Jennifer Butler shares, in her purest, most honest form, on everything from what makes her laugh to her greatest inspirations and motivations for designing livable, beautiful interiors. Here's a glimpse into the natural design maven she genuinely is.
Amy: Jennifer, what is your favorite part of being an interior designer?
Jennifer Butler: Problem-solving. The biggest problems offer the greatest creative opportunities. The best solutions don’t get nearly enough credit because they correct the problem so seamlessly! I like that it can go undetected; it’s not about recognition. For me, I get more satisfaction from the process of discovery and creating.
A: The process of discovery – can you expand on that?
JB: Consider, for example, endurance riding is like hard core mountain biking but on horseback. My horse is older now, but when he was younger I loved training with him for an endurance event. It’s not about winning for me; it’s about the partnership and synergy between me and my horse. You have to be in sync; you have to work together as a team. Problem-solving in interior design is like that, it’s about the process, the collaborative process of discovering the best solution together with a client and the whole project team. That’s incredibly fulfilling.
A: What led you to interior design (ID)?
JB: It’s a combination of art and business. I wanted to do something artistic and creative, but I didn’t want to do fine arts. I didn’t need to be Monet. I liked that ID can be entrepreneurial. My dad was a small business owner in Boyne City, MI and I saw him grow and flourish; I respected that.
A: Did you have any role models in ID that you admired growing up?
JB: My aunt. She’s only nine years older than me. She is such a free spirit; she travels a lot, explores, makes things, and tries anything. She experimented with everything from painting to furniture making. She wasn’t highly educated, but is remarkably well-read and knowledgeable. My aunt oozes creativity; she fascinates me.
A: Did you have any misconceptions about being an interior designer when you started out?
JB: I didn’t exactly have a highly sophisticated childhood; I expected interior design would offer a lifestyle of sophistication. I don’t think that was a misconception. What I desire and live is something I would call “soft sophistication”. I love creating beautiful, functional, and refined spaces that reflect the unique lifestyle of a client.
A: You have a ton of energy and charisma, where do you get that from?
JB: I don’t take myself that seriously, I laugh at myself often! My dad has a great sense of humor. He’s introverted, but he’s funny and can find humor in almost anything! He has a lot of character, and I do take after him quite a bit.
A: What makes interior design enjoyable for you?
JB: Chemistry with a client and the full design team. That’s when it’s really fun! When you get each other the design process feels effortless and the results are best. Interior design is most satisfying for me when a team functions with respect and understanding.
A: What inspires and excites you?
JB: New ideas and ingenuity excite and inspire me. A good idea, a creative solution to a problem, work well done, a good meeting, doing the right thing, connecting with people, going beyond expectations – all of those things energize me.
A: What color best describes you?
JB: (signature laugh) Orange! I love orange for me personally and for my brand. It’s a warm and earthy orange, tawny pumpkin, vibrant and sassy. It makes a statement. I’ve liked it ever since I was a kid.
A: What differentiates you?
JB: For me and at Jennifer Butler Interior Design, I am most interested in genuinely connecting with people, developing and maintaining relationships. It’s important to me to find shared alignment and common fundamental values: values of authenticity, mutual respect, trust, honesty, integrity, transparency. Really it’s about understanding, and designing space to best fit the people living and working in it. At Jennifer Butler Interior design, ID is a living art, it’s long-lasting, and it’s a process of listening, digging deeper, and pulling everything together to best reflect the end user be it a business or family at home.
A: What makes you laugh?
JB: Oh! (Jennifer bursts out laughing) I find humor everywhere. I love to laugh and am blessed with a husband who truly shares my sense of humor. We laugh together every day!
A: What makes you angry?
JB: Malfunctioning electronics!