Breegan Jane is more than just a reality star on HGTV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. She’s a busy interior designer and mother of two. But much like the rest of us, she is still working from home and trying to keep things in some semblance of order with two young boys. So how does she seemingly do it all? Jane’s biggest life hacks are maximizing smart home technology, a practical approach to interior design, and using Amazon for almost everything.
I recently spoke with Jane about keeping her home organized, when to say “no” to curated perfection, the best interior design trends, her new show for Discovery Plus and so much more.
How are you currently using smart technology at home?
I use Alexa to keep all of my to-do lists and to call people that I’m communicating with on a daily basis, like my assistants. It’s nice to just be able to say, “Alexa, call Design Assistant,” and have that ease.
I think creating a home is about creating a space that helps us get through the day. And technology is a big part of that. Next to my bed is my Alexa device and the printer. I am a workaholic and function has to come first.
Pretty things are pretty things, but your home should work for you. At the beginning of everyone staying at home, home offices became a design moment. But then everyone ended up sitting on the couch anyway. So having a device that can tell you your schedule makes more of a difference in my life than putting a pretty desk in a corner.
Do you really keep a printer on your nightstand?
Sometimes you just have to let things go. I’m a designer, so it is hard for me to have a printer on my bedside table, of course, because I want it to be perfectly curated, but it helps my life and, and that’s what matters more than anything.
Are there any other smart technology products you use regularly?
There are packages at my door every day. Now I can see those packages from my Ring Doorbell. It’s a nice security feature, being able to keep an eye on all the deliveries that are coming to my house right now.
I also have two small kids and I might be upstairs. That camera aspect, as well as the ability to see who’s coming and going, gives me peace of mind.
How do you keep your home looking its best with two boys?
I am an all-white house with young kids, which always confuses people because they’ll walk into my house and say, “are you sure two young boys live here?” And I say, “Yeah. Do you know what it is? It’s bleach.” I’m able to touch up paint or bleach [things] out because boys are crazy. If I had beautiful wallpaper, or a nice, warm tone, they would just ruin it. So I leaned into that spa serenity white.
What are your best practical tips for designing a home around kids and pets?
I think that it’s important to have a home that’s lived in. I always say my designs are modern, approachable luxury. I want luxurious items that make a space feel elevated. But I also want people to be able to come in with sandy feet.
So don’t get an item that’s going to cause stress in your life, like a coffee table with sharp edges, even if it might be beautiful. If you’re going to spend every day saying, “Get off that table,” it’s not necessarily the right purchase for you. So I always try to encourage people to let go of what they think should be, really plan for [what is], and invest in that.
I also love bringing outdoor fabric in. I have two chairs in my living room [upholstered with] what is supposed to be an outdoor performance fabric. But I use it on my indoor chairs because of my kids and it looks great.
How else have you been using Amazon these days?
Amazon Handmade is another great layer to the Amazon brand because it connects me with artisans and handcrafted pieces. You get the same shipping from the brand you know and love. But it is more of a curated space where I can find things that have character and a little bit more charm.
It also feels more personalized. A lot of [my orders] have come with handwritten notes [that say something like] “I really enjoyed making this for you.” I so appreciate that connection point with a brand like Amazon, because it’s those little things that matter the most.
What are some other ways to mix up indoor and outdoor pieces?
[Plants] are the biggest thing. And I am not an obsessed plant owner. Let me just be honest— I’m a busy person. I’m constantly taking care of other people’s homes. Watering my own plants should be an easy thing, but it doesn’t always happen.
So one of my favorite tricks is that I have a lot of fake plants mixed with real plants to create the look that I have a lot more greenery. Two real plants sort of trick your mind into thinking that all the other ones are also real, but they’re not. So I have to keep fewer plants alive.
What are some of your favorite spring design trends?
Tuxedo kitchens are leading strong right now. Black and white are just classic tonalities. The definition in itself means that it’s going to be a little bit more of a luxurious space for your kitchen. I really like putting a dark color on the bottom and a white color on the uppers because I think it grounds you in and elongates the space so it seems bigger.
What’s your next television project?
I have a new show coming out called The House My Wedding Bought for Discovery Plus. One of the things I love doing is helping people create their lives and their next homes. And so I go with a couple and I show them home options and wedding options. They have their savings. It’s like this big moment for them, but they’ve never been through the process. And I make sure that they end up with both and that they’re happy. It’s a really fun process, but it’s also super relatable.
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