Photos by Collin Richie

The Creatives: Interior designer Jerad Gardemal

Jerad Gardemal

Hometown: Baton Rouge
Age: 53
Artistry: Interior designer, JF Gardemal Designs
Online:, @jfgardemaldesigns on Instagram

Part visceral experience, part experimental design lab, the defining characteristic of Jerad Gardemal’s showroom just might be scale.

Voluminous tabletop vases trumpet their colorful gardens. Golden koi paintings are dashed with Japanese shodo script that pulls the eye. Wall-dominating works of deep-sea blues and surreal slices of agate rush a surf of cool, natural calm into the space.

Choosing fewer but larger pieces helps combat visual clutter, says the veteran interior designer who launched JF Gardemal Designs in 2020, but he is only able to focus his aesthetic decision making in this way after first making a genuine connection.

That’s why he chose residential design over commercial.

Know thy audience, the old adage goes, and it rings true when creating a home.

“I can’t do my job well if I don’t understand who I am doing it for,” Gardemal says. “Getting to know my clients is my strong suit. It doesn’t hurt my feelings for them to disagree with me. I always say, ‘I have my own house.’ It’s about what they want and helping them achieve their dream for the space.”

Neat stacks of thick books, sketches and reference materials line an entire table inside the center of the showroom. Surrounded by swatches and samples and copious notes, this is where Gardemal gets creative.

“I had a desk set up, but then realized, This isn’t working out,” he recalls. “But you know we used drafting tables in college, so I probably just think better standing up.” 

Gardemal graduated with an interior design degree from LSU before spending two decades with a large firm. At the dawn of the pandemic, he struck out on his own and opened this by-appointment showroom.

The designer grew up in Baton Rouge making furniture and floorplans out of his LEGOs and drawing inspiration from the classic furniture found in Royal Street antique stores on family daytrips to New Orleans.

As a child, there were three rooms in his home he wasn’t allowed to play in, and he doesn’t want his clients’ rooms to feel off limits or like museums.

Gardemal’s art is finding the balance between tradition, beauty and comfort. 

“A space should last a long time and not be high maintenance,” he says. “Life is frenetic enough already, and if you have to worry about your space, you can’t really live.”

Whether it’s an apartment south of Houston Street in Manhattan or a large family home in South Baton Rouge, Gardemal blends his talent for color and texture curation with a client’s comfort and their story.

“Nobody’s personality is all white—or beige or tan,” he says. “It’s not natural. Everyone can find a level of color they are comfortable with. I just like when you come around a corner and there’s always something beautiful to see.”