Jessica Romm Perez of Domino magazine | Home Front

Jessica Romm Perez
Nov 10, 2016

Jessica Romm Perez is the editorial director at Domino magazine. She is a style expert with a career working for prominent media properties and brands identifying and driving trends in design, home decor, fashion and style.

On Nov. 15, the magazine’s newest book, “Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home,” will go on sale. The book shows how to use art, seating, lighting, textiles, and more to personalize a space and truly make it unique. She can answer questions on the new book and how to create a space you love.

Every week, Jura Koncius helps you in your quest to achieve domestic bliss. She and weekly guests, whether Martha Stewart, the Property Brothers or Nate Berkus, answer your decorating and design questions. Jura is always happy to whip out her paint chips, track down a hard-to-find piece of furniture or offer her seasoned advice on practical living and decluttering. For more than ten years, Home Front has been an online conversation about the best way to make your home comfortable, stylish and fun. We invite you to submit questions and share you own great tips, ideas and gripes. No problem is too big or too small, send them over.

Welcome to Jessica Romm Perez, editorial director at Domino magazine. She is a style expert and has a lot of experience with trends in design, home decor, fashion and style. On Nov. 15, the magazine’s newest book, “Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home,” will go on sale. The book shows how to use art, seating, lighting, textiles, and more to personalize a space. Jessica can give you some advance tips so let's chat.

Hi Jura! Thank you so much for inviting me. This is such a fun format and I can't wait to see everyone's questions. Our new book Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home is just days away from our pub dates and I could not be more excited!! The book is packed with so many fun and useful ideas about how to add stylish and personal touches to your home. The photos are insanely beautiful and I'm very proud of it! 

Good morning! My new condo is an open plan with white kitchen with Carrera Quartz counters and at the other end the Living Room near a French door facing west. Not a lot of natural light, my sofa is ivory and I have an antique armoire in an old pine. I am having a difficult time choosing wall color with the light cool kitchen colors and Ivory sofa with soft warm colors in the area rug, in the same room. I appreciate any ideas you could suggest, thank you.

Great question! I love Benjamin Moore Calm - which is a beautiful white with just a touch of a grey. It works really well with both warm and cool colors and it really brightens up any space without feeling too optic white.

How do you choose multiple patterns to work together in a room without clashing/looking too busy?

I love choosing different patterns that share something in common - either a unified color palette, a similar scale, or a material - like wool or linen that makes them feel cohesive. 

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I'm finally updating my house from antique white trim to white, changing the beige outlets and switches too. Now the hard part of picking paint for the walls. I used Revere Pewter in our family room and wonder should I carry that throughout the entire first floor or try to use other colors?

I think giving the living room it's own identity is really nice (assuming the entire space is not an open floor plan). The entry way is also a really nice place to make a statement or do something fun and dramatic. I LOVE wallpaper in the entry with a dramatic photograph, mirror or piece of art. You don't have to spend a lot and it's the first thing everyone sees when they enter your home.

Check out my interview with Sophie Dow Donelson, editor  of House Beautiful, who was on our chat last week. Here it is.

I am looking for a special house or apartment decorated in a creative way to feature for the holidays. Please send photos to konciusj@washpost.com.

We want to buy a new sofa in a neutral color that will not look dated within a few years. Any suggestions? I was thinking grey, but that seems awfully trendy right now. Also, I am interested in learning about interior design (as a hobby, not a professional). Any suggestions of books or courses appropriate for novices would be appreciated. Specifically, I'd like to learn about color. Thanks!

I love grey and do not think it's too trendy. It's definitely a classic and such a great alternative to white. I also love a nubby cream fabric that has something else going on besides white. Woven fabrics - like a black and white tweed are great neutrals that are really durable. Also - I am LOVING mustard right now. Obviously buy our new book! It is full of ideas about textiles and color.

I have seen several inspiration photos with a bathroom ceiling painted a color, and I love them. However, all of these have flat ceilings. My bathroom has a vaulted ceiling that has a peak off center. Do you think this means I should forego a color on the ceiling for white?

Go for color! That sounds amazing. I'm also LOVING wallpaper on the ceiling right now with painted walls or wainscoting.

My old bungalow has a small heated porch accessed through French doors off of the dining room. It is original to the house and has lots of cottage architectural charm and I think what attracted me most to the house. I call it "my room." I have a two piece mid-century modern sofa that becomes a rather long couch when the pieces are side by side. It currently fills the back wall and looks nice from the dining room view. I could split the pieces and place on opposing side walls so they face each other and create a conversation space. Either arrangement works with a narrow mid-century coffee table about the size of one of the couch halves. The room is not quite square: the back wall being wider than the side walls.Which layout would you advise and how do I work some night lighting? During the day three walls with large paned windows are plenty. Should I keep the room 100% mid-century modern? The rest of the house is eclectic.

I want to hang out in that room. It sounds amazing! How do you like to use the space? I love the idea of two facing sofas to create a real hang friendly arrangement. Would you every consider something woven or bamboo in that room? I love the idea of playing with the fact that it's a indoor/outdoor space. Also you can take more risks with the upholstery on a porch. Maybe do a color or pattern on the sofas that would be slightly bolder/outside of your comfort zone. For lighting: I love a round pendant that almost feels like a lantern. You can have it hardwired or attach it via a hook and an outlet. 

Good morning. I need a new wall color for my open plan kitchen/living room. White kitchen cabinets with classic Carrera marble, stainless appliances and warmer light neutrals for LR furnishings. What color on the walls will bring together these cool grays and warm ivories? There is not much natural light in this space. Thank you for your recommendations.

Hi - I mentioned this earlier but I love BM Calm and I also love BM Pale Oak. Other favorites are Mizzle and Elephant's Breath by Farrow and Ball.

from previous question, you may not like white sofas. we have white sofa and white loveseat. Are we behind times? thank you.

I love white! I live with a ton of white. I also love to offset all the white with other neutrals like wood + leather. 

We do 90% of our actual living in our living room (and 10% in the kitchen). Do you have any tips for either room that could make our home both more comfy and stylish?

I am a big fan of an oversized low coffee table. I like having something super sturdy and functional that people can sit on the floor, rest their drinks on. Be casual. I like a nubby and cozy rug in the living room to make the space feel really welcoming and warm. I also love big oversized floor pillows to keep things casual.  For the kitchen - if you have space a banquet with a nice table is always nice so people can sit and chat with you when you cook.

I am interested in updating the look of my living room, in particular the window treatments and paint color. I have drapery panels with a gold background color on the picture window and the same material in just a swag on the other two windows. The walls are painted Benjamin Moore Shelburne Buff. Any suggestions for modernizing the look ?

Is the beige paint weighing you down a bit? It sounds like the all the gold and beige feels a bit heavy and traditional. I would go with a brighter color - like a white or pale grey and swap out the curtains for a bright pattern that will make you happy! Does that help? You can find a pattern that feels modern and fun and will add a pop to the space. 

Kitchen was built in 1992 with a 48" fluorescent light. Light needs to go. Track lighting? Don't really want to drop the money for recessed cans.

Hi, what about pendant lighting? There are so many fun options out there from Ikea, CB2, Circa Lighting, West Elm. You don't have to drop a ton of money to make a really stylish statement. NOT tracking lighting. You won't love it.

Hi, we have an antique Edison cylinder phonograph with a morning glory horn and having trouble finding a place for it. Right now it's in our living room (decorated antique) near the oriel window. However, in this position the horn juts out into the room. We though about a corner on either side of the fireplace, but she has chairs there. If it weren't for the horn, where it sits would be idea. But we're at a loss as to where a better place would be. I'm wondering if you've run into similar problems in the past.

I think the corner sounds like a perfect place for it. You don't want to block your window with such a large object. It sounds really lovely! 

I am starting from scratch in a new apartment on a tight budget. Where should I begin in choosing colors for my living room?

How exciting!! Pick a color you love for the living room. For me - the most important thing is for the living room to feel like a place you really want to hang out and unwind. So I love selecting colors for the living room that will be calming and welcoming. You don't have to buy everything at once. I would start with paint, a rug you love and a SUPER COMFY sofa and go from there.

I bought a new 46 inch TV but I can't mount it on the wall. Where can I find a nice stand?

CB2 and West Elm both have really great consoles. I think that's a great place to start. Also think about using a nice vintage side board with storage underneath. There are so many cool George Nelson inspired vintage cabinets and consoles on ebay and etsy that are not expensive.

What are your top tips for shelf styling? My bookshelves are a mess.

I am SO glad you asked. Our new book packed with tips about how to style your bookshelf and mantels. First start by taking EVERYTHING off your book case and sort buy the books that you love/and are most attractive. Organize them loosely by color (do not be too rigid about this). Take your time - really play around with scale and color. Then start to layer in objects you love - colorful vases in a palette you love, family photos, glass objects, small framed prints, marble, wood and brass objects to add dimension and  personality.

Are you also against pendant track lighting? There are some lovely pendants for tracks out there, and as a keen cook I do find multiple light sources very helpful.

Can you send me a link to something you like?

Hey folks - do you have any recommendations for a place to replace the broken top of a marble topped table? (I'm in DC)

Call your local quarry or marble dealer - they often have smaller pieces that could replace your table top. I love ABC Stone in New York.

What if someone smokes in your house? How do you get rid of the smell?

Open ALL of the windows and light candles for the afternoon. Also bake something yummy in the oven - a roast chicken, some cookies... that will help. :) 

How do you suggest people find their personal decor style? I love the industrial look, but also want a comfy space for myself and when guests visit.

I think it's important that you don't hit any one look over the head and be too literal with it. You can definitely have industrial elements in your home (lighting, cocktail tables, side tables, dining chairs, etc) but you should also make sure that you have textiles and rugs to warm up the space and make it welcoming and livable. NUMBER ONE place to start is a comfy sofa. Invest in something people will want to sink into and hang out for a while. 

Are faux fur throws now out?

I don't think so. Do you like them? They are very cozy for winter and sheepskins are DEFINITELY not out.

Is it true that the sign of a good decorative pillow is that it has the same fabric on both sides?

No way! I love a good two sided pillow - it can be way more interesting. 

Do you really have to have crown molding in a traditional home?

You definitely don't have to but they do add a really nice finish to a space. Even if things are more modern it is nice to have some molding to define a space. 

How high above a dining room table should your light fixture hang?

It depends how high your ceilings are. I think generally no lower than 6-7 feet. 

What are good selections for kitchen floors? i don't like cork.

I love tile in the kitchen. Especially patterned cement tile. You can really have fun with it. I also love a painted wood floor in the kitchen. It keeps everything light and bright.

This pinterest page https://www.pinterest.com/pin/264586546831616754/ This post https://www.pinterest.com/pin/264586546831616754/ If you want more of an industrial feel, encorparting the track itself can be fun - a lot of them are quite interesting.

Go for it! If you love it -  definitely go for it. I like a pendant on it's own or in a pair/or trio. I don't think it needs the track but they definitely have a fun industrial feel.

A talent friend in London, Lauren Shanley, made cushions for our sofa. She appliqued cut-outs from 1950s vibrant bird material. She said she had the hardest time with what to put on the back and ended up with a stunning African print in browns and earth tones. It's about enhancing and complementing. You can see vlog I did about it here http://www.antoniadesigns.com/2015/02/exploring-color-texture/

cool

What do you think of the decluttering wisdom of Marie Kondo?

I love her! I really try to live this way - and really just live with things I love and have meaning. I find that surrounding myself with things that have meaning really impacts my quality of life and how I live in my space.

Where would you use the Benjamin Moore 2016 COlor of the Year, Shadow?

A dramatic powder room, an entry or on kitchen cabinets. CHIC!! 

Are picture ledges still cool?

FOR SURE!! They are great and so practical.

I would like to replace the oak stair railing and white balusters with stainless steel and glass. How to a find a local company who does this kind of work or the parts since self install wouldn't be that difficult.

You should look up a local artisan who works in steel and metal. I'm sure they could do something really custom and cool if you provide drawings and inspiration. 

You answered so many questions, thanks. Next week, come back for a chat about the holidays and your house and table with Ikea's Janice Simonsen, who is up on the latest Ikea products and design trends. Bye for now.

In This Chat
Jura Koncius
Jura Koncius is a Washington Post staff writer who specializes in home and design. Read her daily twitter feed @jurakoncius for the latest in decorating trends, shopping, decluttering, organizing and DC retail.

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Jessica Romm Perez
Jessica Romm Perez is the editorial director at Domino magazine.
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