Designer known for traditional style with little funk

Jena Salmon, well-known for her talent of combining old-world elegance with a modern sensibility, was chosen as the lead designer at the Serenbe Designer Showhouse, now through Oct. 8.

Designer & background: Grew up in Houston and graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in interior design. Salmon has lived and worked in Houston, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Virginia Beach, Seattle and Atlanta, where she has been for 11 years.

The company: Atlanta-based Jena Salmon Designs (formerly J S Design Group until 2015).

First design job: In the fifth grade, I redesigned my dear friend’s bedroom while her mother was at work. My first paid job was a historical home in Houston across from Rice University in the typical Texas style.

Big break: Doing the entire show house for the Dallas Cowboys that benefitted Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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Known for: Classic, traditional style with a little funk.

Most every room needs: A mix of old and new pieces of furniture to give it a feeling of balance. Also texture and a living plant/flowers can help give any room life.

Design pet peeves: Rooms that look perfect.

Current design obsession(s): Always loved blue and white. Just used a Thibaut chinoiserie blue and green design in the powder bath at the Serenbe show house.

New (or re-emerging) looks I like: Color is back. Also the re-emergence of traditional styles. For the past five years or so, clients didn’t want anything to do with antiques. Now they realize that antiques help make rooms feel more sophisticated.

… and designs/colors I am glad to see go: Grey and industrial.

Fun (or unusual) space: Helped design a private jet.

Biggest design mistake I have made: In the mud/laundry room at my house. Reworking the huge space to make it more efficient and practical. I wish I had thought of that earlier.

… and common mistake homeowners make: Not hiring a designer soon enough.


- Blogs or websites: Coate de Texas; Style Blueprint; The Pink Clutch; and Design Indulgence.

- Instagram: Barry Dixon; Brian Patrick Flynn; Renee Bouchon; Kelly Wearstler; Coastal Living; Southern Living; Susanna Salk; Amber Interiors; John Rosselli & Associates; Suzanne Kasler; and Ashley Stark.

- Atlanta area home/design stores: Mathews Furniture + Design; Swoox, Pryor Fine Art; and Greg Irby Gallery. Duralee; Beau Studio; Stark Carpet; Renaissance Tile & Bath; and Schumacher at the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center (ADAC). Also Max & Company and Scott Antique Market.

- Places for unexpected finds: Goodwill, estate sales and consignment shops.

- Current project(s): Finishing up a brownstone, which was gutted, in Brooklyn. Also two homes in Atlanta.

- Up next: A Frank Lloyd Wright style house in Cashiers, North Carolina.

Find Jena Salmon at:

· Website:

· Facebook: Jena Salmon Designs

· Instagram: Jena Salmon


2017 Serenbe Designer Showhouse: The Manor at Mado

Thursday-Sunday, through Oct. 8.

Tickets and information at

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