Entrepreneur Jordan Ferney's Manhattan Rental Is a Maximalist's Dream
Welcome to The Makers. Each week, we’re celebrating innovators, artisans and crafters of all types, taking you on a private tour of their creative spaces. For this instalment, we tour Jordan Ferney's maximalist home, in New York City's West Village.
There's a real art to maximalist design. When executed well, a beautifully layered room boasts colour and a fearless amalgamation of pattern. But it’s safe to say that this is one of the most difficult interior design styles to do well, and not everyone can create an all-out space without it looking chaotic.
Unsurprisingly, someone who has mastered this design style is Jordan Ferney. As an editor of Domino magazine, the founder of experiential colour and art exhibit, Color Factory, and the founder of party and craft media site and online store, Oh Happy Day, Jordan is an expert in creating a feel-good home. "My mum instilled in us the idea that art and making your home beautiful were worthwhile pursuits." she says.
The main living area is swathed in a beautiful seafoam green shade that's perfectly juxtaposed with mustard and burnt orange hues. This palette continues throughout the home creating a cohesive look and feel that's both vibrant and sophisticated.
Below, Jordan shares her colourful career history, facing her fears of putting her creative ideas out in the world, and how she makes an interior space a nice place to hang out.
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Hi Jordan! This series is called The Makers. What is it that you make?
I’m an entrepreneur. Formerly, I’m the founder of Color Factory, an experiential colour and art exhibit and Oh Happy Day, a party and craft media site and online store. Currently, I’m an editor at Domino magazine and working to launch a new company in 2022.
How does the act of “making” relate to your personality and who you are?
I like to be really intentional when I bring something into my home. I grew up in a big family and my parents were schoolteachers. I remember my sister teaching me when I was 12 years old that if you are going to buy a waste paper basket, you might as well buy one that is beautiful and I’ve tried to always be deliberate to bringing beautiful things into my life.
Tell us about your career journey to date. Did you always know you wanted to pursue this line of work?
I went to school as an English Literature major, but I’ve always loved parties and knew I’d wanted to be an event planner. Very quickly, I learned I didn’t like pleasing clients and wanted to create for myself. That’s when I realised I could share my ideas online and Oh Happy Day was born.
Talk us through your creative process. Where do you start?
I’m very inspired by retail stores - everything from a tightly edited concept store to a haphazardly thrown together thrift store. I get really inspired by looking and touching things in person. Of course, the internet is always great source for inspiration. If I am ever feeling uninspired, I go for a walk and visit some shops.
What’s been the single most crucial tool or strategy you’ve used to further your business?
Investing in people and relationships has been the most important. The farther I get in my career, the more I realise that everything is about creating relationships and helping people so that comes back to you some day.
What’s been the most challenging lesson learnt so far in your business?
There have been many. I think understanding that I can’t please everyone has been really hard for me. Sometimes the creative agenda or personal agenda have to take priority over other people’s needs was a hard lesson to learn. In addition, the idea that whatever you are scared of will probably happen in some form or another. Difficult stuff happens when you put yourself out there and facing that fear is part of the price you pay for getting to put your ideas out in the world.
What’s been the best thing that’s happened to you since you started your business?
Putting my ideas out into the world has been very fulfilling.
Do you have a single piece of advice you’d give to your younger self or someone looking to pursue a similar line of work?
I had to set up reliable and predictable systems and figure out how to make enough money to make our basic bills. Everything else beyond that, every penny, every minute was spent towards building my business. Sometimes I see people leap in without setting up an infrastructure first. It took me several years to get to a place where we saved enough money from our jobs and working part time for other people before we could finally work for ourselves.
Now, the home stuff. How long have you lived here?
We moved in February 2020, right before the pandemic hit. With nothing else to do, it became my fulltime job to decorate this rental.
How did you initially know this was the space for you?
I’d spent most of my career in San Francisco and have always wanted to live in NY. The windows in our space are amazing and get so much light which is so rare in the West Village.
Did you do any renovations or make any big changes after moving in?
We made some pretty big changes in the kitchen and added a bunch of storage, just IKEA armoires.
What was the thought process behind the way you’ve styled the interior?
I’m a maximalist but I like to have lots of storage so I can hide things away so I can feel things are tidy and tucked away. In city apartments, I usually work on the space being functional first and then figure out how to make it feel good and a nice place to hang out. I think if you add books, plants and artwork, it can make up for any hosts of sins.
What are your favourite pieces in the home?
I love these chairs from Muller Van Severen.
Do you have any special décor pieces you’re looking to add?
I’ve always wanted a womb chair and I saw one from Forsyth Art that is upholstered in sheepskin.
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Which is your favourite room in the house?
My bedroom although I enjoy the family room.
What are your top tips for a well-styled bedroom, and home generally?
Create systems so that it can stay nice and serene. For example, have a place for dirty clothes so even when you are busy, your room can feel calm. Fill it with art and flowers and things that make you happy.
Do you have any projects coming up you want to talk about?
I’m launching a new company in Spring 2022 I’m very excited about. In the meantime, I’m restoring an old farmhouse outside of New York City.
For more from Jordan, follow her on Instagram @jordanferney