Principal Designer of Jen Going InteriorsResides in:
Garden City, NYBest known for:
Casual elegance with a "beach life is best" mentalitySee It Now:
Today she debuts Going Home
, a furniture line created in partnership with interior designer Stephen Czeck. Antique or modern?
Both! A home is much more interesting when you blend pieces that have some patina and history with modern pieces. I love a classic room with modern art and accents.City or Country?
I work primarily from Manhattan to Montauk so there's plenty of both, sometimes in the same day. Right now I'm working on a modern farmhouse and a prewar apartment on the Upper West Side so I live in my car and on the train.What is your favorite interior design related word?
"Balance."Favorite materials or textures?
I'm using a lot of reclaimed timber recently.
Does your current home look like the one you grew up in?
In a way it does. All of the elements of my childhood home are there—it's welcoming, cozy and filled with things collected over the years.
Does a room need a view?
A room needs focal points, which could be the view through a window, a fireplace
, or a piece of art. If the view isn't there, it just needs to be created!Favorite designer or architect?
I'm loving Bates + Masi
right now. Paul Masi was a high school classmate of mine and I love everything he is doing.Which design blog, website, or magazine would you be lost without?
I think I'd be a little lost without 1stdibs
. I use that website every day!
What is a forbidden word in your home?
"Bored". I have zero tolerance for the word. I tell my kids that only boring people get bored, so go find something to do!
Design rule you love to break?
I mix metal finishes all the time. I don't think that's much of a rule anymore, but sometimes clients are afraid to do it.What is your favorite room in the house?
I love a living room. When a client tells me "I'll never use this room" it's my favorite challenge. I look forward to sitting with a cup of coffee in my living room and leafing through my art and design books like some people look forward to a vacation. I try to create a space like that in the homes I design, and I love when it ends up being the room a client thought they would never use.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have the bathhouse key board from the beach where my family spent our summers. It was made by hand by the manager of the club at the time, which I believe was in the 1960s. It's in the format of a blueprint for the men's and women's locker rooms, with a little key slot for each locker. It appeals to my sense of space planning, graphic design and history. It's a big, beautiful piece of wood which had a very basic purpose that is now outdated. It hangs in my showroom and people ask for the price all the time. The answer is absolutely not for sale!If you could live in one historical figure's house, whose would it be?
Thomas Jefferson. He was the original DIY-er! If he wanted a desk, he'd design one. A closet system? No problem. I toured Monticello as a child and was amazed by his innovations.On what movie set would you like to live?The Party,
a 1960's movie starring Peter Sellers. It had a sunken living room and amazing midcentury furniture. It reminds me of my family's summer home, which influenced my design aesthetic immensely.
To which country would you move to for the design?
Italy. I'd actually move to anywhere in Italy for no reason at all... but for the design, I'd go straight to Milan.If you were reborn as a piece of furniture or an object, what would it be?
Marilyn Monroe's vanity, or Paul Newman's pillow!Do you have any summer traditions?
My family and I stay in a teeny tiny cottage for one week every summer, high on the dunes in Quogue[, New York]. When I'm there, I completely decompress. It's rustic yet civilized with beat-up wide plank floors, a vaulted ceiling with exposed beams and only an outdoor shower. There's no TV, we cook outdoors, we wake up with the sun and stay up late sitting on the deck looking at the stars. It's heavenly.What is the best tabletop accessory for an outdoor summer soirée?
I have a dozen brightly colored Moroccan tea glasses that I use for votive candles. They add color and a little Bohemian spirit that's perfect for a warm summer night.What is an interiors trend you'd be happy to not see ever again?
Trends are always exciting until you inevitably tire of them. I try to ignore trends and stick to timelessness.