An Open-Door Look at Interior Design

When Jean Stoffer was running her interior design business out of her home, it meant projects spilling over into almost every available space.
Stoffer Home interior design showroom

When Jean Stoffer was running her interior design business out of her home, it meant projects spilling over into almost every available space, coupled with a growing staff and client visits that forced the issue.

Her business, Jean Stoffer Design, needed office space, and Stoffer Home was the new vision.

The catch was that the business required having a Jean Stoffer Design custom kitchen to showcase their cabinetry offerings and a venue where they could display lifestyle accessories that aligned with their aesthetic. It was akin to constructing a mini showroom — a slice of home come to life.

Stoffer Home is now open in Grand Rapids’ Wealthy Street neighborhood, at 714 Wealthy St. SE.

“Uptown is so vibrant,” said Jean Stoffer — who’s specialized in kitchen and bath design for more than 20 years and realized that “so many houses needed that final push, so we started offering interior design services to complete each project.”

Stoffer Home’s primary aesthetic resonates with people wanting to embrace classic architecture, all while making their interiors more modern. This is often accomplished through furnishings and light fixtures. It’s a bend toward an English modern design, and the atmosphere at Stoffer Home is one you must step into. Stoffer’s favorite spot in the shop is the kitchen, since that’s her area of expertise.

“I poured a lot of creative energy into it,” said Stoffer of the area highlighting green-hued cabinetry, one-of-a-kind backsplash tile, concrete countertops, an antique runner and the whole range alcove framed in brass.

The Stoffer Home experience is an uber-curated shop where one can browse furniture — meaning purchase what’s in stock, on the floor or order from various companies the store partners with for their many projects. When it comes to lighting, there’s a corner of the shop calling attention to just a sample of what they have access to. From certain finishes to viewing craftsmanship and quality, it’s a visual sweet spot to get lost in.

“We love using the brand Visual Comfort and use it more than any other manufacturer,” Stoffer said.

Stoffer Home interior design showroom 2

The cabinetry portion of the design business offers two lines. While out of the same factory, one line is a full custom offering with exclusive colors and stains and upgraded elements, including metal feet on legs. The other option is the Stoffer Home line, presenting 12 colors and four wood finishes that has more of a limit on enhancements and doesn’t require design services.

Fair warning: The accessories are wildly alluring. Indulge in small-scale beauty in the form of Simply Curated candles, cookbooks, glass loose-leaf tea storage, cutting boards, aprons, pillows and the scrub brushes of your dreams (like magazine kitchen spread dreams, okay?). Local potter Jeff Ham has created a custom line of bowls, mugs and kitchen utensil crocks just for Stoffer Home (a whole line of dish wear is also in the works).

To be clear, Stoffer Home offers style that’s streamlined with a warm minimalist vibe that’s strong on the shop less, shop best approach.

“Our goal was to give people enough options but few enough where they aren’t overwhelmed,” said Stoffer, expounding on the fact that everything in the shop styles well together, creating a sense of calm and balance with less confusion.

For less visual clutter, the store harnesses today’s use of more natural fibers, materials and colors.

3 pro tips

Large changes or small fixes, Jean Stoffer serves up some fresh style tips:

1. Painting one room gives the feeling of having a whole new space. Paint forces you to re-think everything when you put the room back together, resulting in a recognizable mood shift.

2. Purchase new sheets or kitchen towels for an instant pick-me-up. Room refreshers also include updated throw pillows and rugs. Visibly worn and stained items can dull an area’s spirit, so brighten with crisp, new accessories.

3. The Stoffer Home philosophy is this: Everything looks better if you take a few things away. You don’t have to get rid of home décor items forever, but consider tucking them elsewhere for another day. Eliminate items, add in something new and get a whole different perspective on the view.

Photos: Courtesy Stoffer Home

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