Jennifer Griffin: A Balanced Look

Jennifer_GriffinWhen the design calls for balance and attention to details, clients rely on the expertise of Jennifer Griffin to give them all they want at an affordable price.

Thanks for joining us, Jennifer. Tell us a little bit about how you got started in interior design.

Like many designers, I truly got started as a child.  I would decorate my bedroom by buying stuff with babysitting money or bringing home a broken chair or dresser, fix it up, paint it and use it or sell it at yard sales. It kind of drove my mother crazy but I knew as a child that I was born to be an Interior Designer.

New England is a wonderful place to work with design.  Which classic New England features do you try and incorporate into your designs? How do you try and limit it?

I like to use classic furniture styles originating from England and Europe.  Many clients these days, have a contemporary, casual style but it is possible to combine both styles.  I believe that they soften each other and make a nice balance of casual elegance, so perfect for our Colonial houses. A great wing back chair near a roaring fire is a New England favorite and always a perfect fit, whether the chair is classic or contemporary in style.  I love our 4 seasons – fall, winter, spring and summer and always incorporate them into my designs.  Whether it is framing a view from a window with simple window treatments or not limiting sunlight during our long winters or using colors that help warm up a dark space.

Describe some of your more challenging spaces? Does a unique layout benefit the designer by expanding their ability to be creative? Or does it limit options?

Honestly, I think that every space I have ever worked on has its’ challenges and I learn and grow from every one of them.  The project might cause lost sleep at the beginning as I figure out how to handle the space but usually ends up being the best, most unique projects.  The more the challenge, the more I am pushed to think and be creative.  I think the most difficult space I have worked on was a master bedroom that had many eaves and small windows – how to place furniture, how to lift the walls, how to lighten up the room?  It was fun and had a terrific outcome.  The homeowners were very happy with the results.

Open floor plans are more popular than ever and many clients are consumed with the idea of flow.  How do you ensure against clutter, and that the occupant always feels stress-free in that space?

By providing proper storage and places for organization from cabinetry or furniture.  Planning an open floor plan can be tricky so get help from a good designer.

Area rugs are versatile. New England homes and businesses use lots of hardwood floors. Explain how you incorporate area rugs into your designs.

I always use rugs over hardwood floors because they add warmth, decoration from pattern and color and soften the hardness of wood.   I always use natural fibers like wool and silk because they wear well and are easily cleaned.

Do you have a type of area rug that you lean on most? Or is it a case-by-case basis?

My rugs and interiors are always a case-by-case basis.  Some of my designs have been complicated custom unique rugs costing $50,000 and up, with  9-12 months wait time for weaving and others are off the shelf cut carpets that have been bound for a more cost effective approach.  One thing though,  I always use natural fibers – this is key to a long lasting rug and healthy environment.

Are there price limits when it comes to rugs? 

Of course.  It always depends on the client and the budget.  I try to learn the expectations up front so that I can work within my clients budget.

Do you have any final words of design advice?

Buy the best that you can.  Quality always saves money in the end, this is especially important when you renovate a kitchen or bath.  Most cabinets are meant to last 10 years – not the cabinets I sell.  They are built to last a lifetime and then some.  I have this quote on my email from Benjamin Franklin “The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.”  To me, it says it all.

Where can readers see your work, or make an appointment for consultation? 

They can check out my website, now under construction…..  Or call my office 978-317-7801 to make an appointment.   Thank you so much for listening!


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