Gina T. Interior Design

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Joann Lammens, the artist and moving force behind Gina T. Interior Accents and Gina T. Home in downtown La Verne, is an extraordinary business woman and even more remarkable interior designer.

That her stores continue to thrive and flourish when so many “discretionary consumer” businesses have gone under in this recession is a testament to her inimitable sense of design, amazing attention to detail, her stylish stick-to-itiveness and amazing staff of highly skilled and experienced designers familiar with working hand in hand with Joann and their clients.

Her resume of interior design projects ranges across churches, office building, banks, hotel lobbies and what seems like half the residences along our foothill communities, can be found from La Verne, to New York, to France to Dhaka Bangladesh.

With so much success, it’s hard to believe that she started her interior design empire out of her garage 26 years ago, with practically no money and only her infant daughter, the eponymous Gina T., to inspire her. But Joann has always held a Nancy Reagan quote close to her heart: “A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she is in hot water,” Joann said, quoting the former first lady.

THE ARTIST AT WORK

Joann has a signature style that is highly recognizable. It’s lush, it’s rich, it’s grand, it’s warm, it’s embracing, it’s inviting, it’s classic, it’s stylish, yet, to find just one word to describe or characterize it, is difficult. Finally, Joann helped us out.

“The look is finished,” Joann said. “Every bookend is in place, every candle holder is in place, the florals are there, the trees are there, the furniture is exactly where it should be placed. It’s 100% finished. Joann sweats the details for all her clients.

COLORFUL EXPRESSIONS

“When I walk into people’s homes,” Joann said, “one of the first things I ask is, ‘Tell me where you’re heart is, tell me what colors make you comfortable when you’re surrounded by them, tell me what colors excite you.

While Joann will know what the current home decorating rage is in practically any region of the country, owing in part to her buying trips, she will never impose her stylistic preferences on her clients. “My job is to guide them. I am always 100% open to their direction.” That’s why each of her interior designs ultimately reflects her client’s personality. “All have their own personality.”

Joann knows that success in her craft is strictly a hands-on affair. “There’s a lot of hard work involved,” Joann said. “We move furniture, we hang pictures, We hang mirrors, and we even move walls when we have to.” To her credit, most of her staff has been with her for the majority of the 26 years.

“Just because I’ve been doing this forever doesn’t mean I know everything,” Joann said. “I get excited about learning something new, or finding a new source that we can bring to our design and to our clients.”

As for Joann’s two stores and her interior design consulting business, Joann said, “We’re here, we’re not going anywhere, we’re strong.” Just like a tea bag in hot water brewed to full strength.