Interior Designer Breegan Jane Shows How Personalization Creates A Dream Home - Exclusive Interview

Known for her California coastal vibes and effortless casual style, Breegan Jane has often been touted as one of Los Angeles's best interior designers. But her path to interior design started with other visual talents. She had a clothing store at 18 years old, where she most enjoyed doing the window displays. "I should have known then, but hindsight," she says with a laugh.

She then moved into clothing manufacturing and production after realizing that she likes making things, not just selling them. She worked as a yacht manufacturer and movie producer as well. It was all of these visual jobs, she believes, that gave her the information — along with her natural creative talent — to start creating spaces. She flipped her house, and her interior design business spoke for itself.

Breegan Jane had just returned from a philanthropic trip to Kenya — about 15 hours outside of Nairobi — when she sat down for an exclusive interview with House Digest. Her philanthropic work centers around helping to build girls' schools and providing educational opportunities for women. She told us all about incorporating life experiences and using personalization to create your dream home.

Non-negotiables and compromise save some trouble

You hosted "The House My Wedding Bought," and you helped engaged couples create their dream home. Do you have advice for couples who are trying to blend their styles for when they're designing or decorating their first home?

The bigger conversation there was making these important, first-time purchases and the value add that can give you in terms of making the right investments in real estate. [That] is more and more becoming a part of the conversation of the cost of a wedding and whether or not that's a good choice, or if investment in future ownership is a better use of a big chunk of your savings.

It was nice to be able to lend my expertise as a real estate [expert]-slash-designer. When it's the first house, there [are] some choices that you need to make and some things that people get fixated on. It was as much about making good decisions as it was [about] who's going to win. Blue tile or pink tile in the kitchen is sometimes less important. One of the things I used to tell those couples was to have your one non-negotiable for the wedding and have your one non-negotiable for the house, and everything else should be negotiable.

Some women want a beautiful expensive dress, and it's like, "Okay, that's your thing — then don't give on that one thing." For some people, it's floral. For others, it's, "I want my grandma to play the violin; that's really important to me." It's one thing that you're not going to argue about. You each get one, and then everything else should be negotiable.

Incorporate your environment

Breegan Jane [continued]: It's fun now to be the host of "Dream Home" on HGTV, which is a giveaway house. These are dream spaces that are being designed by Brian Patrick Flynn. What I really like is that these homes are typically a reflection of the community that we're based in.

This last year was Denver, Colorado, so it was leaning into the lifestyle. There was a complete pet nook in [the] back. Because the outdoors are such a part of Denver lifestyle ... he did crazy skylights to connect you with the nature of Denver. A lot of pieces inside the home were customized. That's always nice because you're taking the other end and going, "All right, we can do whatever we want in this house." It is the dream of all dreams. What do people want? How do they live? What would the ultimate look like to a vast majority of people? It's fun because they give away the house every year.

My mom enters those all the time. She enters multiple emails every day.

People win, yep. It's fun.

There was actually a Dream Home that was outside of Pittsburgh, where I'm from, and my whole family got in the car and drove past it during COVID — we wanted to see it in person.

Oh, that's so fun. Those shows are also great, and I like that it's one that I continue to host and stay curious [about] the latest and greatest in some weird way.

Interior designers are a customizable experience

How do you approach designing for clients? Is it a collaborative project, or is it different for each person you design for?

This is wide and vast at this point in my career. Some clients come to you and they're like, "I don't want to think about it. Do everything for me. Show me the mood boards. I hired you because I know what you make." Then some want to be involved in every decision, down to the pillowcases they liked that they saw that weekend while on vacation. There isn't a one-size-fits-all.

Most people have so many questions and want to know that they're in good hands or want to know they're making the right decisions. We launched on The Expert recently, and I've loved it so much because I can give a client my full attention and best ideas without being bogged down into the relationship of that daily management.

If someone wanted to hire an interior designer, what is the best time for them to start working with one?

Always, [and] never. For everybody, it's going to be different. [If] you're talking about new construction build, the earlier you can add in your interior designer, the better, because there's more intentionality around the build itself.

Some people have been in their house [for] 10 years and they're stuck. It's like, "Is it too late to hire an interior designer?" No, it's not. If you're at a place where you want to refresh or [give] new life ... and you want that support, there's never a bad time.

Typically, there [are] designers that are available at different capacities. You can find somebody who can help you do your artwork and maybe some new chairs for your living room, or you can have somebody help you build from the ground up.

How would you suggest that a homeowner gets the most out of the relationship with an interior designer?

The honesty around the process is always going to give you the best outcome, so what you feel confident in knowing you should vocalize. Like, "I want pink walls." Or, "I want a big TV." The more honest you are about that, the better interior designers can do their jobs.

There [are] also times where it's best to let a professional also lead. Sometimes that can be a challenge — especially, I found, with the more successful somebody is in their space or if they're a business owner like I am, giving up that control can be a challenge. But usually, you're going to get a designer's best work when you can.

Finding your own style is easier than you think

You're known for your signature California coastal style. Do you have any tips on helping people develop their own signature style?

Your home should be a reflection of who you are. Because I'm a beach girl who doesn't like to wear shoes, that's going to read in my designs and also my durability. We've seen this told time and time again, but when people don't know what their style is, go look at your closet and your shoes. That'll tell you more than trying to define yourself.

Your friends can always describe you better than you can describe yourself, and it's no different when you're trying to look at your interior design style. I'm sure your friends would be like, "Yeah, that totally looks like you," but we have a hard time seeing it ourselves sometimes.

Good advice. How do you suggest adding personal touches without sacrificing an aesthetic?

It's important to put things in your space that not only look good but make you feel good. Things that look good are constantly changing in terms of trends, so meaning is more important to me than the perfect visual representation. I always want things in our home to be conversations, so adding in those unique personal touches are the cool little jewels that make our spaces personal.

Speaking of trends, do you have any that are upcoming that you've been loving or any that you're ready to give up?

We're seeing more organic shapes, and what I mean by that is you're probably seeing the kidney bean a little bit more from things from cutting boards to actual couches to coffee tables. It's like these rounded edges. It almost looks like the inspiration behind it is a little pebble you picked up on your walk. I'm loving it because a lot of designers look at nature for our inspiration, and there's no hard straight lines. If you're looking at a mountain range, at the beach, nothing is a perfect right angle. We're getting rid of these square shapes and leaning into these curves that are great for the visual aesthetic.

I don't know what I'm seeing that I don't want, but technology is being integrated a lot into our spaces and continues to be. My kids have standup desks that we love, and there's lots of USB ports being put into furnishings. It's always nice when your home thinks about the best way to serve you with all the new technology needs.

Her projects are personal too

We were, at the beginning of this, talking about you traveling to Kenya, but you travel a lot. How do you bring that inspiration into your designs?

It's part of why I love to travel and part of what I like about staying at hotels. Culturally, we can all learn from each other, and challenging the way in which we live or why we live the way we live is always going to help me come up with better ideas. I love that.

Do you have a favorite project that you've ever worked on, and what details did you like most about it?

Being a designer on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" was so fulfilling. Creating these homes that people live in and how that relates to our ability to function as human beings, [and] telling those stories, was meaningful to me in a way that challenges more than just "what color couch and why." It's much more the story of home and what homes provide. Nothing beats that.

Do you have any upcoming design projects that you're excited to share with fans?

I'm famously on Instagram profiling the building of my own dream house for me and the boys. That is always a labor of love because you are your own client, and it is different and difficult. [N]onetheless, [it's] also a creative outlet for me in which I can totally do what I want for my dream house. That's where we're doing a lot to take people behind that design process and dive in personally and tell that story across social.

We have almost a video a week that keeps people updated, but once it's done, people will be able to see it come full circle, and we're trying to profile the whys so that people can copy it.

To keep up with Breegan Jane's latest projects, visit her website and follow her on Instagram.

This interview has been edited for clarity.