Friday, September 14

Interview: Jay Jeffers

Jay Jeffers/photo by Thomas Hart Shelby

I love, love, love the work of fellow Texan Jay Jeffers. The day that I can afford to fly an interior designer to Scotland, Jay will be at the top of the list.

What draws me to his work is the way he unites bold colors, playful patterns, traditional antique and modern elements. Not an easy task, but one that Jay has mastered perfectly. I particularly loved doing this profile. Jay’s sense of style and humor come across effortlessly in his answers, as it does in his designs.

What is your decorating trademark?
I always tailor each interior to the individual, but vibrant colors and mixing graphic patterns have become signatures. A comment I get often from people who see my work is, "I would have never thought to mix those patterns and pieces, but it works beautifully." I try not to be typecast though. I would love to do an all neutral, minimalist interior. It would be a challenge, but it would be fun!

How would you describe your decorating style?
I've coined the phrase "sophisticated fun" as my decorating mantra; it means there is always a focus on impeccable quality and detail, but there’s also a provocative twist. The interior may be contemporary, traditional or something in between, but there’s always an element of surprise or whimsy.

photo by Michel Arnaud

What is your favorite book(s)?
From a design perspective, my most referenced is Parish Hadley: Sixty Years of American Design. Albert Hadley is such an incredible genius. A new favorite is American Houses: The Architecture of Fairfax & Sammons. The architecture is divine. And I love discovering out-of-print David Hicks books. I've been collecting them for years and found countless ideas not only in photographs, but in his advice and quotes.

What is your favorite luxury in life?
A wonderful, intimate hotel with great service -- great service being the most important part. I'm not one of those people who say, "I'm never in the hotel, so it really doesn't matter." The Chambers in New York, La Casa Que Canta in Zijuatenejo Mexico and The Maurice in Paris are favorites. It’s an amazing luxury, but in my line of work, it's also market research (at least that's what I tell myself).

What is your most prized possession?
My partner and our dog, Kingsley.

Who is your favorite artist
I'm intrigued by the controversy that always surrounds Damien Hirst and I do like some of his work. I love the simplicity of Donald Judd. I just saw the mind-boggling sculpture series by Richard Serra at the MoMA in New York and I'm currently obsessed with Lorraine Shemesh. Her most recent work is spectacular:

What is your idea of a perfect party?
The perfect party is first and foremost about the people - a mixture of old friends that you love but never see and new friends you'd like to get to know better. A cocktail or two and everyone becomes best friends.

Which brings me to the cocktails, the second most important part - something quick and easy that doesn't take the bartender twenty minutes to make (I hate a party where the only drink is a mojito - is it tacky to order two at a time?).

If the party is at my house, it's usually white wine and clear liquors only. A very important third to people and drinks: delicious, easy food (single bites, please), great music and for God's sake, dim the lights. Everyone is prettier (including the interior space) under a dimmer and some candles!

Who would you most like to meet and how would you spend the day
You are killing me with these questions! I just couldn't possibly pick one. How about a dinner party at my house. Guests to include Hillary Clinton, Damien Hirst, Karl Lagerfeld, Robin Thicke (after dinner, he can sing!), Axel Vervoordt, Picasso (do they have to be living?) and Truman Capote.

And for those who drink too much and have to spend the night, I'll make French Toast with strawberries in the morning!

Interview by Ronda Carman


Anonymous said...

I LOVE Jay’s work too! His use of pattern and color is so fab! I knew that he was based in CA, but I didn’t realize that he was a fellow Texan.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE Jay’s work too! His use of pattern and color is so fab! I knew that he was based in CA, but I didn’t realize that he was a fellow Texan.

Brilliant Asylum said...

He is a fabulous designer (and party host, it seems from his interview). TGIF!

The Peak of Chic said...

He has a great eye (as well as a great sense of humor). I completely agree with his choice of books!

Pigtown*Design said...

WOW! I didnt' know him before this, but agree 100% with nearly everything he said!

Habitually Chic said...

His answers were so witty and fun! Now, I know who else I'm up against in my hunt for vintage books by David Hicks.

P.S. What will your book be about?

Suzy said...

Rhonda, another great interview, I love Jay Jeffers work too - also, I have to ask, how do you get in contact with them to ask them to participate in an interview?

katiedid said...

I am curious too? How do you do it! Fabulous series of interviews latley. I bet once you are on a roll, people find you! Another great interview and I am a fan also!

Unknown said...

Great interview. His work is great.The artwork by Lorraine Shemesh is stunning!!!
BTW I love your new logo. It is very fun and fresh, and ever so chic.

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks Carolyn and BA, a party at Jay's would be great!

Jennifer, I completely agree with his choice of books too!

ALL THE BEST said...

Me too Fairfax he's great!

Habitually Chic it's a reference guide of sorts with profiles of stylish and enterprising trendsetters from the world of wine, art, fashion and interior design, with a global flavor.

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks Suzy and Katie!

Some have been through various connections, others have come about from previous people profiled and some are a matter of researching.

ALL THE BEST said...

Thanks Patricia!! I agree the artwork by Lorraine Shemesh is amazing!