In conversation with… Josephine Maruca-Parker, JMP Designs Founder 


 
Personalised and daring JMP Design, located in Sydney's Northern Beaches, offers individualised design services that strike a balance between beauty and functionality.
After a long career in the industry, design director Josephine Maruca-Parker decided to start her firm, working on a variety of interior design projects including residential, aged care, industrial, retail, and multi-residential. 
This experience provided the opportunities to work alongside leading developers and aged care providers and also opened doors for collaborations with renowned architects, project managers, consultants, and top-tier building companies while also specifying highly technical materials and finishes.
Josephine gained a deeper sympathy and empathy for the end-user as a result of her experience designing for the aged care sector and after the birth of her first child, recognising that design is a harmonious partnership between aesthetics and functionality. JMP Interior Design was established to develop this partnership further and provide individualised design services to customers, ventures, and the creative process.
We sat down to get to know Josephine better and learn more about the design process and what inspires her work. 

 

 

E: So Josie, how did you know that design was for you? 
JMP: I don't recall when I first knew that I wanted to be a designer because it has always been a part of me somehow. 
Maybe it was around the age of five. I became fascinated with Barbie dollhouses. I was much more interested in rearranging furniture and creating items to decorate all of the small spaces than in dolls themselves. 
I didn't grow out of it, as I spent my adolescent summer vacations scouring local charity shops for pieces of furniture to restore/paint and decorate my bedroom. 
As soon as high school ended, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in design, so I enrolled at UTS to obtain a Bachelor of Design in Interior Design with a Sub-Major in Architectural Studies.
I was so excited to finish university and start working in the real world, but when the GFC struck, it was difficult to find full-time work as an Interior Designer, or in any capacity for that matter. 
Despite this, fate was on my side, and I was able to start my interior design career in 2010 at Gilmore Interior Design. 
Initially hired as a design assistant, I was promoted internally over the following years where I grew into a Design Manager role. 

 

 

E: It’s so special that you have always had that driving passion for design. What made you decide to go out alone and start your own design business? 
JMP: My goal from the outset of starting my career was to always have my own business.
I have grown up in a family of migrants, my grandparents and my parents came to Australia from Italy with nothing, (my Nonno always told me, "He came to this country with $23”). They built a life for themselves and my siblings by owning their own business, which has always inspired and driven me.
I was the first person in my family to attend university and with that came an enormous amount of pressure to succeed and have something to call my own.
I left Gilmore Interior Design in mid-2018 to take some time off ahead of giving birth to my daughter in March 2019.
My determination to succeed has only intensified as I have walked into motherhood. In the best ways, it has given me the confidence and stamina to start my own business. Nothing seemed too large or unlikely, even in the face of a global pandemic, and so JMP Interior Design was officially launched in 2020.

 

 

 

E: Family legacy is such an incredible driver! Diving deeper, what is your favourite part of the creative process? 
JMP: My favourite part of the creative process is Concept Design.
I love being able to listen to my client's brief, their needs, and desire for any given space and coming back to them with design solutions and a palette of finishes.
The excitement and passion that this beginning stage of the creative process can bring to the client, to the designer, and the project is everything to me.

 

 

E: Love that! It is our greatest joy to provide design solutions with our products also! We know you have a lot of hands-on experience with wall coverings in your design work. In your experience what do you think are the misconceptions people have about wallpaper and its use in design?
JMP: The most common misconception people have about wallpaper is its functional properties and ability to perform in high-demand environments.
People commonly see wallpaper as having an aesthetic benefit in designing a space, not being familiar with its technical details in the sense of durability and antimicrobial benefits.
Having spent years working on aged care projects, I became very familiar with specifying wallpaper and wall vinyl.
Obviously, aged care facilities have high traffic/demand areas. The spaces not only have to perform to assist in the day-to-day running of the facility but also need to look and feel welcoming and inviting.
Working on these types of projects helped me to truly understand the balance between functionality and aesthetics in design.
Wall vinyl was a fantastic product that would assist us in finding this balance. It would protect the walls from the scuffs of beds and food trolleys being wheeled around, while its antimicrobial benefits assisted in hygiene control. 
Apart from all the functional benefits, wall vinyl looks great, you would be able to find a pattern and/or a texture that would aid in warming up what could be quite a sterile environment, we always strived to make the facility look and feel as 'homely' as possible. 

 

 

E: What wonderful insights you have?! Now, this may be a little tricky to answer but, what is your favourite project to date and why? 
JMP: Ah, it is so hard to have a favourite project as every project I have worked on has been special to me in one way or another.
In a general sense, I love when projects consist of a team of passionate and talented individuals, be it, architects, consultants, trades, and/or contractors. 
Having the right project team makes any and every project the 'perfect' project to work on.
You always need individuals that know how to challenge and compromise with one another, as this always allows the best design solutions to be sought out for the project.

 

 

E: In your field are there any styles you don’t like or aren’t very fond of?
What is an interior faux pas for you?
JMP: There are no styles I don't like or am not fond of...
It is my experience that the space and the brief can often determine the style. 
I’ve always been hyper-vigilant of being known as a designer with only one specific style or approach to design.
My passion lies in forever expanding and building upon my design capabilities, knowledge, and language.
It would be my desire to be known as a versatile designer who is always striving to bring my client's vision and style for their project to life. 

 

 

E: So if you had a crystal ball and could tap into what’s next, what do you see for the future of design?
JMP: My hope is that the future of design consists of designers being more mindful of what they create. It is my passion and directive to creates solutions, not problems for our future.
I am grounded in the belief that there should always be a harmonious balance between functionality and aesthetics, it is this balance that makes the process of design enjoyable and challenging all at the same time.

 

 

Thank you to Josephine Maruca-Parker for sharing her incredible insights with us.
To see more of the wonderful work by JMP Designs click on the links below: