10 Questions with Interior Designer Jill Goldberg

With a retail shop, interior design firm, and accolades to boot, Jill Goldberg is a triple threat.

Photo by Michael J. Lee.

Photo by Michael J. Lee.

New England Home nominated her as one of their “5 under 40″ and Traditional Home calls her one of their “10 New Traditionals.” These standout accolades belong to Jill Goldberg, owner of HUDSON and Hudson Interior Designs in the South End. New York Magazine has also invited her to be a part of their Interior Design Committee for the Young Collectors Night two years runnings and she’s the only Boston-based interior designer to be invited to join what is predominantly a New York City group.

Goldberg has a penchant for unique decor and a year-long wait list for new clients. If you can stand your living room for another 365 days, we think it’s well worth the wait. We caught up with the interior designer to talk about her recent awards and learned about a new program she will be launching this year called “HUDSON Discovers” for emerging artisans and designers.

1. What’s it like to be recognized by your peers in two major magazines,Traditional Home and New England Home Magazine?

The recognition from a significant New England publication and an iconic national publication reassures me that I’m on the right track. I’ve always wanted to spread the word nationally about the accomplished design professionals working in New England-whether via my shop or my interior design work-so to be noticed to this degree is very flattering. There’s also a great coming home aspect to the national recognition as it was seven years ago (May 2007 issue) that Traditional Home launched me on the national scene when editor Jenny Bradley profiled me as a “Young Traditional” for HUDSON, which had just opened.

2. What advice can you offer budding interior designers who are thinking about returning to school as you did or who are perhaps facing unenthusiastic relatives?

If you love furniture, wallpaper, and decorative items, if you get excited flipping through the latest design magazines or-the dead giveaway-if you have an irrepressible need to redesign your home all the time, then you have a passion for interiors. How can following your passion be wrong? It will be this passion that sustains you through the inevitable challenges of learning your desired vocation and building your career. There are two sayings which I repeat to anyone who asks for advice, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” and “Follow your passion and the money will come.”

3. How do you find the time to run both HUDSON and Hudson Interior Designs?

I have an amazing group of women in both places who treat my business as their own. Period. There’s no other way to do it, you have to have talented individuals on your team. The recognition for the shop and the interior design work is truly a compliment to the team and how they are supporting my ideas and decisions. My days are long and I try my best to take care of both [businesses] and my family. I think what gets left behind is taking care of me.

4. What are you thinking about now for the shop versus the firm? 

Basically, I’m thinking about both the shop and the design firm and but they require different energies. HUDSON, the shop, opened in 2006 and is well-rooted in the community. The online component is expanding our reach nationally and keeping us on our toes because the orders arrive without us seeing the customer come into the shop. The interior design practice launched in 2010 and we have had a wait list for the last year. I want to be intrinsically involved in the interior design projects and potential clients recognize how important the working relationship will be so the brief wait has not been a deterrent which is so reassuring and flattering.

5. What is the most important factor for you when designing a room?

It’s that initial inspiration point. A color, a chair, a piece of art. Once that item or thought is clear in my mind it sets up the theme and route which I’ll follow for the rest of the room or entire home.

6. Is there a signature flourish you like to add to a space?

A unique, one-of-a-kind element that will become what everyone remembers about the room. [It] could be vintage furniture that I’ve reupholstered in a custom textile, or wallpaper that I’ve designed, or a light fixture that I’ve special ordered. This is why I love vintage and customized pieces because they are unique finds and distinguishable. Every time I bring vintage and custom pieces into HUDSON, they sell out. I’ve now added a new element which is a logical extension to the interior design business-sourcing original artwork. Artwork is the same idea-a unique, one-of-a-kind element.

7. What’s your favorite thing to focus on in small spaces? In big spaces?

In a small space I tend to focus on the walls-adding color or wallpaper. In a large space it’s about the furniture (scale and amount) and lighting-ceiling, floor, table, wall sconces-I love to find beautiful pieces that will adequately light a room but also make a statement!

8. How does your experience in the acting industry and time in Los Angeles still find it’s way into your work today?

Training as an actor taught me the art of listening. [It] seems ironic because we think of actors speaking but the best actors do a lot of listening-to their coaches, the director, other actors-before they speak their lines and interpret the character. To this day, with my interior design clients, I do a lot of listening to fully understand what the client wants me to accomplish for them. It is like they are giving me a script outline and asking me to interpret their ideas and more fully realize their vision.

9. Is there a particular product or designer you can’t get enough of this summer?

Interior Designer Tom Scheerer is my guy. I’m fully ready to admit that I continue to learn from the masters in my field and Tom is one of them. I’m inspired by his approach to blending color, pattern and texture.

10. What’s next for Jill Goldberg?

I’m very excited to share with you that in July we’re going to announce a new annual program called “HUDSON Discovers” to showcase one emerging artisan-designer a year from across the country in my retail shop HUDSON and online at hudsonboston.com. I’ve selected the inaugural artisan-designer and I’ll be looking to discover a new emerging talent each year. I get to continue do what I love to do-find amazingly unique decor items-but also introduce an emerging talent.

Shop at Goldberg’s retail store HUDSON, 12 Union Park Street, South End. Info: 617-292-0900, hudsonboston.com. Work with Goldberg at Hudson Interior Designs, 46 Waltham Street, Suite 101, South End. Info: 617-292-0303, hudsoninteriordesigns.com.

See more from Jill Goldberg, below. 

Photo by Michael J. Lee.

Photo by Michael J. Lee.

Photo by Michael J. Lee.

Photo by Michael J. Lee.

Photo by Nat Rea.

Photo by Nat Rea.

Photo by Michael J. Lee.

Photo by Michael J. Lee.

Photo by Nat Rea.

Photo by Nat Rea.