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A House Full of Stories

TVT_7206When one walks up to the home of Jason Jennings, a local floral and interior designer, the first thing that he or she sees is a sturdy, handsome fence – the handiwork of Josh Walker – but it is the front porch where Jennings’ taste and style begins to be on full display. The 825-square-foot residence is filled to the brim with quirky trinkets, repurposed furniture and tasteful bric-a-brac, and the porch is no exception, serving almost as an appetizer for the main course. “I get most of my items from yard sales, thrift stores, alleys. Everything in this house has a story, but I do most of my living on this porch,” regales Jennings. Signs, glass ornaments and wicker chairs grace the porch and tempt the guest to never even make it through the front door due to the inviting atmosphere.

Speaking of the front door, the entrance to Jennings’ home, currently a vibrant turquoise, changes color with the season and leads to the meat and bones of the residence as well as its large and friendly canine protector, Moose. The drapes, from Butchertown fashion accessories store Work the Metal, elegantly accent the excellent paintwork that Miguel Iglesias completed throughout the entire house without hindering the lovely, natural light. In the great room, one can see a rustic but well cared-for desk made by Jennings grandfather, J.R. Jennings. It is the first of many pieces in the home to indicate that Jennings’ own family history is just as prevalent in the design as the stories of others.

“I entertain often, and it’s something that I like to do, something that is very important to me,” says Jennings as he leads to the parlor, whose main attractions include a colorful penny rug and a bar full of, among other spirits, Jennings’ favorite bourbon: Bulleit. There are countless items of note in the house, and it is at this point that one may begin to marvel at the fact that there is something new and worthwhile to see with each and every glance. “My parents, Scottye and Bettye Jennings, took me to estate auctions at as young as 5-years-old. I also worked Christmases at Wakefield-Scearce Gallery during high school, and those two things really informed my taste and style.”

Continuing to the kitchen, where chandeliers from Herbal Accents adorn the ceiling, there is an antique Grundig radio that was a gift from Jennings’ brother. “It was the best gift ever,” says Jennings. Across from the radio, there is a majestic view of the backyard with such varied foliage as a Japanese maple, a corkscrew willow, a dogwood tree and even some elephant ears. At the center, there is a dead plum tree that Jennings has invigorated by festooning it with autumnal ribbon. As beautiful as the backyard is now, one cannot help but wonder how breathtaking it must be in the spring.

The bedroom is spacious and meticulously kept, a dedicated place present for every shoe, shirt and hat. There is even a small bed for Moose, for whom Jennings says that he has had to transform the house. “He came to me with two torn ACLs, so they told me when I adopted him that I would have to make some changes to help him heal after the surgery.”

To make room for the animal, Jennings moved several of his items to an upstairs loft area that he refers to affectionately as his “Mancave.” There, one can find a TV, comfortable chairs and sofa, a restored bench and Jennings’ impressive collection of baseball caps hanging on the walls. “I love hanging up different things, and I’m always inspired by seeing other homes,” he claims. In fact, there is the sense that as thought out as the decoration is in the house, it could and all change tomorrow, which is a testament to Jennings’ ability as a designer. Between working at Clodhoppers, running his own business – Interior Fashion – volunteering at Yew Dell Botanical Gardens; and creating weekly floral arrangements for such places as Porcini, Bluedog Bakery and Vint Coffee, it seems there is no end to the inspiration and stories in Jennings’ home in sight. VT

To contact Jason Jennings with questions or comments, please email him at jasonjennings36@yahoo.com.

Photos by CHRIS HUMPHREYS | The Voice-Tribune

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