J. Bienvenu Interiors

photo by Amy Campbell Studio

Louisville, Kentucky based J. Bienvenu Interiors specializes in whole home renovations from sourcing antiques to full-service interior decorating. With an eye for classical and timeless design elements, Jen enjoys collaborating with architects and builders to salvage and reuse materials whenever possible. While whole home renovations have their place, Jen also loves collaborating with homeowners on the details of single rooms. Shop a selection of furniture, lighting, and found objects from estates around the country available from J. Bienvenu Interiors on Chairish.

photo by Rett Peek Photography

In Her Words...read on to get to know Jen!

How did you get started in Interior Design? What is your background? 

The quick answer is that I left education to pursue a passion for the decorative arts. In 2021, I partnered with two legendary dealers in Arkansas, John Bell and Chris Clement, to learn and sell vintage and antiques alongside them. Chris and John have been critical to building my foundational knowledge in furniture, lighting, and design periods. J. Bienvenu Interiors wouldn’t exist without their encouragement and expertise. Dealing furniture and lighting is just one strand of my business. Decorating evolved out of throwing dinner parties. People observe how you decorate and solve problems in your own home, and they quickly invite you into their home. I appreciate puzzles and the ability to solve problems. Designing and decorating a home can be distilled down to a series of puzzles. I get a real thrill out of working through renovations alongside builders and clients to create beautiful well collected homes. There’s beauty in the process and struggle of building, renovating, and arranging a room. I feel lucky to have had an enthusiastic group of cheerleaders in my corner over the last few years.

What inspires you today? Who are your design "crushes" or favorite instagram accounts for inspiration?

Design work I admire today originates from Kentucky’s own, Matthew Carter.  We’re very lucky in this age of Instagram to be connected to creatives, their design work, and the images that inspire them. I enjoy following along with architects, ceramicists, textile artists, realtors, dealers, wood workers, and editors to digest what’s capturing their eye. Studying a range of artists and professionals in the home industry informs my own design work.

How would you describe your design aesthetic?

My personal style and the feeling I try to capture in the work I do for others could be described as classicism takes a walk in the woods. I have a deep appreciation for classical architecture and interiors. There is a pleasing order to a correctly proportioned room or home, but I’m also a natural specimen collector and enjoy helping clients build collections.

What do you love most about including original art in your designs?

Stories. Artists have many stories to tell through their art. Weaving their work into the storyline of a room brings me great joy.

photo by Rett Peek Photography

Dream Project?

Working with a client, architect, and builder on a historic home renovation. Seeing a project through from salvaging building materials to installing art and objects is a year or two long journey that sustains me creatively. The best interiors are collaborative.

Favorite thing about living in the south?

I’ve been fortunate enough to have called a lot of places in the south home: Mississippi, Tennessee, Arkansas, and now I’m back home in Kentucky. Each place has its own identity, hospitality, and design preferences that define a city. Being invited into someone’s home is a real treat. We’re known in the south for our hospitality and I’ve learned a lot from hosts and hostesses across the south over the years. Studying the way people live and the way they desire to live informs design decisions.

photo by Rett Peek Photography

Current design trend that you think should take an early retirement?

I would be happy to see traditional recessed lighting or can lights disappear. We don’t think of them as a trend, but a quick decision that is usually left up to a builder. They have improved over the years, but investing in architectural lighting will be the next frontier in interiors. It will have an impact on our wellbeing, change the way we feel in our homes, and serve the art we collect well.

All trends at some point will be recycled, similar to fashion, just on a different timeline. I try very hard not to pay attention to trends but they are trends for a reason and unavoidable. Once I’ve used a fabric or paint color in a client’s home it gets retired from my library and boxed up in an archive. This forces creativity and respects the investment a client has made.

What is your favorite room in your own home?

Our kitchen. The space is in need of a renovation, but has great potential. There’s a woodburning fireplace and we opted for a leather chesterfield sofa in lieu of a kitchen table. It completely changes how we use the room. Living in a space before renovating it can unlock necessary design decisions.

What are your three "must haves" in order to create an inviting space?

My formula for a successful space must include antique furniture, vintage textiles, and original art.

photo by Rett Peek Photography

What are some design upgrades you recommend to clients that won't break the bank?

Shop vintage and antique. There’s a misconception that antiques are expensive. And in some cases, they can certainly be expensive. Typically, I’ll spend a lot less on a vintage mirror or lamp than if I had to purchase it new. The quality will almost always be better and now you have a great story to share while entertaining. Also worth mentioning, purchasing antique and vintage is a sustainable shopping choice while supporting a local business or dealer. Keep an eye out for vintage chairs with original upholstery. My favorite way to build a room is around a great chair with original vintage upholstery. Another trick that costs $0, is to rearrange and move your furniture closer together. Shop your cabinets or storage spaces to repurpose rarely used serveware and tableware.

How to Contact Jen...
Phone: (502) 409-2082