43.3 x 1.6 inch


Painting, Breaking Point, Reeboskic Marko

Breaking Point

Reeboskic Marko

Painting - 140 x 110 x 2.5 cm Painting - 55.1 x 43.3 x 1 inch


Painting, Control attempt #32, Dasha Buben

Control attempt #32

Dasha Buben

Painting - 100 x 80 x 2 cm Painting - 39.4 x 31.5 x 0.8 inch


Painting, Variations circulaires, Piero Cipolat

Variations circulaires

Piero Cipolat

Painting - 120 x 120 x 6 cm Painting - 47.2 x 47.2 x 2.4 inch