Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Surprise Guest Blogger...Is Here!!

My Surprise Guest Blogger is.................(insert drumroll)............................................................
~Jennifer Bertrand~
Winner of Design Star Season Three

I have my first ever guest blogger and it is none other than the bubbly, amazing, super-talented and super nice Jennifer Bertrand! Have you had a chance to see Jen's new show Paint-Over on HGTV? I hope so! It was fabulous!!

Have you wondered why you haven't seen much of Jennifer since she won Design Star season three? Well let me let her tell you what's been going on......

I won Season 3 of Design Star and I seemed to drop off the face of the planet. You could say that, but the reason is none other than parenthood and on top of that, our son Winston was born with a couple of rare lymphatic malformations. So I joined the club of being a Mom of a special needs child. Winston, like his Mom, doesn’t like to take the easy road----why have one rare malformation when you can have two!!! :) This will probably explain the waterworks you see me display when talking about medical issues on my new show “Paint Over”. It’s one of those things that if people only knew the half of it…………………………

1.) How old were you when you first started having an interest in interior design/decorating?
I fell in love with design when I was young and we lived in Germany. We would travel to all of the castles and chateauxs and it really educated me on the concept of timeless design. Plus in Europe I learned to appreciate creating a solid design over time because you were pulling together things that were bought with love as you found them. Then throughout my life, being a military kid, we would move every two to four years. My Mom would always turn a hideous house into something fabulous and every single time it was different.

2.) Have you had any formal training?
I wish I could say yes! If I were to do it all again, I would! But with a Bachelors of Art in Education with an emphasis in ceramics and a Masters in Education, I’m done with school for now! J But I would not be a great tv host were it not for my experience in education, so, it all worked out the way it was suppose to! But I grew up in a house with a mother who is a sculptor (she has a sculpture in the Reagan Presidential Library) and my father, who was a Colonel in the Air Force, is now Director of the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. So the love of art and design was always a part of my life. Over our four years in Germany we traveled Western Europe every weekend and I was exposed and educated to appreciate all styles and aesthetics of art and architecture. How many fifth graders went to Belgian antique markets every weekend to go shopping? I know---very, very cool. My absolute favorite part of childhood was living in Germany. And then we moved to Oklahoma………….. J

3.) Who is your favorite interior designer?
That’s a tough one, b/c there are sooooooooo many brilliant designers out there!!! I adore Kelly Hoppen, David Rockwell, Thom Filicia, Kenneth Brown, and Kelly Wearstler to name a few. But I’m a huge Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs fan, too!! And to me, interior design, art, fashion, music……….it all flows together!

4.) Did anyone in particular help push you to try out for Design Star?
Nope! I just remember watching season two and saying, “I can do that!” And I couldn’t decide if I should do it, so on the last day the applications could be postmarked, I sent mine off! J I remember telling my husband with the package in my hand, “Are you ready for this?” He just laughed not knowing at that time what all it would lead to!!

5.) How has your life changed since you won Design Star other than having your own show?
It really made me happy to know that I had an audience out there who appreciated my voice in the design world! People have been so kind and supportive and it really is surreal to get to share my love of design and teaching. With that said, getting pregnant was not planned that’s for sure! We have a seven month old son named Winston who has a few medical issues that have kept us on our toes. But Winston is lovely and I know I still have a lot to offer so I just get excited to keep surprising people!! People are nice when they meet me out and about and you have to admit, the title is great on a resume!

6.) Who do you think will be the next Design Star?
It took me way too long to answer these questions so obviously Antonio won!! Congratulations to him and I wish him lots of success!!! He is fun and different and I know will have a lot to offer!

7.) What is your favorite decorating style?
I could simply say modern but a comfortable modern for my own personal taste. But my favorite way to decorate is with soul and intention. Everything should be so well thought out and everything should be a reflection of who it is intended for. My favorite style is one that combines everything really---no distinct style. You’ve just traveled the world, taken everything you love and made it flow with basic design principles.

8.) Have you decorated/designed your home in any particular style? (Would love if you could share pics of your home)
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, it’s the cobbler with no shoes!!! Nothing in our home is complete enough for me to show it off. It’s funny because I come home from filming and I always want to get stuff done for us! But in my head, our completed home is fabulous!!!!!! In person……..not so much!!!! J Give me another decade and I should be satisfied! But then again what designer isn’t always critiquing their work and redefining it just because of the pure love of the process!!!! It’s a sickness really!!! J But I do love Winston’s nursery (the second one we did that hasn’t been in the paper yet). We thought it all out, did it on a tight budget and made it look modern yet fun. And at the same time, it’s designed to fit all of his medical needs. Because what’s the point of great design if it doesn’t function!!!!

9.) What is your best decorating advice?
1- Make sure everyone in the home has a voice in the design.
2- Have a design that affects the soul. Great design can stir up emotions.
3- Don’t always play it safe.
4- Have fun!!!!

10) Is there any particular product/item in your home that you wouldn’t want to be without? (example: certain brand candle, special blanket, certain appliance, etc….)
Besides my husband, Winston and our animals, that’s hard! I have a beautiful black and gold Greek key coffee set that I purchased in the UK or all of my artwork that I either painted or friends have created. But really, after facing a medical issue like we have with young Winston, I have come to realize that it is all replaceable.

Thanks Jen for taking the time out of your super busy day to be my guest blogger!!

May God Bless You & Your Family!



susan said...

Thanks so much for giving us a more personal look at Jennifer Bertrand. I knew she had a new baby but did not know about the medical issues. I rooted for her from the beginning and I am glad to see her new show. Great post!

The DIY Show Off said...

Darlene - What a treat! Thank you!

Jennifer - I love your style and what an amazing story. :) Winston is just so precious! Thank you for opening up and giving us a peek into the girl behind the scenes!

Thanks ladies!


Sadie said...

I rememebr watching her on Design Star! Congratulations Jennifer on your adorable baby; I haven't caught your new show but will be on the look out for it now that I know about it!

A Touch of Country said...

I wondered what happened to her after the show...thanks for the update!

Jennifer I know God has a special direction for your baby's life and he will bring great joy to others. Everything is planned by God and happens for a specific reason. Use this as a tool for teaching others about the gospel and how strong he is. He will not forsake you.

Jennifer, do you have a blog?

Rhonda said...

Hi Darlene, thanks for featuring Jennifer! How'd you DO that!?

I am a Design Star fan, and was wondering what happened to her and her new show! I look forward to seeing Paint-over!

Anonymous said...

Hello Darlene,

Thanks so much for featuring Jennifer!! It is great to get an update on her.

Jennifer, congratulations on your baby. He is precious. God's blessings to you and your family.
I'm looking forward to catching your new show--you are such an awesome and talented designer:)


Dumbwit Tellher said...

What a terrific interview with a strong, talented, creative, woman & mother. Jen continues to impress me & it would be hard to not adore her. Her son Winston is precious xx I had wondered why she fell from view & thanks to your post we all now know. You must of been thrilled to have her guest blog?!
Thank you & happy weekend ~

Anonymous said...

Darlene what a great interview...I love Design Star and wondered what happened to her....

God Bless little Winston...

Great post,
Kathy :)

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

Wow! What a great post! I've had so many people write and ask me what happened to Jen after Design Star, and all I knew was that she'd had a baby. I'm so glad to hear the rest of the story, and to learn more about her.

I loved that season of Design Star (much better than the more recent one, in my opinion!).

Kathi said...

Thanks! I love Jennifer and it's so nice to know more about her. Being a mom is the best job ever! She is such an inspiration in so many ways!

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