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Building the Perfect Den: A Designer’s Achilles Heel

Pro Spotlight :: Jay Jenkins

When design-savvy Jay Jenkins was named heir of Baltimore’s most impressive firm, Alexander Baer Associates (now Jenkins Baer Associates), it seemed as if there was nothing in the field he couldn’t tackle. But while clients come from all over the world for his advice, he is painfully aware of his own Achilles heel: his den.

In Jenkins’s defense, however, what he sees as an imperfect room in constant need of rearrangement looks quite spectacular to most people. The age-old conundrum for an experienced designer. And experienced he is.

Growing up in Rockville, Jenkins first fell in love with the field when his family moved into a home that came with an unfinished basement. As furniture piled up, he would spend hours designing the space to mimic the popular TV shows of the time. Several years later, after a failed stint as a business major, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in interior design from the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Inside the Pros Home

His first attempt at establishing a design firm crashed after six years. But miraculously, this led to a meeting with Alexander Baer. He joined Baer’s wildly successful firm and purchased his first property. A unit in the Beaux Arts building in Guilford. While others scoffed at the dilapidated structure, Jenkins went on to completely transform the space into the upper-end pad he calls home today.

Now, as Jenkins sits among his den’s turquoise antique vases and velvet Clarence House pillows, all he sees is a work in progress. Little does he know, the room is a clear indication of his success and just how far he’s come.

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For more on the Baltimore based design firm Jenkins Baer Associates, see my series of interviews with Associate Elizabeth Cross Beard. It includes some great design tips. For more from the author of this article, check out others from Calfinder.

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