I'm gearing up for next week's Ragland Hill Social featuring a "Week in White". It's going to be fabulous and so inspirational for everyone. This time of year I'm always craving a clean, clear interior space as well as a clean, clear mind for new inspiration. Don't worry, next week will feature clean and clear, fuzzy and furry, spare and modern, traditional and sophisticated. A little something for everyone is the goal. I hope you will like it.
I've admired Jennifer Post's work for years. She has an amazing aesthetic with the use of white and all things classic and timeless. She claims traditional interiors make her a "nervous wreck", with many things to look at that create a sort of confusion for the senses. Post is a perfectionist in every way. Her approach is methodical, concise and very sophisticated without being boring or plain.
Several years back, Post became the youngest designer ever included in Architectural Digest's AD 100 list of top designers, a spot coveted by many. She has been featured in The New York Times, House & Garden, Elle Decor, Metropolitan Home and The Robb Report.
Post's style has always been about purity of design and architecture. She has a special flair for modern simplicity. Her mark on the design world consists of clean, simple and sophisticated lines, a neutral color palette with a punch here and there, interesting textures, and contemporary furnishings coupled with one-of-a-kind pieces.
Post claims most of her clients don't crave or need a "traditional style" at home. Products like plastic and glass enables a modern space to have elegance. Quality products out of these materials were developed in the early 1990s after a demand for them following the Modern Minimalist movement. She uses the right combination of furniture, fabrics, stones and wood grains to keep her interiors from feeling cold, specifically using cashmere to cover sofas. Every decision is tailored and deliberate. Color relief is used in a definite context or paradoxically out of context, like in a painting or a rug.
This allows Post to give her client environments style and comfort with function to match their fast paced lifestyles. Jennifer can boast a strong client list that includes: Matt Lauer, John Hannan, Simon Cowell, Jennifer Lopez, Madhav and Patty Dhar, Michael and Bettye Bruno and Laura Wenke.
Some of Jennifer Post's most important treasures include her drawing notebooks. One for client ideas, one for inspirations and one for sketches is the perfect recipe for Post. Most of her design work is done outside the office, where she conceptualizes in her head. Post's process starts with an initial concept for a project with a vision and then begins working on materials for the project. She uses pitching "the double-height ceiling, the grand kitchen with its enormous island and his and her offices" as the vision. After that she spends about a month drawing the plans. She meets with the client again when the spatial and furniture plans are complete. Then it becomes about the details and mechanics of the project.
Post states she thinks we will see more one-story homes and that small bathrooms are gone for good. The kitchen as a stand alone room is in the history books as well. Kitchens and family rooms are one in the same now. She is having frequent requests for more integrated children's rooms that feature alcoves to hold computers, printers and other technology. I also found it interesting Jennifer feels living rooms are a very important part of a home's structure providing a formality that is necessary.
Post is a Hamilton, Ohio native and received her degree from University of Cincinnati. After her dreams of being a set designer and filmmaker were dashed, she earned her master's degree in art from Michigan State University. She then went on to University of London and elsewhere in Europe to learn about art and architecture.
In the next years she held a number of jobs including art directing, working in film and for several designers as well as styling window displays. Again, in her methodical style, she learned and saved her money, waiting for the right time to make her move.
At 30, she decided to open her own design studio in the Hamptons on a little country road in a huge old barn. It wasn't in a premium location but Post knew it could be fabulous. She paid $500 rent and did most of the fix-up work herself. She white lacquered the barn floors and took white oil based paint to the barn walls. "A hallowed angelic space" in her words to be exact. She got her first break with a wipe-out of her store inventory, a $100,000 check and an agreement to design this new client's apartment in New York.
Even with this break, opening her New York office was a major challenge. Post remembers it being more important to buy stationery and business cards than to eat well. So she lived off cucumbers and worked, worked, worked.
She claims her Midwest upbringing is what has lead to her success today, "It's reflected in my self-discipline, my work ethic, my appreciation of life, and my attention to my health. I say this in every interview: There's nothing better than the Midwestern value system. I'm so proud of my background and the freedom my parents gave me as a child. Maybe I can't play a musical instrument, or sing a note, or dance worth a darn. I've never run a marathon. But I happen to be talented in design and space and materiality. That's who I am today. And (my success) comes from a basic integrity, a solid upbringing and a positive attitude."
In Jennifer Post's words, "I'm a modernist. I don't like it when people say that modern has to be cold. I'm for those people who want volume and light and space and elegance. Elegance! Elegance! Elegance! Elegance doesn't have to be brocades and heavy materials. I'm for the confident person who wants life to be easier. When you have less, life is less complicated."
I was already a huge Jennifer Post fan, but after researching this "post", no pun intended, I'm even more committed to loving her work. I'm always fascinated by the individuals behind beautiful and inspiring interiors, whether it's the people who live in them or the designers who make their dreams come to reality.
Jennifer's commitment to her work and design aesthetic is to be commended. I'm, for one, so glad to know more about this phenomenally talented woman. I think we will be seeing much more from her in the design future.
We'll talk soon.