After Janie Jones & Elizabeth Miles met in Washington D.C. nearly 15 years ago, they never could have guessed that they would both move with their families to Birmingham (the city where their husbands grew up), let alone start a business together. But, it all happened naturally with their love for marrying the new and the old in someone’s style and adding a pop of pink or chartreuse into a room. We got to chat with them about their friendship, Hundley Hilton Interiors and their appearance as Tastemakers at the upcoming Antiques at the Gardens Oct. 4-7 at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.
How did you start working together in interior design?
JJ: After I had my kids, people would ask me to help with their houses, or if I would help look for a particular piece. I remember going to estate sales with my mom, and I’ve always loved finding antiques and pairing them with something new. I had people contacting me to help with their homes, and I didn’t want to do it by myself. It organically went from finding a piece of furniture to doing a whole room to doing a whole house.
EM: I had come from working with my mother in a boutique furniture business. She was a furniture designer and vintage and antique furniture dealer. Before that, I did graphic design for a big furnishing company, and I studied graphic design in school. I think we were two creative people wanting to get back into something creative.
Where does the name “Hundley Hilton” come from?
EM: We’ve loved honoring the strong female figures in our lives and the women who encouraged us to be creative in our families through the name. For me, “Hilton” is my great-grandmother’s maiden name.
JJ: And “Hundley” came from my great-grandmother’s maiden name, and it’s my middle name as well. We thought it was a fun way to honor our grandmothers, and I do feel like we’ve been inspired by the women who’ve raised us.
Describe a little about your styles, individually and as a duo.
JJ: We have two distinct styles, but we marry them together in a great way. I’ve opened Elizabeth up to a more old-fashioned look with antiques or florals. And my eyes are drawn to things that they never would have before since working with her.
EM: I love lines and more modern things, a mid-century look. One thing that we’ve always felt strongly about is to bring together the new, the old, the high and the low. We want to incorporate family heirlooms, any antiques, or pieces that are salvageable. You can bring in history through different eras.
What are some of your favorite things about what you do?
JJ: We have clients that challenge us, and that is a very cool experience. They have such strong personal ideas that they want in that space, but we can introduce things to them that they never would have put together originally. They see them in different light, with a different fabric or a new piece of art. It’s important for people to know that they don’t have to get rid of everything.
EM: They have a strong awareness of their own style. They’re very sure of what they like but want us to pull that together and reflect it in their home. It’s fun for us because we’re learning the psychology behind someone’s personal style and how we can bring that out.
So, what can we expect from y’all at Antiques at the Gardens as Tastemakers?
EM: There are four tastemakers this year, and we each have a space to design. It’s such a freeing experience to do something that we’re putting our full stamp on. And this is truly my favorite event of the year.
JJ: It will be bold (and) uniquely us. We feel like this is a great opportunity to showcase our style, and to have such talent around us is an honor. We’re so lucky to have the Birmingham Botanical Gardens right here. Nature is something to find beauty in, and you can incorporate that into your style.