We all know interior design is big business, but it’s also an art that requires planning, creativity, an appreciation and understanding for function and space — not to mention lots of fine-tuning.
My first real brush with the world of interior design occurred when our home was featured on an HGTV show in 2011 and our celebrity designer was Tom Filicia. Per usual for a reality show, we weren’t allowed to give our input or see what was actually happening in our house. When the final reveal took place, I could not contain my emotions. The transformation was unbelievable!
If you’re seeking a transformation of your own this year, you’ll be happy to meet a Lake Travis resident who makes that kind of “magic” happen, Jenny Cokins.
Austinite Jenny Cokins has always been drawn to interior design, which she discovered in grade school when sleepovers with friends turned into redecorating walls and rearranging rooms. Jenny pursued her passion for design graduating with honors from FIDER accredited Texas State University with a degree in Interior Design. She made her professional dreams come true when she opened her design firm, Studio C Interiors.
From Austin to Chicago, Jenny is transforming residential spaces from ordinary to extraordinary. Lake Travis friends, meet Jenny Cokins:
Q: According to your bio, you’ve been passionate about design since you were a child. What is your inspiration?
A: I wish I could say I get inspiration from my worldly travels. But, with two young children, that just isn’t in the cards! Instead, I draw a lot of inspiration from the Internet. Blogs, Pinterest, Houzz, and Instagram keep me apprised of the newest trends, as well as classic design.
Q: I’ve seen some of the homes you’ve decorated and they are gorgeous! How do you capture your client’s sense of style?
A: Well, thank you! I work with so many different clients who have such varying tastes in design. I first ask them to go on Houzz or find magazine pictures of what they are drawn to. I then take those into account to formulate a design style just for them. Within the past year, I’ve taken on modern rustic, coastal chic, Santa Barbara, Spanish eclectic and farmhouse rustic.
Q: In the spirit of the new year, what are a few home design trends you’re seeing for 2015?
A: Well, spilling over from 2014 are wide plank wood floors (in almost every room) and white kitchens and bathrooms (I hope these never go out!). Looking into the new year, I’m seeing lots of textures, i.e. walls, fabric, and tile installations. Modern style with a touch of rustic or traditional flair tends to be the leading style. Plus, I’m happy to say that gold is back in! I’ve been using it a lot for light fixtures and plumbing fixtures alike. It adds warmth with a touch of luxury to any space.
Q: Open floor plans are popular in Lake Travis, so what’s your advice for choosing paint colors when you can see the rooms from many vantage points?
A: When working with an open floor plan, I like to use all the same color on walls, trim, and cabinetry. This makes the space feel larger and more congruent. When you chop up rooms using different shades, your eye stops at each without taking in the whole picture. My recommendations are white and white!
Q: Stylish gourmet kitchens are all the rage in Lake Travis homes. What are your favorite gourmet appliances? Is stainless steel still king?
A: My husband and I are still kicking ourselves for not putting in a built in coffee maker. And I secretly want a steam oven for our next build. Better put that in the budget now! I still prefer stainless or paneled front appliances that are made to look like the rest of your cabinetry. But careful on paneling all of your appliances or you’ll spend hours trying to find them.
Q: When it comes to furniture and upholstery, what’s your advice for families with pets or young children?
A: Unfortunately, I am all ‘form over function’ so sometimes my family suffers for design. However; to my clients with pets and/or little ones, I recommend using Sunbrella or Crypton type fabrics for upholstery as these are virtually indestructible. Slip covers are also a good choice, and they aren’t just for the shabby chic style anymore.
Q: What do you like about living in the Lake Travis area?
A: I love that we are a small town, but so close to a big city so we aren’t that far removed from urban living. Being near the lake makes me feel like I’m on vacation everyday, I enjoy driving down 620 (when not stopped in traffic!) and taking in the beautiful scenery. I am seriously lucky to call Lake Travis home!
Q: When you aren’t working, what’s your favorite thing to do?
A: I enjoy spending time with family and friends, on the lake, at a family-friendly restaurant (with a playground of course), or just hanging out at home and rearranging some accessories — seriously, not kidding!
Q: If I walk into ____ (place) on a __(day) there’s a good chance I’ll see you there.
A: I wish I could say Lake Austin Spa or something amazing like that. More likely, you’ll see me at any one of our local home decor shops, perusing furnishings and accessories for any given client. But I’m not one to complain about shopping!