Sep 12, 2014

The Capital Home Show is taking place September 19-21, 2014 at the Dulles Expo Center. This show is a great place for homeowners to get the tips, advice and exclusive deals they need to help make their home projects happen. We know that undertaking a home renovation, remodel, or redesign can be an overwhelming process - there's budgets to balance, expectations to meet, and work to do. That's why we enlist the help of lots of home experts at the show, like J. Allen.

J. Allen is an accomplished interior designer whose talents have been features on HGTV's Design Star, in Home & Design Magazine and in The Washington Post. J. is the founder of Perceptions Interiors and has over 11 years experience in residential, commercial, and hospitality interiors. J. will be sharing the ultimate guide to decorating in five steps. But before you cure your design woes and learn how to pull a room together like a pro, enjoy our interview with J. below.


Twitter: @perceptionsid
Facebook: Perception Interiors by J .Allen
Pinterest: Perception Interiors
Houzz: Perception Interiors

Marketplace Events (MPE): What three items do you always keep in your purse/pockets?
  • J. Allen (JA): "Tape measure, phone with camera, hand sanitizer."
MPE: What was your first job?
  • JA: "Designed a basement apartment in Alexandria Virginia. It was my first paid gig, single mom with two kids. It had a $1,000 budget and I was so excited that someone wanted to hire me, I stretched that budget like no other job and she is still a client today in her third home.”
MPE: How were you discovered?
  • JA: “I had clients who recommended that I audition for the show – on a whim I tried for casting in Philadelphia and drove and they asked me to come back the next day and there was a blizzard and I ended up going back and forth to the show in the storm – a little voice in my head just said just do it and it worked out.”
MPE: Most memorable career moment to date?
  • JA: Design Star was a pivotal moment – being selected for that top 12 and being a small fish in the big pond and being selected was a big deal.”
MPE: What famous figure inspires your career?
  • JA: “Mary McDonald’s design style – her outlook and how she tackles her projects – I love a lot of different designers for different reasons, but I love her drive, great attitude and energy.”
MPE: What’s your personal mantra
  • JA: “Perception is reality – which is the reason for the name of my company.”
MPE: What is the most challenging part of your job?
  • JA: “Identifying my clients’ taste and style and creating a style that is them and not me and something they are happy to live in every day – capturing their lifestyle.”
MPE: What do you see as a new trend?
  • JA: “1. Grey has been my favorite color for a long time – and it is coming back right now.
    2. Designers are being seen as more than a luxury service – and people see them as a viable service.
    3. Reclaimed industrial trends – we are finding ways to reuse/recycle – it makes things more interesting.”
MPE: What was your most embarrassing moment?
  • JA: “First day on camera we were eating Chinese food and I was so nervous that I shoved a fortune cookie in my mouth and wound up eating the fortune inside!”
MPE: What is your favorite design or garden-related phone app?
  • JA: “Houzz.”
MPE: What is your favorite room in your house?
  • JA: “My closet – because I took a lot of time with it and I don’t have to share it with my husband – I could live in my closet.”
Make sure to catch J. at the Capital Home Show. Grab your tickets online early to save $3 courtesy of Thompson Creek Window Company. We can’t wait to see you there!