Maximumist Corey Damen Jenkins talks color revival

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It has been a busy year for Corey Damen Jenkins, consolidating his design firm in New York, launching new episodes as a Master Class Expert and publishing his first book, “Design Remix: A New Spin on Traditional Rooms” with Rizzoli .

He is also a featured designer at the Kips Bay Decorator Show House Dallas and is considered one of the nation’s most famous interior designers.

On October 5, Jenkins will be the keynote speaker at Fall Design Week, an event hosted by the Houston Design District. He recently took the time to talk about his move, maximalism, and his new book.

Q: You are New Yorker now. Are you all settled in the big city?

A: I have been dividing my time between Michigan and New York since 2018. Our business in the Northeast is growing, so it makes sense to make the logistics trip. I just closed the Michigan office last Wednesday after being there for 12 years.

Much of our work was done remotely even before the pandemic. Our customers live in different countries and states, so we used Zoom and Google technology for a while. When the pandemic hit, it wasn’t a huge pivot for us.

When: 10 am-3:30pm October 5; 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. October 6; 4-6 p.m. on October 7; 10 am-12pm October 8

Or: various locations in the Houston Design District

Tickets: $ 10 to $ 100; eventbrite.com

When: 4-6 p.m. on October 7; 10 am-12pm October 8

Or: Meredith O’Donnell Fine Furniture, 7150 Old Katy Road

Tickets: $ 10; eventbrite.com


Q: You have so many great projects in your portfolio, how did you decide what to include in your new book?

A: My publisher had a vision for the book that celebrates vibrant patterns, colors and textures. This is what my brand became known for – a fresh, continental blend of maximalism and modernity. She went through my portfolio and looked for what spoke this vernacular. I am a true maximalist and always have been.

Q: And it seems like every piece in the book has such rich and vivid colors. After this long trend of all-white kitchens and light-neutral homes, are you happy that people are embracing color again?

A: There is a bathroom with chartreuse lacquered walls. Some clients like to wake up and have some fun in their approach. They want bright colors to start the day off right. It’s a little less intense than it looks in the photos, but in real life it’s not for the faint of heart.

I worked on the dining room of the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse in Dallas, it is the showhouse gala and illustrates what will follow. There is only one room with a neutral color story. Everyone has adopted intense, vibrant colors – this is a very maximalist house. My room has sapphire blue and emerald green, and I put sunshine yellow velvet on Louis XVI chairs. It’s a joyful, very dramatic play.

Q: I see more and more people adopting the color and the pattern.

A: People definitely had their moment with the gray and the neutral color palette we saw dominates the scene. It has been 20 years since this neutral HR palette has become a moment that has remained. We have a major categorical change every 15 to 20 years and that is what we are seeing. People want more color.

Q: The pandemic seems to be forcing everyone to redecorate. Are your customers doing the same?

A: The pandemic kept us in place for months and people realized, “I hate this gray; I need more light. Customers ask me to come back and redo the gray spaces that we did five or six years ago and do more color.

Q: What other trends do you see coming?

A: With maximalism, we will see more effort put into art and wall coverings. For example, we’ll have wallpaper on the ceiling and create more Instagram moments for Zoom calls from home. People need to have a nice backdrop behind them, and they also put more time and effort into it. It’s about really enjoying life. This is where people are, making the most of life.

Plus, people are really interested in vintage items and use things in a way that honors their parents and grandparents. You don’t have to buy everything that’s new. You can embrace the things given to you by your family and if a sideboard doesn’t match your style, lacquer it or paint it in a way that matches your style. Add new material. It’s more responsible and sustainable. There is nothing cool about saying if everything in a room is brand new.

Q: Four paint companies have announced a certain shade of green as their Color of the Year for 2022. Considering your love of color, you must love it, right?

A: We’ve been going in this direction for some time. Green is a hot trend and it can take a few years to get to interior design. Green represents where people are right now, emerging from a dark time and embracing the light.

Q: What will you be talking about when you come to Houston?

A: We’re going to riff on the trends, what’s hot and what isn’t. Where are we as a species and how interior design can support this going forward. We will talk about the impact that the pandemic has had on the rooms of the house. People weren’t using their dining rooms and all of a sudden they were forced to use them for homework or work from home. Bedrooms fall out of favor and suddenly become a necessity again. And it will be good to be fair together.

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