By Kitty Golding
Kitty & Company has been conducting a series of short interviews with Chelsea Residents and will continue to publish them for the period of one year. We have enjoyed learning about the differing personalities and design styles in our community and hope you have as well. Stay tuned and follow us each week – we look forward to introducing you to more Chelsea Individuals in the future weeks- it may just be YOU! This week we introduce you to JESSICA MERKEL.
What is your profession and for how long?
I have a BA in Interior Design and use it to work with builders, designers and end users assisting them with lighting design and fixture selection, at Gross Electric in Ann Arbor, for their homes or businesses - 14 years.
Your family members:
My husband Pete, and my two boys Jake (7) and George (3).
When did you move to Chelsea? Where did you live prior to this?
My family moved to Chelsea from Ann Arbor right before I started Kindergarten in 1987.
What do you love about where you currently live?
Everything! Especially now, I am grateful for property to roam and for my kids to play! Although we are not spending time together now I love my neighbors.
If you could have a second home anywhere, where would it be?
On a lake in northern Michigan or in Colorado, near my mom.
What three words describe your style?
One designer friend described my current style as "Little Tykes" - which I love because it is so true! We have kid’s stuff everywhere. but really my style lends itself to clean and simple with a bit of trendy.
As you think about the home in which you grew up, what elements did you like and do you think you have incorporated some of them in your own home?
I grew up in an old house in town. My mom was good at combining old antiques with new pieces - I wish I was good at this, but am not! I think I have a hard time because of the current style of my home.
What is one trend in design you do NOT like?
It is not really a "trend" but houses with really high ceilings are features I do not like - especially in a kitchen.
Have you ever built a new home or remodeled an existing one?
Our home was built in 1962, we remodeled our kitchen and basement and are getting ready for some bedroom and bathroom remodels.
What is the one biggest interior design issue you struggle with?
Pulling it all together and staying true to what I really like and not worry about what I think everyone else will like.
Have you stayed true to a style through the years, or have you fluctuated in your tastes? I know what I like but the architecture of my house and my budget seem to get in the way!
Which room in your home gets the most use? Please give any explanation as well.
Kitchen and Living Room - my kids use the living room to play and watch T.V. but I am always in the kitchen - especially now as I work from my kitchen counter.
If you were moving and could only pick one item from your home to keep, which would it be?
My Grandmother’s piano.
Name an item you purchased for your home that you regret buying:
White kitchen cabinets - they look great but I have to clean them constantly.
If you are a pet owner, how has that influenced your choices in design, if it has?
I would not have dark wood floors - you can see every scratch
No room is complete without:
Something that makes you happy or is super comfortable.
I tend to be: a minimalist of things, not a collector of items.
What are you currently doing to pass the time during the COVID-19 State shutdown?
I am plenty busy with my kids and work, but we are starting to update our bedrooms - just what we can right now with what we have but I am hoping for less clutter and more tranquility!
A few of your favorite things!
Historical Place You Have Visited- DC for the museums, Charleston SC for the architecture and food.
Scent - coffee.
TV Show -The Office - or anything that makes me laugh out loud.
Food/Meal – Big Eye Tuna served at the Pacific Rim in Ann Arbor.
Color – Green.
Hobbies – Running.
Pets? – currently we have a cat, Ronald 😊, but we love dogs too.
Kitty’s note: Jessica and I have worked together for a long time on various design projects – probably 14 years! She is my go-to “lighting guru”! Lighting has changed much over the last years and I trust her to help me stay on top of details and trends. Jessica has the easiest and friendliest personality and I am so blessed to have her in my profession! She makes people a priority.