Design Talk No. 17 with Ireland's Fabulous Jen Connell....

Updated: Mar 6



Art director of Packed House and Interior column writer for House and Home magazine, Jen Connell's got style! This lovely lady has had us all hooked on her home reno journey over on insta where her interior skills could be really showcased. Her playful interior style has made her one to watch in the interiors world and I personally fell in love with the pink room! If you haven't seen Jens fabulous interior yet you need to check her out on Instagram asap.


So today we are lucky enough to get some time with Jen to chat about her personal style, favourite places to shop and get some advice on home renovations and how to do it right! Enjoy!!!


1: So Jen, firstly love your home and thanks so much for joining the Design Talk series, delighted to have you on board! Your Instagram feed is filled with fab photos of your colourful home! My fave has to be the pink room! Can you tell me where you got the inspiration for this room? I'm obsessed!


Thanks so much Aoife! The Pink Room is my music room, so I wanted the space to be a retreat from the world. I liked the idea of it being a little surreal and got the inspiration primarily from film sets. In particular, the Wim Wenders classic - Paris, Texas. I was also inspired by retro motel rooms. They're often colour-blocked in sugary pastel colours.



2: I love that! I feel like you would be perfect to design Lana Del Rey's home! Anyways what has been your favourite room in your home to work on and why?


My favourite has been the living room as I had a very clear picture of what I wanted to achieve. I decided on painting the room completely black, woodwork and all, as I wanted to create a cocooning effect. It feels so cosy, especially with the use of rich metallics like brass and gold and jewel toned velvets. It' feel luxe but also really liveable and inviting.



3: What was the hardest area or biggest challenge you faced?


For me, it was deciding on the right flooring. It's such a huge expense and we had to decide quite quickly. We got it right - mostly. I went with my gut and covered the entire ground floor in herringbone parquet, resisting the advice of using tiles in the kitchen. I'm so glad I did as it's so warm and welcoming and much more gentle on bare feet. I opted for a plush silver-grey carpet on the stairs. While I love it, it's a little dense for a stair runner and the stair rods are hidden by the fibres, which is a shame! If I was doing it again, I would choose a carpet with a shorter pile. 




4: Did you learn anything new from renovating your home and if you made mistakes that the readers could learn from?


I would definitely recommend taking your time with deciding on a decor scheme for your home. There's often the temptation to jump headfirst and start decorating without really living there for very long. The longer you live there, the more familiar you are with the space and how you use it.



5: You have a super glam and unique style in your home! Which I am in LOVE with! Do you have any tips on how readers could recreate this style?


I tend to draw from very defined palette of aesthetics and textures. I love vintage glamour but like it to have a slight rock 'n' roll edge, so I like things to feel a little eccentric rather than perfectly pretty. I like to use bold colours, and luxurious materials like silk, velvet, brass and marble. I tend to opt for oversized lighting in classic profiles like chandeliers and mid-century sputnik style pendants. I also can't get enough of classic features like wall panelling, parquet floors and cornicing - it just provides so much character!


6: What are your go-to interior shops?


Made.com, Renaissance Antique, French Bedroom Company, TKMaxx. I also love to shop at vintage markets and bargain hunt on sites like eBay and Adverts.ie



7:What interior designer has inspired you the most in your design career and why?


India Madahvi and Jonathan Adler in particular - they balance glamour with unabandoned fun which is a cornerstone of my design aesthetic!



8: Finally, I know all my clients find it very daunting and overwhelming to start renovating their home. Can you please share some tips on starting a new home renovation?


I would prioritise! It's very overwhelming tackling a renovation. Decide on areas of your home you need to complete first. I like to focus on practicalities. So, sort out somewhere to sleep and somewhere to sit. Invest in a good bed and mattress and decent and comfortable sofa. If you start there, it makes living in your home much easier, and everything else can grow from there. I would also recommend creating mood boards, either on Pinterest or Instagram or physical cutouts from magazine if that's your vibe. This will help you visualise your decor scheme and make decisions with regard to colour palette, mood, textures, materials etc. Lastly, always measure the area you're working with and try not to squeeze too much furniture into a space. Ensure you leave plenty of room to navigate through a space comfortably.



Hope you all enjoyed that Design Luvas didnt I tell ya her home is to DIE FOR! Like I want to move in! Don't forget to keep up with Jen over on her Instagram.


Style So Simple - Aoife xx


If you would like to be featured in next seasons Design Talk, get in touch!

Email hello@stylesosimple.com