Jenna Lyons has served as our interior design inspiration for as long as we can remember, and now we’ll finally get a more personal look inside her home via everyone’s favorite reality TV franchise, The Real Housewives.
That’s right, the former creative director and president of clothing brand J.Crew is set to star in the new reboot of The Real Housewives of New York City, which premieres in 2023. But who is this style guru, and what do we know about her preference for design?
Here, we take a look at her signature style and round up her best design tips to give you an idea of what to expect once the next season of Real Housewives returns to our screens. After all, if there’s one person to trust when it comes to stylish design, it’s Jenna.
Jenna Lyons is an American fashion designer and business personality who was the creative director and president of J.Crew until 2017. Jenna is now co-founder and CEO of beauty brand, LoveSeen, as well as the title role and executive producer of STYLISH with Jenna Lyons on HBO Max. She also offers her expertise at the interior design service, The Expert. Jenna currently lives in New York City with her son Beckett.
Jenna shared photos of her SoHo apartment on Instagram, including the clever book storage solution in her home office with a retro shelving system from Vitsoe.
According to Vitsoe, the unit in question (shown here) is the 606 Universal Shelving System (opens in new tab)designed by Dieter Rams for the brand in 1960. The timeless design has elegant simplicity, and can be customized to fit your space.
The designer revealed that the Vitsoe classic is one of her favourites, which she expertly put together with an eclectic mix of books. Speaking about her love for the shelves, she said: ‘They are beautifully and simply built, don’t warp, are clean and streamlined and are recognized as one of the most eco-friendly and economical shelving systems available.’
While Jenna always knows how to do modern, she clearly also knows a thing or two about timeless vintage designs.
If there’s one thing marble speaks to, it’s sophistication – and the same can be said of Jenna. She’s all about luxurious yet homey interiors, and one of her favorite materials to achieve the look is this humble stone.
In an Instagram (opens in new tab) live discussion with designer Jake Arnold for The Expert, Jenna revealed her love of marble, saying: ‘I really love dramatic marble… it’s pretty cool. People take risks [with marble]and it’s so nice.’
She continued: ‘For a long time Carrara and gold were the standard. And, while I was open to doing some golden things in projects, I can tell that people want to do something more dramatic and incredible.’
But when it comes to the stone that has become such a staple in our homes, Jenna is all about the real thing—not fake. “I’m over that stone replacement; I just don’t appreciate it,” she said.
We’re sure we’ll be seeing a lot of dramatic marble decorating ideas in Jenna’s New York home once Real Housewives airs. Book goes with marble and green colors, maybe?
Lessons on lighting
When Jenna joined interior design service The Expert as a consultant, she talked about the three items you should never skimp on in the home, and one of them was lighting.
Talk on a live (opens in new tab) Speaking to designer Jake Arnold, she said: ‘For me, the place I won’t skimp on is lighting. Vintage lighting, beautiful lighting is one of the most important things in a home.’
An area we’re all guilty of overlooking, Jenna emphasized that lighting should really inform the rest of your space. “That level of consideration with lighting can make a space feel more glowing and warmer,” she added.
‘Lighting is an architecture that shapes a room. Bring down a light, soften it with a dimmer… [it] can really change a space.’ Whether it’s living room or bedroom lighting, we’re sure Jenna’s Tribeca apartment will be full of statement ideas that will set the mood for 2023.
Subtle design details
In 2021, the style icon gave us a peek into her guest bathroom to reveal her nifty tiling technique.
In an Instagram (opens in new tab) post, she explained the intricacies of her non-repetitive bathroom tile idea that wraps all the way to the ceiling. The tessellation of trapezoidal shapes ensured that there were no large blocks of color in a seemingly random pattern (it was actually well thought out).
Writing on her Instagram post, she explained: ‘What you can’t see in the photo is that the tile is actually a light olive mixed with a soft light blue – it softened the color contrast, and the room a warm, soft glow.’
Of course, Jenna was way ahead of the curve with her geometric tile idea, but it was her ingenious solution to tile grout that left us with serious shower room envy. “My least favorite thing on a shower floor is grout – it gets messy quickly,” shared Jenna.
She added: ‘For that reason I put the tile on the walls and matched the grout color to the pale blue, and put a marble top on the floor. This way there are no grout lines on the floor and no drain – there is a long slim hidden drain at the back of the shower. Who knew drains could be sexy.’
We’ll be on the lookout for similar design secrets in Real Housewives (if we avoid getting sidetracked by heated gossip, that is).