Get to know Jennifer Flanders; Innovator of Interior Design for the Future
Connecting with likeminded individuals lights up my soul and sparks excitement and joy. When I recently reconnected with Jennifer Flanders after many years at a Breathwork event I facilitated, I was ecstatic to learn more on what she’s been up to. Jennifer is a top rated NYC based Interior Designer with impeccable taste providing high quality services to her extensive clientele for many years. Jennifer recently launched a brilliant e-commerce design business with the incentive to reach a broader audience. Fifty Two Rooms is a revolving site for those that are looking for beautiful quality designed rooms without hiring a designer. Along with Jennifer and her partner Amy’s lifestyle with spirituality and wellness, they felt the importance to implement a wellness category as a holistic approach to curating the home. The shop offers beautiful aromatherapy,incense, mala beads,crystal candle holders, meditation shawls and more. Learn more about Jennifer and Fifty Two Rooms in my interview below.
Jennifer, it’s an honor to feature you on The Joyful Approach. I’m excited to hear about your latest launch of Fifty Two Rooms but first would love to learn more about your background in Interior Design.
When did you first find your passion with interior design and when did your career in Design begin? I discovered my passion for design at a very young age. My parents built a new home when I was 6 years old, and I remember my mother’s decorator coming over to our house for meetings. She always had bags of fabric samples with her that I loved looking through. To this day, finding beautiful fabrics and putting them together to create a room scheme is one of my favorite parts of the design process. While I loved design at a young age, I only considered it as a career a few years after graduating from college. More than 20 years later, I still love looking through fabrics, shopping for furniture and helping my clients transform their homes.
What inspires your creativity with design? Design inspiration can really come from anywhere — travel, fashion, even a small decorative object can be the jumping off point for the design of a whole house. For me, design inspiration most often comes from the people I design for — I believe their homes should be reflective of what their personal style is or how they want to live on an aspirational level, and I take my cues from them.
I am also known for using a lot of color in my designs — rich, saturated colors combined in interesting ways. Given my love of textiles, I always start a new project with a trip to the design building where I find new fabrics to inspire the entire color palette and feel of the home. I have designed entire homes around a single beautiful piece of fabric.
What is your process with working with clients? Working in someone’s home is such a personal thing. I try to learn about my clients on a personal level, from how they truly live each day to how they ideally want to live that may be different from their reality. Every new project starts with a client interview where I can draw out this information. With this I can then help my clients make decisions that will best support what they want to achieve with their home.
What types of clientele do you work with mostly? My clients range vastly in terms of age, stage of life, type of home. The one commonality between them seems to be a true sense of the value of home and the impact a well-designed home can have on their lives. The transformative power of home is a core value of my business, and the best working relationships I have are the ones where my clients also place a high value on the meaning of their homes as a vehicle to change their lives.
What do you hope to offer to your clients with your services? When a home is designed thoughtfully, the end product can change someone’s life — this is what I aim to bring to my clients through the design of their homes.
Can you tell us what the concept of Fifty Two Rooms is? Fifty Two Rooms is an e-commerce design website that offers unique, fully-designed rooms for the customer who does not want to hire an interior designer but wants something special for their home. Each week we launch a new room that stays live on our site for four weeks only. After four weeks, the design is no longer for sale. We have done it this way to give our customers more of the designer-client experience — were they working with a designer privately, the expectation would be that they would be getting something unique from their designer. Because our rooms are only up for a few weeks, customers can be sure that what they are buying is fairly exclusive.
With all of our designs, customers can purchase the room in its entirety, or they can purchase individual pieces. We also offer services such an furniture layouts and window treatment designs for customers who want more of a full-service experience.
We offer designs in a wide range of styles, to suit people in different stages of life and living in different family configurations. From one week to the next, the designs and styles change, with the hopes of providing a little something for everyone over time.
What motivated the launch of Fifty Two Rooms? After years of working with private clients, we wanted to find a way to provide the benefits of design to a wider range of people. At Fifty Two Rooms, we believe that home is the most powerful tool for creating a life you love, and we feel that an e-commerce platform gives us the opportunity to extend this tool to a much broader audience than working with individuals one-on-one. Reaching this broader audience was the most compelling reason to launch our new brand.
It’s so refreshing to see that you’ve added the Living Well category to Fifty Two rooms. Can you share on why you felt the need for adding wellness to the home? While creating a beautiful, thoughtfully-planned home is a great first step, living well in your home after the decorating is complete is even more important. Our Living Well products help our clientele do just that. The line includes essential oil room sprays that boost your mood, sage sprays that clear the energy in a room, diffusers to use with essential oils, scented candles, etc. All of our Living Well products help our customers live their best lives at home. They also make great gifts!
And a bit on your lifestyle and embarking on a spiritual path? Can you share how finding spirituality impacted you? I really only started on a spiritual path about 3 years ago, and in a short amount of time my life has changed in monumental ways. How I spend my down time, who I spend my time with, what I place value on – all of these things have shifted in the past few years. And I feel I am now living in a way that is much more authentic to who I am.
Finding spirituality has strongly impacted my business and what I value in terms of my work. Where I used to only want to design fancy homes for fancy people, and my career objectives were much more ego-driven, I now just want my work to have impact on the lives of the people I work with. If I can help someone create a home that they love living in, that brings positivity into their lives, gives them a space to share with loved ones, then I feel I have done my job the right way.
I have also become even more focused on time with my family and close-knit-group of loved one, including the special women in my life who I call my Soul Sisters. Time at home with my loved ones — whether having a dinner party or playing silly games for game night — is my favorite way to spend my time
What feels most joyful in your life at the moment? Even after three years in the making, being at what is still the beginning of launching a new brand, and all that is involved in that, as exciting and simultaneously scary as it is — creating something from nothing, learning new things every day, doing things at work that I never thought I would be doing or would even know how to do, interacting with new people, taking a risk on something without having any clue about where it may go, taking action in my life and creating a brand that I feel proud of, pushing way beyond my comfort zone…
And of course my kids and my love, who make me laugh always bring me more joy than I could ever imagine!