Local Color

Naples’ designer Judith Liegeois takes musician Jan Edwards’ studio from basic to bold with a few strokes of genius.

BY August 1, 2021
Interior design: Judith Liegeois Designs // Photography: Craig Hildebrand

When singer-songwriter Jan Edwards stumbled upon a 1,450-square-foot space in the Naples Art District, she knew she’d hit pay dirt. Where others might get hung up on the storage-unit vibe, Edwards, who’s been coming to Naples regularly with family since childhood, only saw the potential for an incredible creative space—at first just for her own songwriting, but over time she started to envision the space being filled with other artists and musicians. Maybe it was her background—she’s a former art director for companies like Target and Marshall Field’s, and for the past ten years she’s lived on and off in Nashville, where she’s active in the country music scene—but she didn’t think twice before signing on the dotted line and purchasing the place in January 2020.

The Naples Art District studio is all about flexible design: A partial wall with a TV and fireplace separates the galley kitchen.
Vibrant furnishings, easels and other objects can be easily moved for painting, writing or accommodating guests.

Her next step? Hiring interior designer Judith Liegeois. Together, they set about designing MuseBox—Edwards’ personal studio, which also doubles as a community arts center, gallery and event space. Make no mistake—this was never going to be a beige box. “When you meet Jan, you immediately see this larger-than-life, colorful personality,” Liegeois says. “She loves color.” Channeling that aesthetic, they set about layering in an abundance of hues, patterns and textures. The process, Edwards says, developed organically, with Jakob Schlaepfer wallpaper serving as a jumping-off point. “I saw this cool wallpaper Judith chose for the wet bar area in her showroom, and I looked through the sample book—Jakob Schlaepfer’s wallpapers are wild! The wallpaper sets the tone.”

Though the studio is furnished with guitars, easels and a Yamaha grand piano, the thoughtful mix of materials shines through. A dozen bright yellow rods—resembling giant pick-up sticks—hang just above brushed aluminum beams, and the powder bath features Schlaepfer’s Poppy Montezuma wallpaper, a kaleidoscopic pattern that could induce an LSD-grade trip. The galley kitchen is mostly hidden from view by a partial feature wall that houses a fireplace and television on the other side. Much of the furniture—even the school-bus-yellow sofa—is mobile, allowing Edwards to scoot the piano around for performances or writing sessions and to shift easels to different spots to take advantage of the light. Designer and client agree the space is now ideal for creativity. “I like to say it’s a place to go from my ordinary life to my extraordinary life,” Edwards says. Liegeois concurs: “There is a quirkiness to it, but it all comes together and tells a story.”

Edwards has already put the space to good use, and she hopes to bring in artists for collaborations, such as Matthew Rogers and Randy Morrison, with whom she co-wrote the recent No. 1 hit single “I Will,” and she can’t wait to see what comes next. “It’s great to have such an inspirational place. I have wonderful light that’s perfect for painting; I can meditate in front of my crystal collection; and the acoustics are awesome for writing music.”

Designer Judith Liegeios used graphic wallpapers throughout the studio.

The wall design around the laundry area alludes to the ceiling installation in the main space, which features 12 bright yellow rods.

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