JLA Designer Showcase: Leslie Thompson

See the gallery of Leslie’s work below.

J.L. Anthony has built a reputation on delivering the fabulous which explains why we don’t get too excited when a job goes precisely as planned. It’s what we do. When we hear however, how much introducing our product and performance into a complicated project delighted both the designer and her client, it is indeed fulfilling.

And it’s all particularly sweet when the designer is a pro’s pro like Leslie Thompson.

Leslie’s star burns brightly in the increasingly cosmopolitan Naples, Florida, especially amongst the seasonal residents whose estate homes are at the center of a very active social schedule. For many clients, Naples is a third or fourth home, and so much of her work ramps up off-season, when clients may not always be accessible.

It takes a special balance, exceptional people skills and an ability to foster deep trust. Plus, some serious design talent. All of which qualifies Leslie as this month’s Designer Showcase honoree.

Leslie plies her trade for Malibu West Interiors in Naples, and has done so for close to 30 years. Recently she sent us a kind note and a few photos with a blush-worthy description of how our hardware had shone in a renovation project. We immediately called to learn more.

Her clients were downsizing, and an extensive renovation in an exclusive retirement community meant consolidating 7,000 square feet of “art and pieces they wanted to keep” from around the world, into 2,500 square feet.

Despite a wonderful relationship of many years with the couple, there were challenges in the process.

“We needed to specifically match color nuances and finishes, some in monochromatic style,” said Leslie. “And the husband was a retired CEO who wanted to be involved in every detail — nothing was too small.”

Which is where experience, a strong understanding of the homeowners and Leslie’s resourcefulness paid dividends.

“We were happy to do it, they’re such nice people,’ said Leslie. “And in the end there were no major holdbacks, no need to compromise. Everything turned out like we envisioned.”

Where J.L. Anthony Made a Difference

Leslie is a “big fan” of drapery hardware, and often fights the opinion that hardware isn’t important and “just for holding up draperies.”

Her window designs involved sheers for privacy and filtered light combined with stationary side panels. A double rod was needed, along with specific color, design and finishes. Leslie encountered trouble getting the samples, finishes and drawings from multiple companies that she needed to make her case with the clients.

“When I described all our issues, Gwen with Ona (Drapery), she was the one who said J.L. Anthony had what we needed,” said Leslie.

Within short order, Leslie was showing custom finishes samples and drawings to the clients. The difference was dramatic.

“We were looking at four different companies and they couldn’t even give us a good CAD drawing,” said Leslie. “And when we had your drawings and the strikeoff in our hands we were so impressed with it. Not only the manufacturing, so solid and very good quality, but when we held up finishes side-by-side, the quality of J.L. Anthony was so far superior.”

And once decisions were made on product, JLA’s client services and logistical support also rose to the top, Leslie explained.

“In the design world, everything is custom, and as you order, inevitably the more custom it is, the harder it is to get,” she said. “Items are either delayed, not right or damaged, and honestly there were no problems with this; in fact everything came in a little earlier than we expected.”

And one pleasant surprise for Leslie was the reaction of her window treatment fabricators, Michael Schmidt Custom Windows.

“Their installers were over-the-top impressed with the attention to detail they hadn’t seen in other manufacturers” explained Leslie. “They said your brackets (with the built-in weight bearing support) were pure genius.”

Leslie and Malibu West have plenty on their plate lately as it’s the busy season — design wise — in Naples. As for JLA hardware,  she “can’t wait to use it on my next project … it makes my life easier.”

“I will definitely tell everybody about it, and I would recommend it to any designer. It’s a superior product.”

Click on any image to view it full-size.



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