When presented with the blank canvas of designing the interior of the newly constructed Lompoc Valley Medical Center, Summer Janklow saw it as an opportunity to repay all the gifts she’d been given in her life.
The native of Baton Rouge, LA, Janklow was initially hired solely to ensure the hospital’s interior was appropriately decorated with art.
Ultimately, she took over the entire interior design as well as the landscaping of the hospital’s colorful gardens. She later directed the interior design of the Champion Center and design renovations at the Comprehensive Care Center.
Each site contains pleasing, soft colors and the works of Central Coast artists. “When I saw the hospital, I knew what I could do to improve it,” she said of creating a beautiful healing space. “I didn’t care if they paid me. It was my opportunity to give back for all the gifts given in my life.”
Her past includes a career in staging homes for real estate sales and spending almost three decades doing interior designs in corporate offices, hotels, and homes. “When I started this job, I had never done a medical facility before,” she recalls. At first, she was hired to only provide local art to decorate the hospital. The job quickly grew.
The mother of two grown children has an eclectic past that includes residential stints in New Orleans, Texas, Singapore, Arizona, and India, where she met her husband of 17 years, Dr. Herb Janklow, MD. In India, where she once planned to live permanently, her entire world was changed.
“I smelled smells I’d never smelled,” she recalls. “I saw colors I’d never seen. I heard a language I’d never heard. It was a cornucopia of visual and audio delights.” She believes now that “100 percent of what I brought to the hospital” came from her life in India, where she studied with a guru and created her “own oasis.”
At LVMC, every color choice in the art and each placement of photographs, paintings, and sculptures were intricately decided upon by Janklow. The artwork is all by Lompoc Valley or Santa Barbara County artisans, painters or sculptors.
“Everything has a story,” she explains. Her cherished interior gardens, each with a stunning water feature, were created to provide an interplay of color and the structural quality of plants, to complement the hospital building. “You work with what you are given and embellish to make it beautiful,” Janklow says.
For the registration entrance hall “Donor Wall,” Janklow decided upon engraved glass bricks, with background colors denoting the the level of financial contribution. “I’ve gone into enough facilities,” Janklow says. “I never felt the donor walls were anything to get excited about. This one is one of the prettiest donor walls I’ve ever seen. It’s classy, simple and you can read the names.”
Though she admits to being hypercritical about her own work, she loves what she accomplished at LVMC, the Champion Center and now with the renovations at the CCC. “All my life’s experiences have been poured into this hospital,” she says. “It was time for me to give back. Part of my heart and soul is here.”