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May 03, 2023
Meet Jenny Markowitz of JNR Designs, an interior designer based in Long Island who is deeply passionate about her craft and dedicated to creating one-of-a-kind spaces. Known for her expertise in mixing modern and traditional styles, Jenny strives to create unique and well-curated spaces tailored to her clients' tastes and budgets.
For Jenny, textiles are an essential component of any design, bringing vibrancy and serving multiple purposes. She believes in using color and pattern to bring out the unique personality of each homeowner, and in incorporating texture and pattern into monotone textiles to create interest without overwhelming the space.
"Nothing brings me more joy than collaborating with clients to create a beautiful home. I never leave the house without coffee and a measuring tape in hand and I get as giddy as my client when pieces arrive and we see the design come to life. At the end of the day it is as important to me that the client has an enjoyable and stress- free experience as well as the satisfaction of a lovely home. Afterall, the joy is in the journey! Listening to my clients' needs is a top priority. Coupling my design skills and over a decade's worth of experience translates into a well curated and thoughtfully decorated home. Mixing old and new - modern and traditional is a balance I strive to achieve and every project becomes a unique design specifically tailored to my client's taste and budget."
Textiles are a key player in all of our designs and they serve multiple purposes. Whether you are a lover of color and pattern or a more muted monotone type textiles are what bring life to the design. When we work with clients our first question is 'how do you feel about color?' If a client is willing to push the limits we utilize color in a way that brings out the homeowners personality. If a client shys away from too much color - for instance, in a primary bedroom they may want a more muted palette - we utilize the pattern and texture in monotone textiles. Although not as obvious as color, bringing in textural fabrics helps keep a monotone room from feeling boring. We never want to be boring!!
Where do you take risks in your work?
I wouldn't say we take 'risks' with our clients' homes. We just gently nudge them to step out of their comfort zone. We build trust with our clients so that they feel a level of comfort knowing we are listening to their needs and wants but creating something special and unique just for them. It's our job to educate our clients as to why we are recommending a certain product or architectural detail. Once the trust is there, that's when we create our best work.
When should a home-design enthusiast enlist the help of a design pro?
I would recommend hiring an interior designer when you are planning on renovating or building a home at the start of the process. Hiring a team of qualified professionals from their respective fields will bring you a complete and fully visualized design. Just hiring an architect and contractor without the designer can lead to a lot of regret at the end of the project. We all bring our own particular knowledge and education to our specialized fields. If you are just decorating your home I'd still recommend hiring a designer to help avoid costly mistakes. I hear from clients all of the time, 'I bought this sectional and it's too big...or too small.' Or, "I wish I had hired someone to help me from the beginning.' Although it can seem like an expense, hiring a designer will save you money and headache in the long run.
Why make custom goods instead of purchasing "off-the-rack" from retailers?
Custom made goods are a huge part of our business. Especially since the pandemic where lead times were astronomical and freight fees had risen to an extreme it actually became sensible to have furniture made. However, we often create custom goods to fit into spaces where an 'off -the- rack' item can't be found. Working with artisans who are amazing at their craft and can walk you through the process in a collaborative manner is so rewarding and really so much fun.
How much of being a great designer is innate and how much is learned?
I would say that 70% is innate. Having a good eye and sense of style is clearly important but design is actually extremely technical. So much math goes into a good design! As a designer you are also working with contractors and architects so you have to understand codes in your area. Often we wear a GC "hat" and need to be on top of the different trades. Having that knowledge is extremely important. Truth be told an interior designer spends more time managing projects and handling the business than we do actual design work.
To learn more about Jenny and her work visit https://www.jnrdesignsinc.com/
Top two photos: Cynthia Chung
Bottom three photos: Kyle Caldwell
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