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Ask a Pro

October 10, 2024

4 min


Illuminating What Matters Most

Kitchen and Living room filled with Kichler lights for St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway
An Interview with St. Jude Interior Designer, Jan Strickland

At Kichler Lighting, everything we do, every single day, is with the intention of creating an environment that illuminates what matters most. Our partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® as the exclusive national sponsor of lighting for its annual St. Jude Dream Home® Giveaway – and our commitment to supporting and spotlighting the organization’s lifesaving work – builds on this intent.

Every year, more than 400,000 children around the world are diagnosed with cancer. Each ticket sold for a Dream Home Giveaway will help St. Jude expand patient care and breakthrough research to help more of these children. Kichler Lighting, as one of only five national sponsors, supports these efforts by providing lighting and ceiling fans for 40-plus newly built St. Jude Dream Homes across the country.

So, just how important are sponsors’ contributions to this lifesaving work, you ask?

Jan Strickland, owner of Strickland Interiors and lead designer for the Monroe, LA St. Jude Dream Home, enlightens us…

Jan Strickland owner of Strickland Interiors
Living area of the Monroe, LA St. Jude Dream Home
How and why did you get involved with the St. Jude Dream Home project?

BRACO Construction asked me to join in 2018 and I immediately answered yes. My childhood best friend, Tiffany Greer, passed away from cancer and was a St. Jude patient. I think of her and a few of my other childhood friends, Amber and Claude, who passed too soon to childhood cancer.

Bathroom vanity with 2 sinks and 3 mirrors. Kichler vanity lights hanging overhead
Tub in bathroom and Kichler chandelier hanging overhead
How many years have you been a part of the St. Jude Dream Home project?

This coming home – the 2023 one – will be my sixth one to be the lead designer of in Monroe, LA.

What is your favorite thing about working on St. Jude Dream Homes?

Working with all the wonderful local vendors that give so much of their time and talents to this project. Also, allowing my full creative side to show by selecting everything from finishes, furniture, and decor for the homes.

Dining room table with Kichler chandelier hanging overhead
White painted brick exterior of the Monroe, LA St. Jude Dream Home
How do you approach the St. Jude Dream Home projects differently from your other projects?

I approach this project with the mindset of “What will the general public like to see, style and function wise?” With my client projects, I focus on their needs. With this, I think of what the general public needs.

As lead designer, you get to make decisions on every selection for the home, from paint colors and cabinets to furniture and décor, to plumbing and light fixtures, and everything in between. What was your inspiration for the design direction of this year’s home?

My inspiration for the 2022 home was southern elegance. I chose a light and fresh color palette while keeping elegance at the forefront.

beige themed master with Kichler chandelier hanging from the vaulted ceiling
Patio with outdoor dining area and Kichler fan hanging above
How important are sponsors in making the St. Jude Dream Home possible?

We could not do the home without them. From the roof, brick, flooring, plumbing, cabinets, lighting, and everything in between. Nothing would be possible without our incredible sponsors.

Kichler views lighting as a way to bring people together. How do you view it? How important is lighting in your St. Jude Dream Home designs? 

I agree. Lighting does bring us together. But I always view it not only as functional but beautiful. Selecting the right lighting can truly be the jewelry of the home. It can change the entire mood and style of the home.

Baby Blue Kitchen with 2 Kichler pendants hanging over the island
Sectional couch separating the living room from the kitchen
Interior designers often refer to fixtures as the jewelry of the home: too many lighting fixtures or the wrong fixture can detract from the room’s appearance; just the right ones and the right amount enhance the room’s appearance. How did you go about selecting just the right light fixtures for each room in this St. Jude Dream Home?

Yes! (See the above answer!) It’s all about the proper scale with lighting to me. If the scale is off, the lighting can look off balance in the space. But, also using a designer to make sure all the fixtures coordinate and flow properly within the space is so important to the overall design.

You used Kichler light fixtures throughout the entire Monroe, LA home. What was your favorite light fixture selection for this year’s St. Jude Dream Home and why? How did it help create the atmosphere and ambiance you were going for with your design?

The kitchen island pendants – no doubt! They were a hit in the open houses for sure. The modern yet elegant style of them really is the showcase in this year’s St. Jude Dream Home.

What is your hope each year for the St. Jude Dream Home winner as they settle into their new space?

I hope they enjoy and feel comfortable and inspired in their new home. Your home can have a huge impact on your mood and outlook on life. My designs help you to have an amazing mood and outlook!

For more information on the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway, visit

For more information on Jan Strickland, visit her website or follow her on Instagram and Facebook.