Peep The Rustic-Chic BK Pad Of A Project Runway Winner

"Make it work" may be a phrase made famous by Tim Gunn on Bravo's Lifetime's Project Runway, but it's certainly more than applicable to season eight's Gretchen Jones—she not only made her keen eye and sewing chops work, she made them win. Yes, we've been in love with the designer's Southwestern-rocker vibe since her catwalk full of separates in covetable prints and laid-back silhouettes garnered her the top prize on TV. But, our admiration has only grown with each of her past four collections—seasons of pieces that show the thoughtful depth of Jones' talent beyond the show that called for her to create looks with glue and sequins and very little time.
So, color us not surprised that her Brooklyn pad channels the same rustic-yet-modern, romantic-yet-structured vibe that made her pieces must-haves in our closets. Jones has applied the same wherewithal to her adorable space that she would to a patterned frock or horse hair necklace—artistic, but still totally welcoming. And, given the fact that no one's ever said "auf Wiedersehen" to her, we're betting she's a shoe-in for any interior-design challenge, too.
Peep the home of Project Runway winner Gretchen Jones (trust us, it's amazing).
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First things first: How amazing was it to win Project Runway?
"Winning made the experience totally worth it. I'm very grateful to have been given the opportunity to keep designing while taking advantage of new opportunities and goals."

How has your life changed since the show ended?
"I get more sleep! And, I'm back in the real world designing my line and that feels really good."

ASOS skirt, Gretchen Jones blouse, Topshop necklace, vintage oil beads.
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How does your home decor aesthetic differ from your clothing design?
"I feel like they are pretty much a marriage of my overall aesthetic. My home is my nest, it represents all the places I have been and things I have seen — living so far away from my roots, its bohemian vibe keeps where I come from close. And, that comfort makes a difference in a concrete jungle. I kind of feel like my personal style and design aesthetic reflect the same vibe."
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What tips do you have for people living in small city spaces?
"I really think its important to think outside the box... literally! When it comes to living in small spaces, accessibility and unconventional concepts for space are important. Working challenges into the positive and creating design elements out of storage needs can create an interesting home. There are inevitably lots of unused areas of a home, so it's more about how to create fun ways of using it that look good"
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Gretchen shows off a blouse from her own collection.
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Your home is incredibly eclectic — are you deliberate in all of your design choices? You know, I'm sure my home looks 'designed,' but that's really not how I roll! And honestly, I think it's the way to go when approaching a space. To me, what makes a house a home is not decorating it, but filling it with the things you love. I really love thrifting, flea markets, estate sales, etc. And, I always bring things home from my travels. I just find it fun to hunt for special items. It's like I get to live in a working scrapbook! Inevitably, the little treasures I find throughout my adventures near and far come together in my space seamlessly. And, that creates an eclectic, authentic, and stylish space."
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What is your favorite room in your house and why?
"You know, I really only have two rooms in my apartment, so I suppose that's an easy decision. I love my living space because I've been forced to get creative with it. It's my studio, dining room, living room...pressed tin ceilings, fireplace, hardwood floors, killer southern light, and enough room to entertain, dance, create, dine, and lounge is impressive. I feel pretty lucky to have such an open floor plan in NYC. And, I can do a lot with that room, because I'm perpetually rearranging and challenging myself to keep it fresh. That room is up for the challenge!"
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Gretchen Jones skirt, The Sway jacket, MinkPink beaded top.
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What do you love about living in Brooklyn as opposed to in the city?
"Being a country girl living in the concrete jungle, Brooklyn offers me little comforts I knew I needed to survive here. I like the pace of Brooklyn, it's definitely slower than Manhattan. I enjoy the separation between my work and personal life. I love that I live right by a beautiful park where Harry the dog can run around, that hosts a great farmers market weekly. I love that the Brooklyn Flea is walking distance to my home, I love that my community has welcomed me and made me a part of its eclectic people. I love that I feel safe and sound here. Brooklyn, Fort Greene, is the only place in NYC I want to be...and that says a lot for a small town girl like me."
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Gretchen Jones necklace and bracelet.
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What are your favorite places to shop for home goods and decor?
"I'm pretty obsessed with the Brooklyn Flea, I've scored friends and furniture there. I adore getting out of town and scavenging for treasures — I'm not really a store bought kind of gal, I'm way more into vintage scores. Unless of course, we're talking other artisanal goods, then I'm all about supporting my fellow artists."
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Who are some of your favorite designers, and favorite stores to shop for clothes?
"Vanessa Bruno, Rachel Comey, Isabel Marant, Karen Walker, Ellery, Stella McCartney, and of course Phoebe Philo are some of my favorite designers. As for stores, I'm a boutique kind of girl — Bird, Creatures of Comfort, Totokaelo, TenOverSix, Frances May, Opening Ceremony."
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What do you think is the most important piece to have in a home?
"A sexy and comfortable bed and couch. Everyone likes to snuggle, but snuggling with class is next level."
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What would you consider your weekday wardrobe?
"I don't really edit my weekend looks very much, actually. More cottons than silks, clogs more than my 'Manhattan fashion' shoes, and less makeup/hair. But, really, I dress for comfort every day, that's what makes bohemian styling killer."

Gretchen Jones dress and sweater, Forever 21 hat.
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What is your favorite piece you've ever designed?
"That's a tough question, I move on fairly quickly and am definitely too critical about my work. I'm still learning so much and evolving into myself. That being said, I really adore the dress I wore at GenArt's show this September from my fall '12 collection. It eally captured the direction I want to go in — feeling sexy and still approachable is what I hope to accomplish with each piece."
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Vince Camuto booties.
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What will we never see in your collection?
"Oh boundaries! I really think you should never say never as a creative — you just don't know what might inspire you! But, I definitely don't think I can go into the real fur world. I'm a conscientious designer and going there seems like a no no... for my spirit and brand. I mean, I love fur and wear vintage, but I just can't take that leap into producing it myself."
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Gretchen Jones skirt and sweater, vintage letterman jacket, American Apparel beanie, Surface to Air booties.
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What do you have coming up that we can look forward to?
"I've got some tricks up my sleeve, but I'm not ready to reveal them yet."
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What is your must-have item for winter?
"Coats, coats, coats! I really think of outerwear as a vital component to any outfit, and having options and wearing them as a part of your look, rather than just a necessary layer, can make winter fun in a way it typically isn't when dressing."
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Gretchen Jones shirt and pants, Cheap Monday sunglasses, vintage boots.
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Any secret spots you love in NYC that you're willing to share?
"Well, I suppose I'm still quite a young New Yorker, I've only been here just over two years and am figuring out the secrets myself. I really love the abandoned houses in the Brooklyn navy yard, there's tons of creepy-cool inspo down there... and the aromatic section of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden is a secret zen spot to hit."
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Where do you look for inspiration? Any sites you read daily?
"I really look within my friends and what and how they wear things. They are my muses, and help keep me informed of how real women wear clothes and style themselves. I (honestly) check out R29 daily [and] honestlywtf, and I'm addicted to Pinterest for inspiration pulls too."
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What was your last big splurge?
"I threw down a pretty penny on incredible vintage speakers at the Brooklyn Flea — they are sexy and match my record player. Next up: A new amp to match!"

What are you always stocking up on for the home?
"Candles and plants because you can never have too many!"