October 5, 2017
Jillian O'Neill Debuts an Elegant Furniture Collection
Jillian O'Neill founded her eponymous interiors firm in 2004 after being a runway model for designers such as Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford and Oscar de la Renta.
by New York Spaces
Jillian O'Neill founded her eponymous interiors firm in 2004 after working as a runway model for designers such as Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, and Oscar de la Renta. Today, her love of fashion and design has translated into a beautiful line of furniture
NYS: Tell us about your Interiors Company, what are you known for?
Jillian O'Neill: I launched my Interiors Company, Jillian O'Neill Interior Design, in 2004, right out of design school. We were headquartered in Chicago for nine years and now Houston for almost five years, although we work on homes all over the country. I feel so lucky to have found clients that are in sync with the mantra of creating elegant yet livable spaces. We love that challenge of how to raise the bar aesthetically in a space while keeping it practical and comfortable.
NYS: What made you decide to launch your eponymous furniture line?
Jillian O'Neill: I have been sketching for years so it was just a matter of fitting all of the pieces together. Most often I would sketch when I has trouble finding a specific piece I had in mind. Finding a craftsmen to partner with was important, but also just looking at the sketches and knowing they were ready for prototype stage. There was a moment with every single piece when I just knew it was ready for production. Ultimately, they are all pieces I would be excited to put into a presentation for a client; pieces that are subtle and elegant but with personality.
NYS: How did your past as a runway model for designers such as Tom Ford and Oscar de la Renta (all of whom have home lines), influence your approach to interiors and furniture design?
Jillian O'Neill: That experience was the single most influential environment for me. I was constantly surrounded by such talented craftsmen and the most luxurious textiles in the world. And it provided an an enormous appreciation for scale and proportion. The way that those pieces were tailored to perfection influences the way I perceive interior environments in every capacity. Specifically, with a piece like our Declan Dining Chair I was really in tune with the lines of the back of the chair relate to the scale of the remainder of the chair as well as how the overall height will relate to the dining table with which it's paired.
NYS: Tell us about your collection!
Jillian O'Neill: I set out to create pieces that are classic, elegant and well edited. It's so fun to think about how they are going out and having a life of their own...a bit like having children, I suppose! Which is fitting because the pieces are all named after my four children, my husband, and my beagle (our Coco ottoman which is our bestseller).
NYS: We love the materials, what drew you to the specific materials you used?
Jillian O'Neill: Thank you! I simply began with materials that inspired me. Walnut has always been a favorite of mine and there is no shortage of beautiful exotic stones available to us now so I really wanted to incorporate them as well. And I just love how all of the textures play off one another, the light from the glass, the richness of the wood and then the color the stone provides.
NYS: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, why?
Jillian O'Neill: I know I will always have the memory of bringing the first Emma Bench prototype into our own home. I bring all of them home to evaluate how they feel in my personal space and then I correct the proportions from there, if necessary. The Emma Bench was our first completed piece and I was so emotional because I felt one milestone was conquered. My husband gushed over it and said it was "so you, Jill". I knew he was right, I have put so much of myself into these pieces.
NYS: We are obsessed with your Caden Lounge chair! Tell us about how you decided on the perfect mix of materials and fabrics?
Jillian O'Neill: That has become a favorite among clients, thank you! My love of walnut came into play here and
I knew I wanted to show off its stunning graining on the back of the chair so that it looks amazing from all angles. This piece took years to sketch and had several iterations. I think it ended up with the perfect balance of modernity and warmth because of the materials.
NYS: Do you see yourself expanding the line? If so, what would you like to focus on?
Jillian O'Neill: We currently have six pieces on our site and those represent the initial collection. We just had the opportunity to show two new pieces, our Thomas Nesting Tables and Colin Cocktail Table, in Chicago and we have a nightstand and sofa coming as well. We are so pleased with how the line is received so we will continue to add pieces so we can become a true go-to source for our clients.
NYS: What are you working on now?
Jillian O'Neill: We are working on perfecting our new sofa! That market is so saturated yet we were determined to create something that is totally subtle and classic but with knockout details. I also have a handful of select residences I'm still working on, for which I am so grateful. I am so flattered with how they, too, are responding to my collection and it has been quite surreal and putting it into my proposals along with lines I have admired for so long.
*Interested in more articles like this? Sign up for our Newsletter!