Interior Design: The Desk Set

April Jensen encapsulates her modern—yet fun—style in her new office.


After opening her own design firm two decades ago, April Jensen of ADJ Interiors (11622 Page Service, 314-805-5784, worked out of her home for years. Then Kevin Kenney, owner of KDR Designer Showrooms and the Interior Design Center of St. Louis, added individual offices to his business complex—and turned his sights on Jensen.

“April, you can do this,” Jensen recalls Kenney telling her. “I am building these out, and I am making them affordable, because I want you to be here to shop at my place.”

Late last summer, she moved in.

“Why the hell did I work at home all those years?” she now wonders. “It’s really been the best thing I probably could have done. I think we are putting out work of the same quality as we were, because we have always taken it really seriously, but it definitely changes your approach in that you are more efficient. And it’s nice not to be working on stuff with Dora the Explorer in the background.”

The design of the office exudes urban sophistication, and it serves as an artful background for Jensen’s obsessions—not a short list.

“I’m obsessed with antique milk glass and Depression-era glass,” she says. Among her other loves: poodles (a white ceramic one sits on the credenza), silly artwork (one print declares, “Looks like the weather outside just turned into some bulls—t”), country music (a portrait of a young Dolly Parton hangs on the wall), pop culture (a framed ’60-era fashion ad is titled “In Mod We Trust”), and bumper stickers and magnets (ready to adorn six 64-inch-tall steel storage cabinets).

“I like things that conjure a feeling of comfort, make you think a little bit, make you happy,” says Jensen. “I’m obsessed with That’s where I buy all of this stuff. I love different and quirky, and I try to keep things around me that inspire me.”

The space revolves around the pair of fire-engine-red lacquered desks, made by Blu Dot and purchased at Niche. “My signature color is red,” says Jensen. “It always has been.” One desk is for her, the other for ADJ assistant designer Elena Bankovskaya.

One wall is covered with open shelving and Elfa storage baskets, yet another entry on Jensen’s favorite-things list. The basic white, black, and red palette has punches of turquoise and gray. A cowhide area rug is flecked with metallic spots. “I love traditional things, but I like to turn it on its side,” says Jensen. A petite midcentury bench sits below an oversize, stylized black mirror that she found at HomeGoods. “It is so fun and so glam,” she says. “I definitely shop for bargains—I love any kind of great deal.”

Jensen describes her design style as “modern, but classically driven. I don’t believe in anything fluffy. It all needs to feel like it belongs… My spaces typically have pops of color.”

Case in point: her recent redesign of a century-old home’s interior in Ladue. “We established the rule that if it was touching an exterior wall, we had to pay homage to the home by keeping it classically based,” she says. “But if it was in the middle of the room? Anything went.”

Article published by Christy Marshall on February 14, 2014. Source: