AT SPACES, managing director Janelle Pantry's 'home away from home,' customers are encouraged to come in, take a load off and search for that elusive piece of furniture or home accessory they didn't even know they wanted. TSO reporter Curt Cawley joins the poised Pantry on the sofa — Mid-Century modern, of course — to talk shop and interiors...
What's the genesis of your store's name?
Well, the name SPACES was a combination of ideas coming together. We're a lifestyle, furniture and home accessories store, so we wanted a name - a singular name - that encompassed everything that we do, which is filling empty spaces. The name SPACES became a great fit for the whole concept of the store.
How long have you been in the retail industry?
This year makes it six years, actually - Wow! November marks our sixth anniversary.
What keeps you interested in the business of home furnishing?
I love what I do! Every day, coming into the office is very exciting for me. The atmosphere in the shop has a very relaxed vibe. It's like I'm going home and not going to work. That's what keeps me going, every day. I'm also excited by the products and the pieces in the shop, which are all hand-picked by me and I create all the collections that are seen in-store; it's as if I am filling my own space.
How would you describe your personal interior design tastes?
In general, the interior design aesthetic that appeals to me most is shabby chic. Personally, I like to infuse pattern and texture with my accessories. In my home, for example, I have a neutral-hued sofa, with ruffled throw cushions; and I've recently added a fantastic Chevron-print pillow to that mix. Though I may be crazy about pillows and patterns, I still prefer to be very simple when it comes to my own décor. I subscribe to the mantra of "Less is more." I'm also drawn to colour; it's the first thing I want to know when I walk into any room or space. "What colour are the walls?" I personally love a cool colour palette in soft blues and greens. We're in the tropics - it's hot and sweaty outside - so when we come home, to unwind, we want to feel cool, not only in terms of temperature but also in the look and feel of a space.
What lines do you carry?
At the moment, we have a wide array of lines: For the accessories, we do Global Views, which does very unique vases and other such lovely pieces. In the sofas and occasional pieces, we carry custom lines from La-Z-Boy, where you may choose your own fabrics and mix and match pieces. We also encourage our customers not to restrict themselves to the traditional 'one, two, three' - ie: the single seat, loveseat and sofa - combo: plus, the pieces don't all have to be in the same fabric. At SPACES we are all about customisation and personalisation; and the lines we carry support this practice. We also have Klaussner, Home Elegance and others, in both customisable and ready-to-ship options.
Which are your fastest-moving lines?
That really depends on the time of year; but we do very well with our home accessories.
How would you describe the SPACES woman?
She is a savvy shopper; she knows exactly what she wants; she is travelled and is abreast of the trends, not only in interior design but also in fashion. She is a professional who wants her home to be a comprehensive reflection of her tastes as well as her personal style.
What can customers expect from SPACES Thursday, September 19, when the Jamaica Observer Takes Style Out?
We are really excited about this! We'll be offering previews of the upcoming Christmas season and introducing new lines to our current inventory, just for TSO shoppers. Furniture, home accessories and jewellery designer Bianca Bartley will be in-store on the 19th to unveil her home collection that she's designed exclusively for SPACES. With what is currently happening with the local economy, we are really trying to highlight 'Made in Jamaica', so we are really excited to have Bartley on board.
What are some of the activities shoppers can look forward to on Thursday, September 19?
Apart from the drastically slashed prices that will continue into the weekend, we'll have on site a pop-up bar. So it's not only about great savings, but it will be nice setting to come and hang out with your girlfriends.
Share a few retail tips for Thursday, September 19.
All the products that we have in-store are also available via our website (see details) where you can check out our prices, item descriptions, and create a shopping list before you come in on the 19th. This will help to minimise the hunt for pieces because you'll already know exactly what you're coming for.
What do you expect to be the major home furnishing trends or must-haves for the Jamaica Observer Takes Style Out?
This year we've seen a shift away from browns; grey is the new on-trend colour of the moment. We've been doing a lot of sofas in charcoal and pale grey, lately. The Chevron and Ikat prints are still big, so hold on to those pieces. For wall colour we've been seeing a lot of neutrals, and even whites.
Who are your favourite furniture or interior designers and why?
It would be really hard to pinpoint one designer, so I'll just stick to my favourite design era, and furniture design style, which would be Mid-Century modern and Scandanavian, respectively. We are seeing a revival in MCM - a lot of the shapes popular now are reminiscent of that period.