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In a Jean Stoffer home, each piece of furniture is well-considered. Her latest Ada Modern Classic project is no exception, full of timeless pieces, rich textures and natural materials (and some truly amazing windows). Over years of design experience, Jean and her team have learnt a thing or two about choosing furniture for a home. 

To best learn from the design pro, we asked Jean a few questions on the modern classic look (and how our Spensley Dining Chairs fit the bill perfectly!), remaining true to the goals of the home, and her dos and don'ts of selecting furniture. 

Design by Jean Stoffer Design, photography by Stoffer Photography Interiors, build by Kenowa Builders

Tell us a bit about you and your stellar design team.

I’m extremely proud of my team, and I love them each. My daughter, Grace works closely with Kelsey (who I threaten to adopt often); together they make most of the material selections you see in our projects. I lay out the space and its furnishings, and detail the cabinetry and millwork with the help of Katie. We all work together very well, and bounce ideas back and forth. Many times I will hear Grace and Kelsey say almost at the same time: “I know what we should do here!” and then they show each other what it is and it's the very same thing! It's fun to work with all of them, and I am delighted with how our projects come together!

What was the vision or the Ada Modern Classic project?

Our clients were moving back to the US after living in New Zealand for seven years. Their intention was to build a new, modern home. One day they were helping her parents (who were making the same move at the same time) house hunt and found a house on a beautiful piece of land. They called, and walked me through it via FaceTime. Could this maturely decorated, country french styled home become something modern and fresh for their young family? The answer was a resounding “yes!”  

What goals did you have for the function and style of the dining room? How did you achieve those? 

The family wanted an inviting, casual space where their young family and friends could eat together. Ideally it would be part of the kitchen and open to a family gathering area. We wanted something organic, textural and easy to clean. We wanted it to be high style that wasn’t trying too hard. We chose this sculptural table, a simple and architectural light fixture, and chairs made out of wood and woven leather.


Fenwick Dining  Chair

Spensley Dining Chair 

How do the Spensley Dining Chairs fit into the overall design of the home? 

The Spensley Chairs are modern and classic at the same time. The texture and material mix of the leather and wood tell a fantastic story of style and function.  

How would you describe the style or overall feeling of the home? 

We are calling this project the “Ada Modern Classic” and feel it suits the style and overall feeling perfectly. It is classic in that the shapes, materials and forms are tried and true; found in architecture and home furnishings for decades. It is modern in its clean lines, and restrained detailing. It's a family home first and foremost. Each room has an important function. The materials we chose allow the family to use each of the rooms fully and without worry. As a result, friends are often over and feel warmly invited to enjoy the home and friendship.     

How did you go about selecting furniture and materials for the home?

We selected furniture with several things in mind. Purpose, scale, style, and budget. We enjoy putting together a collected mix so no era is overly represented. We feel this gives the design a lasting, timeless style. We always try to mix textures and materials in every room, and match the purpose of the piece to its material since we believe that furniture is meant to be used, not merely looked at.

Over the course of your design career, what have you found to be the most important factors when selecting furniture for a home? 

I feel one should purchase the best quality they can afford. Sometimes that means buying something used instead of brand new. Cheap furniture will fall apart, and its finish and materials will not last. I think it is wise to buy fewer pieces that are high quality than a lot of furniture that won’t last. 

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