In Conversation With Jennifer Hunter
I met Jennifer Hunter, founder of Jennifer Hunter Design, at a Halloween soirée in Sutton Place at the perfectly pre-war apartment of our mutual friend. A fire crackled behind us as we sipped Champagne in our costumes. Jennifer was dressed as a cheerleader and I as Marella Agnelli. We found an instant connection as our similar paths were discovered. I was instantly enamored with her journey of starting her design firm. Her insight sparked a smile on my face and a jolt of confidence in my career.
Jennifer's work is captivating, considered, and diverse. While her discerning eye comes through in each project, it is clear the client is her priority. With a degree in Architecture from the University of Texas in Austin and a master's degree in American Fine and Decorative Arts from the Sotheby's Institute in New York, her greatest strength as a designer lies in her ability to dissect and address all elements of an interior. Each project excludes passion and a sublime amalgamation of her fresh aesthetic with the client's style. Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes and House Beautiful, just to name a few.
I had the delightful opportunity to rummage Jennifer's brain on her life, work, and philosophy.
What led you to interior design?
I knew from a very young age that I wanted to do something with design. I grew up in a development and real estate family so as a little girl I was around construction sites and observed all the details that went into each building. This fascination led me to attend a five-year architecture program at the University of Texas at Austin.
In my summers, I had the privilege to intern for the great Albert Hadley. During my second summer with him, I asked his advice about my career path. His advice was to attend the master's program in American Fine and Decorative Arts at Sotheby's Institute of Art as I was lacking historical knowledge of decorative arts. From there I helped Harry Heissmann open his design office, then started a firm with a business partner, before opening Jennifer Hunter Design four years ago.
Three words to describe your style?
What would be your dream project to take on?
My dream project would be to design a boutique hotel.
Tell me about your childhood bedroom. What did it look like?
Oh, I love this question! I had my mom's childhood bedroom furniture, which was super special to me. The scheme was mint and pink with lots of flowers. The most exciting piece was a canopy bed with bed dressings. I thought it was a true princess bed and loved making forts!
What is a design trend you will never partake in?
I will never get behind a room without color. Just not in my wheelhouse and I live for color!
Design crush dead or alive?
Elsie de Wolfe.
A book you return to time and time again for inspiration?
My personalized copy of Albert Hadley: The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designer.
An object in your home that you will never part with?
Can I change this to a collection? Ha! I collect Herand animals and have inherited special, discontinued ones from my mother. It is something I plan to pass on to my girls one day. There is nothing more classic.
For posterity, describe your design philosophy.
My design philosophy can be described as traditional but seen through fresh eyes. It is equal parts tailored and eclectic, glamorous and relaxed, bold and subtle. It is this unique balance that I strive for in every project.
What’s next for you?
I am super excited to showcase more of my true personal aesthetic with my country home design-build.
Thank you, Jennifer!
Discover more of Jennifer's work here.
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Images: Jennifer Hunter Design