Podcast, Ep. 201: designer Corey Damen Jenkins

Designer Corey Damen Jenkins

Photo: Brad Ziegler. Designer Corey Damen Jenkins

Our guest today is New York designer Corey Damen Jenkins. Corey is on the AD100 List, Elle Decor’s A List and his work has been featured in House Beautiful, Traditional Homes, The New York Times and more. He won HGTV’s Showhouse Showdown and has recently published his first book called Design Remix: A New Spin on Traditional Rooms.

What You’ll Hear on This Episode:

  • The driving force behind Corey’s signature eclectic exuberance
  • Corey’s background in the design industry
  • Detroit as the background of Corey’s work
  • How Corey puts his modern spin on traditional architecture
  • The importance of light fixture in interior design
  • Corey discuss his maximalist approach
  • Corey’s creative process
  • How Corey negotiates when working with couples with conflicting ideas
  • The statement opportunity in ceilings
  • The importance in thoughtfully curating children’s rooms

Decorating Dilemma


I really enjoy listening to your podcasts. From the Trials & Triumphs to the guests, to the decorating dilemmas. The podcasts are always engaging and informative.

My decorating dilemma is my living room.  Furniture, furniture placement, need to add or eliminate furniture, fireplace, and lack of light. Recently downsized and relocated to this house that is a 32 yr old ranch style home. 

The living room is 13′ X 17′ with four doorways. The back wall has a fireplace, window, and an exterior door to a covered deck.  The covered deck really cuts down on the natural light to the room.  The flooring is a dark wood looking tile and area rug. Walls will be painted next month.  Paint color I have in mind is BM Tapestry Beige. Oil painting over the sofa was an inherited piece from my in-laws. The sofa is new and the other furniture is older. The vanity in the corner with the computer is temporary until I find a small corner desk. The chest that holds the tv is temporary until I find something else.

Any suggestions on the following item(s) would be appreciated.

  1. Furniture placement changes.
  2. Furniture piece to hold tv and some shelves for decor items. I thought I saw an open metal and wood shelving unit at the

     Ballard Design website. Not sure if that would fit/work.   Furniture piece for corner computer. 

  1. End tables (current ones are too high for sofa arm) and updated lamps.
  2. Fireplace brick – paint, whitewash, or leave as is. Fireplace (gas logs) wood mantel is too close to the fire box per home inspector.  Fireplace screen with a brass frame and glass doors needs help. What type of artwork over the fireplace?
  3. Window treatment idea for the one window. Privacy is not an issue for this window. Is there any way to have that wall look symmetrical with regards to the exterior door and window? 

I hope the attached photos are helpful in explaining my decorating dilemmas. Please excuse the clutter, I have been moving things around and trying to get rid of the excess. Downsizing is not fun.

Thanks for taking the time to read this long email. 


Hi Lisa,

It sounds like there isn’t a lot of natural light coming into the room. One thing I advise clients in this situation is not to fight it. I would embrace it and go with darker, moodier, sexier colors. You might want to consider a warmer color for the space to give it more of a pop and nice contrast. Maybe you paint the trim beige, keep the brick as it is and replace the ceiling fan with a nice chandelier unless you need the air circulation. Then the furniture will contrast and pop nicely against the changes. As for the window treatments, attach a shade on the exterior door for privacy and have a pair of panels of the same fabric on the windows. With your more traditional aesthetic, I recommend a pinch pleat drapery on that window.

The greatest part of the room is the painting! Maybe you could play on its colors and incorporate some aquamarine pillows . Certainly, you need a coffee table or ottoman to fill up that space. For the workspace, I would first flip the desk and chair to be facing out towards the room. Maybe you get a larger rug to take up more of the floor and place the desk on. You have a really good base. Just think about your shapes and mix and match. Think about changing the lamps and get some nice shades to bring more of an edge to the space.

Good luck, Lisa!

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Happy Decorating!

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Abbey Nolte

Abbey is a homegrown Georgia peach who loves a fresh take on Southern design. When she’s not working behind the scenes of the How to Decorate blog and podcast, you can find her cheering on the Appalachian State Mountaineers and spending time with her wheaten terrier, Charlie.