Written by: Brette Little
Photography by: Krissy Gallacher, Tyler Dunn
I first met Janine at University when we were 18 years old and living on our own for the first time. While my room was decorated with the typical embarrassing of-the-moment band posters, Janine had carefully curated her drawings and magazine cutout collages, and transformed her bleak dorm into something Avante Garde and dare I say..cool? It didn't surprise me that she thrived in art school. Janine's talent and unique approach to fashion has always been distinctive. With time her skills and style has evolved, but no matter which way she flows, the girl can never blend in! I'm one of Janine's biggest fans, so I was excited to sit down with her to talk design, inspiration and to find out what the hell “prairie grunge” is all about?!
Current Location: Gibsons, BC
Occupation: Graphic Designer and Artist
At-home style in three words: Sculptural sexy farmhouse
Coffee style & ritual: Hot water, then a French press coffee with cream
What is your ethos behind style and living?
Over the years I have become a huge believer in home-/farm-centered living: moving towards self-sufficiency and sustainability, growing and cooking foods from scratch, all the while (trying to, at least) make it chic. I am obsessed with creating beautiful things—after all, I am a graphic designer by trade—this has influenced me a lot in the design, materials and textures I choose. But, my true desire to create a loving home is my family—I live with my husband Tyler and my little 1.5-year-old daughter Valentine.
What was your approach to decorating this home and how has it evolved?
Since moving to a rural area of Gibsons 5 years ago (my husband and I run a farm here called Sunnycoast Farm that grows produce and microgreens), I have slowly collected my style over time. I am all about putting more patina into the home, which is a cute little farmhouse, but without much remarkable character. My decor started out a lot more 70’s lounge but has morphed into what I call ‘sculptural farmhouse’: rustic and imperfect, informed by modern art and interesting shapes.
How would you describe the spaces, and how you arrange them?
My approach is defined by clearing space, with distinct clusters of collected treasures and mementos from our lives. Everything in my house is special to me; I won’t let anything in my home that I don’t find pleasing, haha! I love surroundings that invite comfort and serenity—so everything needs to feel very cozy and soft to the touch, with lovely lighting. As you can tell in the photos, I prefer warm colours like brown, cream, vanilla, and pure or warm white.
Where do you find key pieces in your home, and what are some favourites?
95% of my stuff is second-hand, vintage, or from friends; I find my most unique, showstopping pieces this way. Some favourites include a hand-carved folk-art chair from craigslist, our dining room pendant (free) from the Sechelt landfill, and an old farmhouse table from an antique store in Sorrento BC. My mom makes ceramics and we use a lot of her pieces too, which are also beautiful to display!
But what about your art, it seems to be…everywhere.
True, there is a rotating group of stuff coming out of my studio (a small room in the back of our house), that I ponder about before working on it again. A lot of paintings and drawings end up posted on our walls because they’re too big to store elsewhere! I am working on a 20+-piece that I am hoping to show next year—it’s earthy and even uses materials from around the farm like soil and concrete.
Describe your personal style.
From farm living, most of my outfits are held to the standard of “prairie grunge”, which to me is the perfect combination of ethereal and casual function. Like wearing floaty cotton and bandanas mixed with heavy industrial jewelry and dark hair. Sounds weird but my style has gotten ‘darker’ and more “cave-like” since becoming a mother, go figure!
How was it designing the MINCA blanket collections you have been a part of?
Seeing the designs come to life has been wonderful. Collaborating with the brand and Brooke is always a creative and enjoyable experience, since the concepts need to be both meaningful and aesthetically on point. I try to imbue a fresh minimal perspective in all the designs I create for MINCA. The MINCA Mini line for little ones started at just the right time, since I created those designs while pregnant! They turned out so cute and my daughter loves hers.
Check out Janines Casa Blanket designs here and more from her portfolio below: