Podcast, Ep. 192: Houston Week: designer Jacob Medina

 Houston Week continues with Day 4 featuring the awesome and talented Jacob Medina. Jacob started his design firm, Jacob Medina Interiors in 2016 and now people seek out this boutique interior design firm for their expertise on everything from clean and handsome to luxe and funky. Jacob talks with us about his interesting path to design, starting with a degree in biology and teaching himself many of the basics and important technological skills. He shares the inspiration behind his handsome style featuring clean lines and a little twist of style and funk and tells us why there is no such thing as too many chairs. Jacob also gives us his real thoughts on using gray, how to emulate his purple kitchen, and the importance of starting with a cabinet plan in the kitchen. Jacob makes us laugh (and agree) when he makes the analogy between a good designer and a good marriage counselor — trying their best to make everyone happy with the end results!

What You’ll Hear on This Episode: 

  • Jacob is not your average designer — he started with a degree in biology and was pre-med! He taught himself many of the programs he knows today.
  • Jacob and his team focus on everything from residential projects including new construction, home renovation, and decorating.
  • Yes, he is chair obsessed! There is no such thing as too many chairs, especially once we start entertaining again!
  • How Jacob uses custom pieces and vintage to capture the essence of what the client is looking for in their soul.
  • Gray will be here to stay, but Jacob tells us how to use it responsibly without making it boring or drab.
  • Jacob talks about painting a kitchen a light mauve / purple color — and it works!
  • The importance of starting with a cabinet plan.
  • Ideas for keeping your kitchen neutral but adding a bold colored backsplash.
  • Colors Jacob wants to see more inclusion of mustard yellow, rusty colors, and more patterns! We also talk about mixing plaids and florals and warm / cool tones.
  • Changing the front door can make such a big difference!
  • Everyone needs a little funky art in their life.
  • Hacks for testing paint on your wall, and finding your favorite whites!

Decorating Dilemma

Hi ladies,

I discovered the podcast a few months ago and absolutely love listening on my walks! I have always been passionate about interior design and recently have taken some short courses and want to practice in my own home.

I live with my boyfriend in a row home in the city. It’s about 12 years old, 3 levels, long and semi-narrow. When you come in the front door you immediately go upstairs to the main area which is multi-purpose: I work from home at the desk in the corner, it’s where we watch tv, gather with friends, eat meals and cook. It’s the heart of our home and I need advice on how to break up the room into distinct areas while tying it all together with one cohesive design. I’m going for contemporary/ a little industrial.

The caveat is this isn’t our forever home, so I want to make updates without doing a complete remodel (if I did, the kitchen cabinets and countertops would be first). I am planning on painting, buying a new rug, coffee table and a new smaller kitchen table that is either round or square to go on the far end opposite the couch.  

Here are my questions:

  • There are windows on either end but in general it doesn’t get much light. So, if I paint it, should I go white? If so, do you have favorite white paints you use?
  • How do I decorate the wall that juts out in the center once I get rid of the long table? (it’s currently navy blue but I would paint it to match the rest of the walls)
  • Do I need another rug?
  • Is my desk in the right place? I’m willing to move my workspace

Any other suggestions you have are welcome. Thanks so much!


Even though we talked a lot about finding your best white paint color in this episode, Jacob doesn’t think white would be best here. A pale greige would be a good place to start. Check out Sherwin Williams Agreeable Gray for a starter idea! We think moving the desk to where the table is facing the window could be a great idea and less boxed in. A square or rectangle table would be best, or maybe a banquette to go with the table you’ve already got, but not a round or oval table. A navy wall could feel neutral and not too much with some larger art on the long wall. As far as your coffee table, if it serves a function such as storage or a space to eat, then we can keep it. If not, you may want three different-sized tables for drinks instead!

Mentioned in This Episode: 

Please send in your questions so we can answer them on our next episode! And of course, subscribe to the podcast in iTunes so you never miss an episode. You can always check back here to see new episodes, but if you subscribe, it’ll automatically download to your phone.

Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.