It’s hard to believe that Jay Jeffers ever considered himself anything but a designer. After all, he has a sought-after firm, a successful design store, and Rizzoli coffee table book—Jay Jeffers: Collected Cool—which all attest to his design mastery. So to learn that Jeffers’s first career was actually in fashion advertising comes as something of a shock, and not without a twinge of panic—as in, did the world almost miss out on the design of Jay Jeffers?
Thankfully, fate makes a habit of working in mysterious ways, and Jeffers’s itch for more creativity, paired with interior design night classes and mentorships with some of San Francisco’s design greats led to him opening his firm, JayJeffers, in 1999. Since then, he has cultivated a signature style that exudes endless luxury and sophistication, but also imparts a sly wink, be it a classical center table serving as an end table in a modern living room, or rogue head chairs gracing an otherwise uniform dining set. He’s also a master when it comes to making microscopic spaces look palatial—perhaps one of the most significant reasons why San Franciscans love him so.
Lately, however, it’s not just Bay Area developers and tech tycoons who have been pegging Jeffers to furnish their new high-rises and trendy bars. Arteriors, the famed lighting company, recently dropped their second collection with Jeffers—this time with furniture—and a glowing reception to his first book has him penning a second. With so much in the pipeline, there seemed no better time to catch up with Jeffers to learn how he keeps everything looking so (you guessed it) enviably collected and cool.
Favorite item on DECASO right now?
Pair of Digamma Arm Chairs with Ottomans. I mean–look how sexy the arms on these chairs are!
Favorite thing about designing with vintage or antique pieces?
I love imperfections in furniture–scratches, stains, age. It brings soul to the room.
Favorite way to add drama to a room?
High gloss paint. On the ceiling.
Favorite source for design inspiration?
Favorite design rule to break?
Dark colors in small spaces.
Favorite way to mix high and low?
A Vladimir Kagan sofa next to a CB2 end table. Good design is good design.
Favorite way to work a bit of vintage into a room?
Any way I can! Usually the best for me is in the form of chairs and case pieces, but it depends on the room.
Favorite room in your house?
Well, technically I only have two rooms–but my living room is my sanctuary (typing these answers from my Milo Baughman sofa…)
Favorite travel destination?
Currently London, but I’m heading to Japan for the first time in March, so check back with me.
Favorite hotel to check in to?
Hôtel Costes in Paris. The minute I walk in, the scent is so intoxicating; it reminds me of all the fun times I have had there for 20 years.
Favorite way to treat yourself?
Business class–even to LA!
Favorite thank you/hostess gift?
Hôtel Costes candle (See above. Oh, and we sell them in Jay Jeffers–The Store).
Favorite entertaining essential?
Hotel Costes Candles and big ice cubes.
I’m currently obsessed with Hockney.
Favorite thing to collect?
YOUR CITY: SAN FRANCISCO
Favorite hotel to recommend to visiting friends?
Finally, a hotel to recommend to friends–The Proper. It’s about time.
Lead photo by Matthew Millman