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A Q&A with Design Milk

Photo by Tessa Neustadt

A Q&A with Design Milk

Jaime Derringer, the multitalented woman behind the Design Milk empire,
gives us an inside peek at her inspirations and artistic pursuits.

In the wide world of online content, design blogs are not exactly few and far between. What makes a great one stand out from the pack is a fresh perspective and a willingness to embrace new ideas. Design Milk is an authority on all things design, from modern interiors to dog houses (really) and beyond. What began in 2006 as founder Jaime Derringer’s passion project is now a leading online magazine with regular features spanning interior design, art exhibitions and even food design—it’s a thing—as well as offshoot projects like her Clever podcast and a design magazine for pets called Dog Milk.

We caught up with Jaime to learn more about her influences and inspirations behind what makes Design Milk one of the best in the biz.

Where did your interest in design start—and how did that eventually lead to Design Milk?

I’ve always been interested in art and design, and have always been a creative person. Growing up, I realized I had an interest in furniture when my parents brought me to what felt like every furniture store in New Jersey when furnishing their home. I spent so much time in furniture stores, and somehow that impacted me.

I sold furniture during college as well, which was when I noticed my fascination with how things were designed and made, and how everything came together in a room. I abandoned this feeling until it caught up with me when decorating my own home. In 2006, I started Design Milk after doing some online sofa shopping and I guess the rest is history… and maybe some hard work, too.

Where/how do you discover new things in design?

We primarily discover new design through emailed submissions to the website, and by attending trade shows and design events around the world. We also sometimes go down a rabbit hole on Instagram or Pinterest. I’ve even discovered things during my travels, vacations, and shopping—you never know where interesting design will pop up.

Photo courtesy of Tessa Neustadt for Emily Henderson Design.

Photo courtesy of Tessa Neustadt for Emily Henderson Design.

What are some fresh themes, ideas (or dare we say trends?) that you’re seeing in design and hope to see more of in 2019?

Oh, trends! The question everyone wants to ask…. I’m not really big on trends personally, but I am always discovering them, keeping tabs on them and talking about them! I will mention that florals, leopard, stripes and plaid may pop up here and there…the ‘90s are alive again. I also think we are going to be seeing more interesting office furnishings. Geometric shapes in lighting will continue, and minimalism vs. maximalism will still be in play.

Between Design Milk, Adorn Milk, Clever, Dog Milk—you’re also a talented artist. How?! What role does art play in your life?

I make the time—it’s really important for me to balance my time and do things I want to do (apart from work). I spent a lot of time working all day every day in the early years, so I’m happy to now be able to enjoy my life in a more balanced way. Art has always been part of my life; in childhood as a creative kid, then mostly as an observer and collector, and now I’ve begun making again. Art is also very important to my mental health—it’s something that helps me relieve stress and has taught me so much about myself.

Palm Springs II by Jamie Derringer, 2017. Acrylic, pencil and marker on linen.

Palm Springs II by Jamie Derringer, 2017. Acrylic, pencil and marker on linen.

Biofeedback by Jamie Derringer, 2017. Acrylic, spray acrylic, pencil, marker and ink on canvas.

Biofeedback by Jamie Derringer, 2017. Acrylic, spray acrylic, pencil, marker and ink on canvas.

Märchenland (Fairy[tale] land) by Jamie Derringer, 2015. Acrylic, spray enamel, marker, pencil and fabric paint on canvas.

Märchenland (Fairy[tale] land) by Jamie Derringer, 2015. Acrylic, spray enamel, marker, pencil and fabric paint on canvas.

How would you describe your style?

Abstract, eclectic, modern, a bit edgy.

What’s your favorite piece (of furniture, décor, etc) in your whole house?

My bed! It’s comfy, cozy, soft, inviting and I love sleeping, especially naps!

Togo Sofas by Ligne Roset, Up 5 Lounge Chair by Gaetano Pesce.

Togo Sofas by Ligne Roset, Up 5 Lounge Chair by Gaetano Pesce.

What’s something you’ve always wanted, but never purchased, for your home?

Ligne Roset Togo sofas: they’re at the top of my list.

Also, a Gaetano Pesce Up chair.

Do you have a go-to destination when you need a great/inspirational design fix?

Gosh, Instagram has to be my favorite place to be a voyeur, but I love taking walks and listening to music or painting—I try to inspire myself rather than look to something else to be inspired. However, I love art, film, music…anything visually intriguing and I’m there. And nature is really one of the best sources of inspiration for me.

To learn more about Jaime or to purchase her original artwork, visit jaimederringer.com and explore the Design Milk family on Instagram: @designmilk, @designmilkeveryday, @designmilktravels @designmilkattheoffice