A Design Brief by ASH (Angelie Spencer Home)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

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Kingston will this week be abuzz with yet another brilliant “Lifestyle” initiative by the Jamaica Observer: Design Week. NMW and her Lifestyle team have conquered FOOD, they have conquered FASHION and now it's on to HOME…in a big way, shining the spotlight on interior decorating, design, building and renovation. I have participated in the Food Awards, FNO (now TSO) and Style Awards, and I am now very excited to be a part of Design Week, having recently introduced my Interior decorating service, ASH, Angelie Spencer Home. Join me later today, at the launch of Design Week at Ashley Furniture Homestore, Hope Road. for Conversations in Design.

Enjoy an exclusive peek at some of my work featured here, and the approach I take to design.


Kitchen: This kitchen had to be both functional and beautiful. There was one major challenge — there was not a single window in the room to let light in! The preference was dark mahogany stained cabinets, but that would have made it even darker and almost cavernous, so the beauty of such a finish would have been lost. I instead had to lighten and brighten the kitchen, so I opted for an almond stain with brown glaze. This type of paint finish is typical of a French country style, so I added appliqués and onlays for beauty and authenticity to subtle arch details above the “work triangle” — sink/stove/refrigerator, as well as “turned legs“ facade. Solid stone countertops and modern stainless steel appliances and farm sink made for a beautiful transitional look.

Dining 1: A calm neutral beige is a great canvas for a large space, but can be a bit dull and monotonous, so a great rule is to add textures when going for a monochromatic colour scheme. Here, I used a grasscloth wallpaper on the main wall of the dining room, and though it is essentially the same colour as the wall paint, the texture adds so much interest and depth. The dining room chairs were commissioned by me and custom made by Island Art in a rich dark wood, with soft silk upholstered seats. A stunning MaraMade Designs dining table and side board were later added to the space with incredible effect. Tamara Harding and I collaborated on the wooden mirrors for a bold and beautiful statement wall. I call this my “Jamaican Made dining space” as it features Cecil Baugh pottery, Gene Pearson masks, Touch by VLS plates and Baughaus bowls and tea set, and I am so proud of our Jamaican artisans and designers whenever I look at the wall.

The Living Room: Cosy and inviting is how I think a living room should feel. It should woo you in and envelope you in comfort. Though this room is light, bright and beige it is still warm and inviting. Soft, comfortable seating is evenly spaced around the room, with large, colourful cushions, a large area rug to soften the tiled floor, potted plants, flowers and beautiful artwork on the walls make this such an inviting and comfortable space. The large picture window and French doors allow sunlight to wash the room.

Study/TV Room: This room serves double duty. The most important things in rooms such as these is comfort. Comfortable seating, comfortable temperature, good lighting and good positioning of the television for viewing.

Girl's Bedroom: When designing children's rooms, I much prefer to work with a colour scheme rather than a theme. This child's favourite colour was purple, but we know how fickle children are, so the purple was a mere accent colour here. I opted to use a calm, beautiful neutral ivory on the remaining three walls, furniture and cornice board, that could go with whatever colour her heart may desire. Fortunately, she still loves her purple, and the bedding and curtains I custom-made to tie the whole colour scheme together. I am a true do- it-yourselfer, so I personally make, or commission custom-made pieces to get the look I want. This beautiful bed with pull-out trundle as well as the cornice boards was custom-made right here in Jamaica, the caning detail to the sides done by The Society for the Blind. I believe they are the only ones who still do this in Jamaica.

Patio: On entering the home, there is a calming water feature that welcomes you. The sound of the water dictated a cool blue on the walls. The patio sits off the living room that features Gene Pearson masks on a main wall. I carried this theme through to the patio with smaller masks along the walls. Comfortable seating with warm-coloured cushions gives this outdoor space a cosy indoor feel.

Entryway: The entryway sets the tone for the colour scheme used throughout the white and grey with wood and gold accents. Large abstract art, wood and stone masks can be seen throughout the home.

Living Room: The client had the existing sofas in the space and in the consultation hinted at an interesting texture like animal skin, so I introduced that texture into the space with a cow skin rug on the floor and calf skin pillows on the sofas. The antler chandelier then seemed like the most ideal choice at that point, as something a bit unexpected in Jamaica, but stylish and appropriate in the space. The client already had three large Gene Pearson masks that I knew would couple beautifully with three wooden blocks I had seen at the launch of MaraMade Designs. The combination made for a stunning feature wall. The guango coffee table I commissioned from MaraMade Designs also featured wooden blocks and worked perfectly in the space with a simple glass top.

Dining Room 2: This client is a sophisticated male, and I wanted the space to reflect that. As head of a major company, I thought that tall, stately commanding chairs should head the dining table, so I commissioned same from Island Art and Framing. A mix of textures like leather and chenille on the chairs and grasscloth and faux wood forest on the wallpapers make this monochromatic room both luxurious and interesting. An oversized gold portal mirror is the main feature in this dining room, along with textured accessories like agate slices, coral and mother of pearl.

Sitting Nook: I love using wallpaper in spaces for dimension, texture and interest. In this small sitting nook that is located off the dining room, I used a darker and complementary shade wallpaper to that in the dining room so the rooms relate to each other. A bold abstract painting sits on the wall above the simple loveseat with a heavily textured cushion as an accent that pulls all the colours of the room together. These hanging pendant lights, mimic the shape and lines of the coffee table, tying the whole space together.


Angelie Martin-Spencer has coined the hashtag #MissJackOfAllTrades as she is a lover of everything lifestyle and does it all. The former Jamaica Observer contributor has successfully operated a catering business, is a certified cake baker and cake decorator, a certified make-up artist and an interior decorator and designer. She is the client and marketing manager for drennaLUNA, and has worked with the brand as stylist since its inception in 2009. In 2010, Angelie designed and launched a Children's Collection called Christianna and is now creative director for “sol” by drennaLUNA, a swimwear label.




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