Designer Profile: Jay Jeffers

Named to Elle Décor’s A-List of top interior designs, Jay Jeffers is the founder of JayJeffers and the author of Collected Cool. Since establishing his San Francisco-based firm, Jay has designed apartments and homes in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Wine Country, Los Angeles, New York and beyond.

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What inspired this career path for you? I have a degree in International Business/Marketing. I moved to SF to work for the Gap in marketing, but soon realized I yearned for more creative work. I happened into the world of design by taking a class at night after work. It was an intro to interior design class, which was love at first swatch. I worked for a small design firm to cut my teeth and started my firm in 1999.

What is your go-to source for inspiration? Travel (sitting in Air France airport lounge as I type this, waiting to board a flight to Paris), museums, art, and the once-in-a-blue-moon Sunday Pinterest rabbit hole!

Tell us about your creative process. Our projects are very client-dependent. At the end of a project, I don’t live in a home. I create for individuals who have their own taste and style. They may not know what that is and it’s my job to find it for them, but everyone has it. I love residential work because it allows me to dig deep into the minds and lives of my clients, and create something they might not have ever known possible.

Describe your style in 6 words or less. Collected, cool (like my book), chic, luxurious, livable

What’s a staple in your tool kit? I have a bag that goes from home to office. It contains trace paper, a kit of pencils and pens, a scale, a tape measure, and usually plans that are past due. I’m always pulling it out and sketching or drafting something – for a client, for myself, for my next line with Arteriors, etc.

Who do you look up to in the design world? Jamie Drake, Suzanne Tucker, Albert Hadley, Vincenzo De Cotiis, Gary Hutton, Orlando Diaz, Kelly Wearstler. All for different reasons. I still have many design crushes. To me, I’m still a kid in this business.

If you could design a space for anyone, what kind of space and for whom would it be? I would love to design the Gavin Newsom White House! Since that is a few years away, I’ve never designed a plane, so I would love to do that.  And if I can design it for anyone, I think I’ll do it for myself. I didn’t hit that Powerball, so I’ll keep saving and someday…

Tell us your favorite design-related word, phrase, or quote. Decoratory. We are always asking ourselves, “Is this too decoratory?”

Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be lost without? Pinterest is the best. Whether it is stair details or rug patterns, or a specific tile or color, it is the best resource for gathering, sourcing, and sharing inspiration. I don’t know what I did without it. (Actually, I do.  I have binders and binders of torn pages of magazines and books from the past 15 years. They are very dusty at the moment.)

Share a little bit about the pieces you’re consigning on Viyet, e.g., do any have unique backstories, in what kind of space do you hope they end up, etc.? We have a retail store in San Francisco called Jay Jeffers – The Store.  It is a collection of wonderful things, old and new, from around the world. We have selected some wonderful pieces, such as a chest/coffee table by John Dickinson, a vintage console by Mastercraft, a fantastic oyster shell mirror by an artist in Austin, Texas (who also made my fireplace mantel in St. Helena out of oyster shells).

What do you love about Viyet? I have clients asking me what to do with pieces that are going if we are re-designing their rooms, or they have had it for a while and are ready for a refresh. We are talking about furnishings that are too good for Craigslist. Until now, there really hasn’t been a venue to find or sell (and buy) fantastic, recognized designer brands at a discounted price.

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