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Learn From the Expert: An Interview With James Stanley, Architectural Designer

James Stanley’s 14-year history in the real estate industry has given him an edge no one else can match. His unique vision for success is backed up by years of hands on experience, especially regarding Los Angeles and Miami markets where he worked hard to build his clientele. Get inside the mind of one of the most sought-after architectural designers in the country.


Hello James, thank you for accepting our interview. Tell us how did you start working in the industry? 

Growing up with my Mom in SoCal, she owned a General / Engineering / Construction firm where she pushed me to watch and learn how to run the business and manage a team. As a result, I learned how to use my mind and hands to build just about anything. My Mother was also a major antique collector, so I honed my eye on that world as well. 

When I left SoCal for Miami Beach, I had the opportunity to design and remodel a few small boutique hotel lobbies in Miami Beach through my employment with a small design firm. I quickly became passionate about what I was doing and learned how to apply the skills I learned through my experience working with my Mother and her team. 


Who is your biggest inspiration?

First:  My Mother.  She instilled an extremely hard work ethic in me and an eye for detail. 

ELON MUSK – My hero and indirectly my mentor. I look up to him because of his ability to take something he has no background or education in and create brilliant innovative solutions that revolutionized the industry. He defied critics who believe it could not be done and proved them wrong by making the impossible possible. His brilliance and courage to bring his ideas to fruition inspires me beyond words.  

I believe his moto says it all: 

 “Do your 5 year plan in 1 year. Even if you don’t get it all done, you’ll be much further ahead.”


We’re interested in learning more about what you do.  How would you describe your work?

At James Stanley NY. We specialize in creating unique spaces that transcended expectations from LA to Miami and beyond.  The unique vision to capture the client’s individuality and create  personalized architectural/interior designs is always the goal.  JSNY’s ability to design and fabricate custom Art pieces-Furniture-Lighting in a luxury design is something I am extremely passionate about.  I would describe my work as eclectic and minimal with a personal edge. We’re more than a design firm, and more than a construction company. 


What has been the most rewarding part of working in the interior design industry? 

As a devout Buddhist, my purpose in life is to help others. Fortunately, my career as interior designer provides me an outlet to service my clients through creating a home environment that they connect with emotionally, evokes joy, cultivates serenity and contentment.  I am blessed that I am passionate about my work and it provides me the ability to spread my creative wings. 


Have you ever had to work with someone who was really difficult to please when it came to interior design?  

My clients are zealous, and expect nothing less than perfection. For some, this may come across as difficult and challenging. However, for me, it’s an expectation that I am always prepared to meet. This may sound like a cliché, but at JSNY the client comes first. It’s important to not allow the Ego rule your emotions, but let reason resolve. 


When it comes to interior design, do you prefer to take risks or play it safe? 

I live my life by taking calculated risks that allow me to be creative and push the boundaries of design.  


Do you think there’s a standard for what constitutes good interior design? 

Not an easy question. I believe when it comes to interior design, I advise my clients to opt for what they are emotionally connected to. Sometimes, this results in unconventional design that defies expected standards.

Storyboard – I recommend putting a Storyboard together. Put all the rooms/areas that you’re doing on a wall or digital, use clippings of things you like/love or are getting and as the rooms/areas come together, stand back and take a look and the continuity/flow, but in start with pops of it either in your art and accessories. The artist in me says absolutely. 

Color is Key – As the Storyboard is coming together, start adding your pops of color- art –fabrics- accessories –paint. 

Edit – Once you stand back or view your story board, and take a good look, then edit it back. You’ll find everything doesn’t work-fit or is needed. 

Do what you love . There’s no right or wrong.  


What are some of the biggest mistakes people make when redesigning their homes?  

  • Not hiring a professional and attempting to design and manage the home renovation project on their own.   
  • Not paying attention to all the details. 
  • Designing each room individually instead of the home as a whole which may not allow you to create a cohesive flow from one room to another. 
  • Budgets, especially on the construction end. 
  • Scale of furnishings, etc.

You have a lot of experience under your belt. Do you have any advice for someone who is just starting out in the home improvement industry?

Talent isn’t enough to be successful – it takes extreme dedication and endurance to build a business from the ground up and keep it running successfully. 


Can you share your top design tip to our readers?

Connect Emotionally to your home.

Chose what you love.

Don’t be afraid of color.

Think accessories that can be switched out by season. 

Flowers and Music are easy and emotional keys to good design. 

Have Fun. 

We hope you enjoyed this interview and learned something new. Be sure to check back soon, as we will be publishing more interviews with industry experts.

Written by Emile

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