Meet the Designer: Jan Mankarious

Jan Mankarious, Interior Designer

Jan Mankarious, Interior Designer

From where do you draw your inspiration?
As Grace Coddington, creative director for US Vogue, once said, “Always keep your eyes open. Keep watching. Because whatever you see can inspire you.” I try to get my inspiration from everything I see around me—nature, buildings, and even people. You will be amazed by what you can be inspired by.

What should every home include?
Every home should include something I call the “relaxation innovation corner.” I believe that everyone—no matter what you do for a living—is looking to find a place to relax and get innovative. It might be a corner in a room, or a whole room, but it’s a place to paint, draw, listen to music, read a book, enjoy a nice view, or practice your hobby. In this space you can forget about your problems and gain the energy you need to continue!

What design element do you think people should use more?
I consider seven elements in every design: space, line, form, light, color, texture, and pattern. All of these elements are important, although many people focus on color and light. I would like to see more texture incorporated into designs. Texture can play a part in every object selected, so care and consideration must be taken in order to add depth and contrast to a design.

What colors or materials are you loving right now?
For me, it’s less about a specific color or material, and more about what creates balance in a design. I have learned not to love or hate a specific element, since all can work together to bring a wonderful and unique design. Think of elements, such as color and material, as a team, and I, as the team manager, have to find a way to make them work together perfectly.

What's one of your favorite design memories?
Every project I work on leaves me with design memories, since each one is unique. However, nearest to my heart was the designing of the Sonesta Hotel Extension in Cairo, Egypt. The challenge was to design a new 10-story extension to an existing and well-known hotel, that was in keeping with the original spirit while also bringing a unique look.