Jillian Hayward Schaible of Susan Hayward Interiors: 5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy
An Interview With Candice Georgiadis
Choose colors that make you happy — Do you gravitate towards warm or cool tones? Do you like a soothing palette or vibrant pops of prints and colors? For clients that have trouble nailing down their style, we always recommend creating inspiration boards of photos they love- even if they can’t tell us why. After you have enough pictures together, you will start to draw similarities in colors you are naturally drawn to and how you may like to begin the design. It can also be helpful to look through your closet and see if you feel more comfortable in warm colors like tan, browns, and yellows, or cooler hues like blues, greens, and grays.
As part of my series on the “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jillian Hayward Schaible, Principal, Susan Hayward Interiors.
Jillian Hayward Schaible is a renowned member of the American Society of Interior Designers and partner of Susan Hayward Interiors. In a similar fashion to her mother and mentor, Susan Hayward, Jillian took a very unconventional path to become a designer. With her husband working as a helicopter pilot for the US Navy, it took a few moves and career changes before she could finally find a career that not only works for her lifestyle but that she loves.
Thank you so much for joining us in this series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
My path to interior design was certainly not a typical one! I studied Marine Science and French Language & Literature in college, intending to come out on the other end in the marine biology field. After graduating college, I found my way into a position as a Zookeeper in Florida while my now husband completed flight school as a Naval Aviator. Faced with across-country move on military orders shortly after, we headed to San Diego where I guided sea cave kayaking tours along the La Jolla shores and began working with my mom on the side in her interior design business. When my husband was deployed for 7 months, I spent more and more time working with my mom and really loved the business and the flexibility that it gave me. I completed an interior design certificate course during that time and decided to join Susan Hayward Interiors full-time, leaving behind my science background for the wonderful, fulfilling position I’ve had ever since!
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?
Since starting this career, I have been so lucky to have such a unique working experience that has totally changed my life. As a military spouse, flexibility and understanding are absolutely key to a happy, healthy work-life balance. I am fortunate to have my own mom as my partner as well as some of the best clients around. Until I started working with her, I always felt like having a family and a job in this military lifestyle was impossible. I’ve learned that a job can be so much more than just something you have to do everyday, but rather something that you can make work for your lifestyle while building strong relationships with clients,vendors, and suppliers!
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When we first started to use a new home design software program, it took a lot of time to get used to the various settings and templates. I remember one time I imported a CAD file using one of their style presets, which seemed simple enough, and I couldn’t figure out why the measurements weren’t fitting with the furniture we selected. Of course I was getting worried, until I realized that this particular preset imported all my US measurements into metric. A quick conversion cleared that right up and saved a lot of worries in the future!
What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now? How do you think that might help people?
We are incredibly excited right now to be working on a restaurant project as a complete renovation. Getting in on a project like this from the ground level is so exciting because it allows for so much creativity in envisioning the end result, with opportunities to make our vision into a reality. Designing restaurants requires so much artistic thought as well as technical knowledge, so it has been very interesting working on this team creating and problem-solving in real time.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
Family comes first. Always. I am lucky enough to have family in my personal life as well as my work life, so it’s pretty amazing to have that support from all angles. We always tell our clients that family schedules come first in everything- from the start of the design process in their home to the end of their last delivery date. We want to design homes to be loved and lived in, and that is our favorite part of the job.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There is no way I would be here without my mom. In all facets of life, she has supported me and got me to where I am- both personally and professionally. It is such a gift to be able to grow as an individual and now also together in this company. She still teaches me so much every day, and it is wonderful being able to learn things together on every job that we do.
Thank you for that. Here is the main question of our discussion. What are your “5 Things You Can Do To Help Your Living Space Spark More Joy” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
Choose colors that make you happy
Do you gravitate towards warm or cool tones? Do you like a soothing palette or vibrant pops of prints and colors? For clients that have trouble nailing down their style, we always recommend creating inspiration boards of photos they love- even if they can’t tell us why. After you have enough pictures together, you will start to draw similarities in colors you are naturally drawn to and how you may like to begin the design. It can also be helpful to look through your closet and see if you feel more comfortable in warm colors like tan, browns, and yellows, or cooler hues like blues, greens, and grays.
Complete a room design at once, not in pieces
We always encourage clients to take on a home project once they feel comfortable completing it at least one whole room at a time. If that means saving up in order to do so, or spreading out the complete home into phases, they will be so much happier with the end result. When you piecemeal items in a home, the result is often choppy and conflicting. Choosing your pieces as a cohesive design is crucial to getting the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve.
Be thoughtful in materials you select
Whether it is a hard surface or fabric, selecting the right materials for your form and function are important in the durability and longevity of the piece. One of the most important parts of our job is to educate our clients on why or why not they should select a certain material, and that is most useful when we are familiar with their lifestyle and how long they want a piece to last.
Invest in quality where it matters most
For pieces that you want to have in good condition for years to come, it is important to invest in quality. It may seem like a good idea to buy a budget sofa, but you may go through two or three of them in the same time you could have just one of a higher quality. Plus it will feel more comfortable and look fresher as time goes by. Think about the items that are most important to you for comfort and durability, and invest your money in those first.
Consider the overall flow of spaces throughout your home
Creating a design that allows each room to flow seamlessly into the next creates an exciting experience, almost like telling a story throughout the home. You want each room or hallway to complement the next, so always keep the colors and styles of other spaces in mind as you design within any room of the home. The result will feel much more complete and deliberately crafted.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
I wish so much that we could create a bigger space for sustainable home design. The options and price points can be incredibly limiting, but I also know what a huge strain on our world we are creating with our demand on inventory today. Being able to have more options at inclusive price points for clients would be such a dream to source in our projects.
We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this, especially if we tag them.
Oh my goodness, there are so many incredible designers we look up to. Kelly Wearstler, Justina Blakeney, and Thom Filicia are a few of both myself and Susan’s biggest inspirations.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
We would love to have you follow our journey @suhayinteriors (Instagram)
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.