Known for her timeless sense of style and her functional, elegant interiors, Michigan-based interior designer Jean Stoffer has always been one of our favorites. She’s built a solid reputation on her keen sense of style, careful attention to detail, respect for classic historic architecture—and the way she incorporates her clients' wants and needs into her work.
Recently, Jean wrapped up what turned out to be a very personal project: The renovation of a 1902 home, that she calls The Madison. In 2017, she purchased the historic property together with her contractor/business partner with the intention of renovating it and then putting it on the market. However, over the course of the project, Jean’s own family started to grow, as did her business. Realizing that she had put so much of her heart and soul into The Madison, and that she was outgrowing her own design offices—and her own home—upon the completion of the project, it was clear that this beautiful residence was really meant for her very own family.
Rejuvenation partnered with Jean for lighting and hardware (and other pieces) throughout the renovation, working with her to find period-appropriate pieces that would help elevate her historic home—in particular, her beautiful light-filled kitchen—for Jean and her entire family to enjoy for years to come.
We recently sat down with Jean to learn more about her top design considerations and what went into the process of planning The Madison.
Figure Out the Family—and Flow
When Jean embarks upon kitchen projects, one of the first things she does is to figure out the layout. “There aren’t rules, it is really all about what is going to work for you,” she explains. Family is extremely important to Jean and she understands the value of designing a home that reflects the needs of each family member. She has a questionnaire which she goes through with every one of her clients to help her learn about their individual family needs, what they prioritize, and how they want their kitchen to function. “Accommodating family ranks high,” she adds. “This is the heart of the home.”
Jean's Pro Tip: Consider how your family actually uses the space before making any major design decisions.
Add Layers of Light
In a high-functioning space like the kitchen, Jean understands the importance of creating multiple layers of light to make sure that every corner is adequately lit. In The Madison, she achieved this with three of our Hood Pendant Lights placed over her kitchen island and our Eastmoreland Flush Mounts evenly placed throughout the ceiling to serve as support lighting. "I love surface mounted flush mounts to add extra, even illumination,” she says. In addition, she chose Pittock Double Sconces on either side of the sink to brighten the prep area.“It is often dark when you are cooking. You have to have good light when you are prepping, cooking, and when you are cleaning up."
Jean’s Pro Tip: For a well-lit kitchen, add layers of light for maximum functionality.
Create a Timeless Feel With Mixed Finishes
Jean effortlessly mixes hardware finishes in the kitchen of The Madison—where our Hood Pendant Lights in Oil-Rubbed Bronze balance the brass finishes that she employs elsewhere, "When I was deciding on the Hoods, I was concerned that more brass would become too much of a good thing. Mixing finishes helps keep your space looking timeless. If you go all in on a trend, it runs the risk of looking dated."
Jean’s Pro Tip: Mixing finishes gives your kitchen longevity.
What’s Cooking in Jean’s Kitchen
With a large family and a booming business, Jean loves to use her kitchen, but also looks for time-saving assistance and inspiration. “We subscribe to Blue Apron and we learn a lot from them. Right now, we are love their recipe for Italian Wedding Soup.”
For more about Jean, watch our Rejuvenation Design Chats Q&A with her from February 25, 2021: watch the conversation here.
Follow Jean and see more of The Madison on Instagram @jeanstofferdesign