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NOVEMBER 2020 FEATURED ON HOUZZ! The Subconscious Effects of Good Design

A well-planned home will put you at ease and in control of your space, this Denver designer says.

Pro Spotlight: The Subconscious Effects of Good Design


Who: Jennifer DesJardin of MOTIF Design Solutions

Where: Denver

In her own words: “My goal is to create spaces that people don’t want to leave. I want them to call me and say, ‘We didn’t go out Friday night. We just hung out by the fireplace. We’ve never spent time there before.’”

As homeowners, we tend to think we’re in control of our spaces. We own the furniture we sit on; we selected the appliances we use. But how much control do our homes have over us? Jennifer DesJardin, principal designer of MOTIF Design Solutions in Denver, believes thoughtful design can positively affect how we feel and function in our homes.


Ron Ruscio

Thinking like an architect.

With a background in architecture, DesJardin looks at the big picture. “I help my clients see past what’s already in their home,” she says. “I ask a lot of questions to discover what they’re truly looking for. This isn’t a surface-level process.”

Going deep.

“Effective interior design subconsciously tells people what they’re supposed to do in a space,” DesJardin says. “It affects how they interact with their home. That’s why people get a real joy at the end of the remodeling process. That’s why I work so hard.”


Want a home that you’ll respond to deep down? DesJardin reveals the basics below.

David Patterson
Ron Ruscio - Published in 5280 Magazine

1. Consider the Exterior

Select design elements that work in harmony with the architecture of your home. “Every house has its own visual vocabulary,” DesJardin says. “It has shape, proportions and style. When designing the interior, you have to keep the exterior vocabulary in mind. You want to marry the two. It will immediately give off the sense of character in your design.”


DesJardin matched the interior of this Greenwood Village home to the traditional exterior. “The bathroom was very contemporary,” she says. “I wanted it to be cohesive with the rest of the house, so I added a few traditional elements, including the raised paneling, the crown molding and the French doors. It all worked toward the house’s identity.”

2. Create a Focal Point

DesJardin suggests emphasizing a point of interest to direct the flow through a room. This will act as a kind of North Star for your space, she says: “It gives the eye a place to land and guides you through the space.”


Before she remodeled this Castle Pines master suite, the flow from the bedroom to the bathroom was awkward and choppy. DesJardin recommended tearing down walls and rearranging the layout to create a visual plane that would naturally flow from one room to the next. “The striking painting is at the end of the axis,” she says. “You can see it even when those barn doors are slightly closed. It draws you right through the room to the master bath.”

David Patterson
Kristen Dell'Orso

3. Scale Your Furniture to the Room

Make sure the size and amount of furniture are proportional to the room, DesJardin advises. “The biggest mistake I see people make is dressing big rooms with small furnishings. If the furniture isn’t scaled correctly, nothing else you do with the room will seem right either. People will naturally feel uneasy there.”


To incorporate vintage tables and chairs in this Cherry Creek dining room, “I had to work backward and scale the space in such a way so that they fit there,” DesJardin says. “Otherwise, they would’ve been small chairs in a cavernous room.” She designed the blue beam overhead not only to provide more lighting, but also to make the space seem cozier: “That made the furniture seem intentional and not like it was just floating there.”