A Conversation with Jeanne Chung @cozystylishchic

Named the 2022 KBB Person of the Year, Jeanne is passionate about designing the right look for each of her homeowner’s unique personality, style, budget, and room type. Her clients rave about her customized work that truly brings their visions to life.

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How did you get started in design?

Prior to going back to school for interior design, I received a BFA in Fashion Design from Parsons School of Design in NYC and worked on 7th Avenue as both a fashion designer and production manager. After several years in fashion, giving birth to my second child, all it took was 3 months as a stay at home mom and I was itching to go back to work. I enrolled at the New York School of Interior Design. As a new mom I couldn’t travel overseas for weeks on end so a career in interior design would allow me the same creativity as a fashion designer, but dressing the home instead of the body.

However, completing my degree was cut short by the 2008 recession and a sudden move back to LA. Once back in LA, I moonlighted as a design blogger while I established my interior design business on the side. The experience as a blogger opened doors in meeting the people and product behind the brands and taught me how important it is to tell a compelling story and to never stop learning.

Studio Tubular Shelving

How do you approach the creative process & problem-solving in design?

Before modeling out my design concepts in Sketchup, I think through the various design ideas in my head along with the process of how the design would be manufactured and whether or not it is even feasible. Having to see and experience the design to scale and from every angle comes from my back- ground as a fashion designer, where I draped and manipulated the design on a mannequin, so from early on I was trained to think things through as a 3D object or space rather than just a 2 dimensional sketch. Design is very rarely a “one and done” and it is not unusual for me to come up with upwards of 10-20 iterations before settling on the final result.

What aspects of Palmer products complement your brand style?

Ball style Kitchen Leg Systems

Ialways look for quality, elevated style, and the ability to customize when sourcing product for our projects and for the showroom, and Palmer checks every one of these boxes. Palmer’s styling is simple, yet it conveys an unpretentious luxury that is both classic and timeless. Palmer fits in seamlessly into a home built in the early 1900s as in a modern new-build.

One of my favorite things to do is attend show houses and trade shows. It is one thing to read about different design trends but there is nothing like witnessing design trends in person as they emerge. The more I attend, the better gauge I have as to what feels fresh and new and what will have longevity and be more than just a fleeting trend.

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How do you ensure the design meets clients’ expectations?

Before we start on designing a project, we alway do a walkthrough of our client’s home and act as a design “anthropologist” to get a better understnding of their aesthetic, their love (or not) of vintage or antiques, their habits, and to get a better understanding of how they live. We also ask them for inspiration photos of what they are drawn to. The spaces we design for them should be a reflection of their personality, put together with the assistance of our design sensibility. With our knowledge and expertise, we are able to fill in the gaps and complete the picture that they only have partially filled in without us. It is the fine tuning and details that make all the difference in tying together all the elements in a space.

In modeling our designs in Sketchup, our clients are able to see the design in the way we envision “on paper” – before we order or put anything into production. This eliminates future disappointment and costly mistakes – it is always more efficient, both time and cost-wise, to make corrections on paper rather than on the job site. During our design meetings we are able to show the space we have designed from different angles, using different finishes or other options so that the client has realistic expectations of how the final result will look and feel. The typical consumer is unable to visualize what a 2D drawing will look like once it is realized, so we help them to understand the scale and proportion in relation to everything else in the room. Our holistic approach allows our clients to see the space as a whole rather than as individual parts.

Studio Tubular Shelving

Inspiration Comes in Many Forms

Jeanne Chung Pasadena Showcase House Kitchen

Travel, architecture, and fashion have always influenced my design style. I enjoy traveling to Europe to soak in the culture and experience everything around me. There, it is all about the art of the craft, the experience, and provenance. Originality is valued, as it is accompanied by history and a story. People aren’t in a rush to drink their cappuccino in a paper cup while running to their next appointment, but instead savor their cappuccino sipping from a ceramic cup and saucer at the counter.

The food portions are quite a bit smaller but made of quality ingredients rather than processed fillers. Little boutiques with unique product made by artisans line the streets rather than big box retailers that peddle cheaply made product to hit a certain price point. It is all about understanding that what we put into our bodies and into our home is an investment, not just a purchase.

It is more about quality, than quantity.

Living in Pasadena, a city rich with historical architecture, I more often than not take inspiration from the architecture of the home in which I am de- signing. I prefer a quiet, layered elegance. Not opulent nor ostentatious. I look for a balanced selection of materials, texture and color to create a dynamic space that forces the eye around the room. It isn’t just about a pretty room, but a room that is functional and grows on you – the more time you spend in the room, the more the details start to come alive.

“I’m always inspired by a compelling story. For each space we design, we take the story of each family heirloom, found object, commissioned work of art, piece of furniture, and every selected material and finish to interpret our client’s personality In doing so, we tell THEIR story – one that is unique to them.”

Awards and Recognition

2022 KBB Person of the Year

Mentoring Award Recipient for 2023 - WithIt
(Women in the Home and Furnishings Industry)

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