Here’s What One Interior Designer Gives Herself for Her Birthday Each Year, and It’s a Solid Gift Idea for Anyone

published Nov 8, 2022
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Credit: Jodee Debes

When Emma Jesberg and David Hill moved into their sunny San Francisco apartment, they had to reconcile two very different aesthetics, with Jesberg confessing that she had to tone down her penchant for pink in particular. As an interior designer though, working for her mother’s firm, EJ Interior Design, Jesberg has developed a strong sense of style, especially when it comes to art and design. “Design and art have been a focus throughout my life,” she says. “My mother, Eugenia Jesberg, started EJ Interior Design in 1992, and I joined her firm in January 2020. Prior to joining EJID, Jesberg also worked in merchandising and product development at West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, and Gap for years, so design has dominated both her personal and professional life thus far.

Credit: Jodee Debes

So what does someone who’s been so invested in art and design invest in herself, year after year? Art, of course. “Every year for my birthday, I buy myself a piece of art,” Jesberg says, which is a tradition that’s not only a financial investment but also an investment in the vibe she’s consistently curating in her home. Jesberg describes her style as “bright, happy, and livable,” and her choices in art reflect these sentiments. “My first piece was the Erik Barthels from Uprise Art (the colorful piece above the living room chair),” she says, “and then I started building from there.”

Credit: Jodee Debes

Jesberg says art and textiles are definitely her biggest indulgence, but these pieces pay off by contributing to the overall sense of pep within her home. Her absolute favorite work of art? The Alicia McCarthy above the dining table, which she says always makes her smile. “Alicia McCarthy is a Bay Area artist that I have always admired,” Jesberg says. “She is known for her interweaving lines and stripes of bright colors, and she often uses unusual or household materials. This is a print of hers from Paulson Fontaine Press.”

If you’re at a loss as to what to gift a friend— or even yourself — when the next birthday rolls around, consider art. It’s such a memorable, thoughtful gift, and you can take cues from their color scheme, style, or favorite types of art to choose a piece. Art can be a great holiday gift idea, too.