Inspired by Design: Jean Stoffer

Meet the expert in classically modern kitchen design.

Every month, we highlight distinctive designers who inspire us to find beauty in the details and embrace our home’s authentic style. Here’s August’s pick.

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Pella: What led you to open up an interior design firm of your own? 
Jean Stoffer: I was a 24-year-old working as the admin for a small interior design firm in the Chicago area. One of my mother’s friends was in need of an interior overhaul after her fifth and final child went off to college. She thought that I could help her. At 24, I didn’t have the sense to realize I was ill-equipped and jumped in with both feet.  It was then I “opened” my interior design firm.

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What motivates and inspires you as a designer?
It gives me great pleasure to help our clients realize functional, beautiful and timeless design with a twist that is unique to them. That inspires me! I am also greatly inspired by the extraordinary architecture in Chicago, where I was born and raised and lived until very recently. Lastly, I have been inspired by British Interior Design for decades, and realize that it has had significant influence on my work.

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Describe your style.
Classic with a modern twist, embracing color.

You are most known for kitchen design. What signature details do you make sure to include in kitchens you work on?
I always try to capture as much natural light as physically possible in the space. If given the option, I like to choose the location of the kitchen in the home based on where the light is best. Most of my designs have a minimal amount of wall cabinets, favoring windows. This requires clever storage for all the typical things required in a kitchen.

I like to include a variety of countertop materials in each kitchen. This is functionally useful and visually interesting. Whenever possible, I like to incorporate a range alcove in the design. It feels like a hearth and is quite useful in that it captures smoke and steam effectively.  Finally, I enjoy employing more than one cabinet finish in each design to give the kitchen a more “collected” look.

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What home decor accessories are you currently loving?
An element in our designs that give them that “X” factor is the collection of light fixtures that we put together. We love mixing metals, styles, scale and mass in each project for a fascinating and functional result. For styling, we love to use antique wood objects like bowls. And no project of ours is ever complete without lush green plants and trees!

This article was written by

A self-proclaimed Social Media Geek and DIY aficionado, Nicolle is a member of the Pella Marketing team, focused on content creation and curation. In her free time she can be found pillaging thrift shops for furniture projects, attempting to rationalize with her 4 year old daughter, and editing her husband’s honey-do list.