With an impressive portfolio and many satisfied clients, Jenny Junior has forged a successful interiors career by having the ability to combine creative flair and fresh ideas whilst retaining a perceptive understanding of what the client wants.

Growing up and going to school in the quiet surroundings of the Sussex countryside, Jenny says 'I began my career in the fashion industry. It turned out to be a catalyst for my fascination with colour, art and purity of form. To this day, these are the key aesthetics of the interior design philosophy most associated with the Jenny Junior brand and which distinguish our style of design.'

Her re-location to central London was a transformational experience and one which exposed her to a myriad of architectural styles and features, both historic and contemporary and taught her the best interior design schemes are usually ones which closely reflect the character, age and style of the property.

Having graduated with a distinction in interior design from the Regent Academy of Fine Art, Jenny’s design work encompasses both domestic and retail projects, from whole-home design and decoration solutions through to unique, custom-made furniture assignments.

Great British Life: Jenny Junior Interiors drawing room inspiration (c) Paul TyagiJenny Junior Interiors drawing room inspiration (c) Paul Tyagi

Now based in Letty Green, Hertfordshire, she says inspiration comes from 'multiple sources'. 'Travelling, especially to ocean-side locations, is a major influence, where the meeting of green sea and blue sky always seem to bring out the creative impulse.

'Spending time on the road visiting galleries, exhibitions and new places is also a reliable source of ideas and inspiration for themes around which a design scheme can be built. So much can be found in local architecture, culture and lifestyle to last a lifetime.

'Sometimes, inspiration can come directly from getting to know the client. One long-standing customer engaged us to re-design his home office. With a passion for Bentley motor cars we custom-built him a desk, matching the Burr Walnut veneers, leather work and detailing of the desk and custom-made Bentley chair to the interior of his prized car. Now, his home office is his favourite place to be. People can be inspirational, too.'

Design icons from both classic and contemporary eras also form part of her creativeness.

'The giants of Georgian architecture, such as Nash and Lutyens, have always inspired my love of proportions and pure form. More modern design heroes, such as Zaha Hadid and Tom Wright, are masterful with their use of space and light, one of the most important aspects of a Jenny Junior design scheme.

Great British Life: Let there be light, interior design by Jenny Junior Interiors (c) Paul TyagiLet there be light, interior design by Jenny Junior Interiors (c) Paul Tyagi

'Away from walls and roofs, designers in fashion such as Chanel, Cartier and Manolo Blahnik (shoes are my not-so-secret passion!) also inform my ideas and make me a happy girl.

'From time to time we design and commission custom-made furniture for clients. One of my favourite inspirational things to do is to visit our cabinet makers and craftsmen, to watch them build these commissions from the base wood, glass or metal into the beautiful and functional objects which our clients will enjoy forever. Each visit seems to inspire a new idea'.

Her portfolio has accumulated pop stars, captains of industry and leaders in the creative arts, such as children’s TV and media but Jenny says most clients are just 'regular folks' who tend to fit one of a small number of profiles.

'Either they have recently moved home and don’t know where to start, or they have no time to undertake a refurbishment project themselves due to work or family commitments, or they have spent too many weekends wandering around department store furnishing departments, being overwhelmed by product choices and underwhelmed by the lack of available advice and expertise.'

More interestingly, Jenny says a significant part of the growth in the recent client base has come from homeowners in the 50 to 65-year-old sector.

'Whilst some proportion of this group choose to downsize, perhaps as they approach retirement, many are investing more than ever in their property and are seeking expertise, advice and ideas for extending or re-engineering their living spaces.

Great British Life: Kitchen inspiration from Jenny Junior Interiors (c) Paul TyagiKitchen inspiration from Jenny Junior Interiors (c) Paul Tyagi

'More than 50 per cent of our work is currently coming from this demographic. Moreover, the recent pandemic conditions have generated a flurry of requests for home-office projects as so many more people are now electing to work from home.'

Jenny has also undertaken some amazing garden rooms. Jenny says, 'These are always popular and more often than not, are now incorporated into the kitchen of the house.'

Asking an interior designer if they have a favourite project is not always an easy question for them to answer but a year-long refurbishment of a Grade 2 listed manor house in Hertfordshire is Jenny’s.

Dating from the 18th Century, set in acres of rolling, manicured grounds, complete with its own fish-filled lake, refurbishments included a cinema, music room, large orangery, pool house and separate staff buildings.

'We were able to work closely with the delightful owners, the architect, the builders and the specialist trades from the very start, a true team-based project where each party was reliant on the others to deliver to specification on time and on budget.'

Looking ahead, Jenny says sustainability is becoming “ever more” built-in to the interior design function and the pandemic has certainly made us re-think.

Great British Life: The outside space is easily accessible and designed by Jenny Junior Interiors (c) Tony TimmingtonThe outside space is easily accessible and designed by Jenny Junior Interiors (c) Tony Timmington

'It is noticeable clients are asking more questions about the source of materials, especially things like timber or tiles, so we take care to invest in our knowledge of the geographic source points and ecological implications of a fabric choice or product selection.

'I think the pandemic has markedly affected our perception of what a ‘home’ is really about. Not only have we seen a significant uptake in home offices, many clients have told us they no longer put potential resale value as their long-term priority.

'One could say the concept of ‘doing it up to sell it’ has been replaced with ‘turning our home into better place to live for our future’. Strange it took a life-threatening virus to make us a more life-affirming society.'

Great British Life: Interior designer, Jenny Junior, finds her inspiration from multiple sources Interior designer, Jenny Junior, finds her inspiration from multiple sources

More about Jenny

She enjoys walking or cycling the backroads of rural Hertfordshire and makes hats and jewellery, both for herself and for private customers.

Favourite part of her work

'I would say there are two. The first is in assembling the various components of a scheme to produce a holistic design. Every interior designer will be familiar with the amount of hard work, mental strain and ‘heavy lifting’ which goes into sourcing and assembling the multiple components of a design scheme. Most clients are not able to appreciate just how much is involved, so when it comes together in a winning design scheme you just want to shout ‘yes, yes, yes’ and punch the air. My second favourite is when the client gives us a great review on social media and for our website.'

Her home

'It’s decorated quite classically with fairly neutral walls and hard-wearing woollen carpets. I have a weakness for rugs and hand-made cushions, which splash accents of brighter colours into the room and I am also lucky to own some antique furniture items. My favourite piece currently is a contemporary, Italian matt-black ‘bullet’ lamp, which has pride of place in the drawing room. Perfect lines with bags of Italian chic. My other serious decoration expense is curtains; I seem to end up spending more on my curtain fabrics than I probably should, but they are gorgeous and I love them, especially the ones with crystal trimmings.'

Transformation tips

Great British Life: From place to pool by Jenny Junior Interiors (c) Alison HammondFrom place to pool by Jenny Junior Interiors (c) Alison Hammond

• Make your interior design scheme fit the architecture and the era it inhabits – a simple mantra but one of the most common errors we see is when there is an attempt to transform a Victorian or Georgian house using an interior design based upon white walls, smoked glass, stainless steel and eye-blinding spotlights. Conversely, don’t decorate your 1970’s era lodge-style house in chintz and velvet lampshades.

• Understand the proportions of space – think in advance about the floorplan and the negative effects of seating, tables or other furniture items which are too big or too small for the room they occupy. The correct use of proportion has a significant impact on the usability of a room and the enjoyment of your time spent in that room.

• Use as much natural light in the design scheme – it is widely understood natural light is an enhancer of wellbeing. Whilst the deep maroon or dark blue painted walls and heavy velvet curtains of dining rooms in the latest Victorian TV drama may appeal, such designs tend to work well only where ceiling heights exceed three metres and huge bay windows overlook acres of walled gardens.


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