Jenny Junior has lived in Hertfordshire for 20 years, and has revamped the interiors of many local properties. Next up? A fashion offering with a sustainable approach
Were you a creative child?
Yes, art was my favourite subject at school. I also loved fashion. My first commercial role was in a buying department in the West End, where I began to understand how form and colour can combine to produce a great design, something which has influenced my interior design career to date.
When did interior design become a career option?
When I got married we moved from London to Hertfordshire. I had been considering interior design as a career for some time and the relocation afforded me the opportunity to enrol with the Regent Academy of Fine Art and gain a Distinction in Interior Design.
When did you launch your own business and what did you want to offer?
Following the successful completion of my design qualifications, I knew that interior design was the way forward for me. I wanted to make it more accessible to more people. I understood that many people found it intimidating to visit upmarket showrooms and design studios, so I offered a one to one consultation service to clients in their own homes. This service is still our starting point today, where clients can discuss their style requirements and budgets in a relaxed, non-judgemental environment.
What would you say makes you stand out?
I believe that the ability to listen is key. Some designers seem to imprint their own style on other people’s homes, without taking into consideration what their client actually wants. I am also a proponent of creative thinking and positivity – there’s always a solution. It may take time but, with persistence, a positive outcome is always possible.
I have a real passion for interior design and think I am extremely lucky to enjoy my job so much. For many clients it is a learning experience that they enjoy too, so we get a high proportion of repeat business.
Has the way homeowners look at using an interior designer changed in recent times?
Yes, people today are much more open to the concept of using an interior designer. Work and family commitments can take up vast amounts of time. People do not want to spend what little leisure time they have wandering around department stores or Googling furniture websites. They value the knowledge and experience a professional designer can offer and appreciate the time and hassle it will save them.
Looking at your website, it seems like any aspect of design in the home you can tackle…
This is very true. Whether it’s a case of moving to a new house and wanting a complete refurb, needing an extension, or just a difficult room that would benefit simply from furniture layout, lighting and window treatment advice, we can help.
Do you get commissioned to work on certain areas in the home more than others?
During the pandemic, with more clients working from home, home offices have been high on the agenda. We design and make furniture to measure. Custom-made desks and storage solutions for a home office that are both functional and attractive to look at are items that we are very proud of.
How do you tend to work with clients?
We offer an in-depth consultation with clients where we assess their requirements and budgets. We then design to the agreed brief and install the scheme using our team of professional tradesmen. We also offer a full project management service if required. Once clients understand that we work with them in a genuinely consultative manner, at a pace with which they are comfortable and that we remain constantly in touch with the project from start to finish, then they tend to come back to us next time. We get a lot of business from referrals and enjoy five-star reviews for our services posted on social media.
You work across Hertfordshire: have there been 3 projects in the county that stand out for you, and if so why?
Bayford Grange, Bayford
This project was the complete refurbishment of a Georgian mansion and took over two years to complete. It included additions such as a pool house, a large orangery and a basement cinema room, with all the blinds and curtains working on motorised systems. The end result is a beautiful country home with all the mod cons for our clients to enjoy.
This was the renovation of another period home, again completed over a number of years, which included a new kitchen, a garden room extension and the updating of three bedrooms and two reception rooms. We designed and installed bespoke furniture to encase and hide a boiler system, and we also created a desk modelled on our client’s love of his Bentley motor cars – a real one off!
Warren Park Road, Hertford
Our brief here was to inject some character into a house that was decorated throughout in plain white and was bland and soulless. With our client having a demanding job and being absent most of the time, we project managed the installation of his home office, living room, games room, playroom and five bedrooms. Our client has told us he is thrilled with the transformation and wouldn’t have known where to start if he had attempted to execute the project himself; very rewarding news.
How long have you lived in the county for and what do you love about it?
I’ve been based in Hertfordshire for 20 years and love the combination of beautiful countryside and bustling market towns. There’s something for everyone here. With an excellent choice of shops, antique centres, restaurants (the Tilbury at Datchworth is a firm favourite) and pubs, for me Hertfordshire is like London but without the stress!
What does the future hold for Jenny Junior Interiors?
Since the start of the pandemic we’ve seen an influx of families moving out of London into the county. Hitchin, Tewin and Datchworth seem particularly popular villages, and we are currently working on a number of projects to make these homes something special. Many existing clients have used the time during lockdown to re-evaluate their homes and replace tired schemes, knowing this can only add value to their properties.
Additionally, since so many of our clients ask for fashion advice and style tips with their wardrobes during design consultations, we have launched an online fashion shop (wornwunce.com) selling beautiful, vintage, designer garments, handbags, shoes and jewellery from labels such as Christian Lacroix, Manolo, Dior, Barbour and more. Our ethos is to make designer pieces available to a wider audience at affordable prices. Sustainability in all areas of design is a key factor for us, the most sustainable garment is one that already exists.