After years of cramped east coast living, little green notebook’s jenny komenda returns to her hometown to design a southwest-inspired space to her family
Last year, when Jenny Komenda’s husband was offered a job near the couple’s hometown of Phoenix, Arizona, they jumped at the chance to move back. “We’s been renting in big, hectic cities for years,” says Komenda, whose household includes daughters Gracie, Claire, and Evelyn. “We were ready to be near our families in a place that felt like home.” After shopping around, they discovered a 1970s Cape Cod-style house filled with a riotous blend of architectural influences, including rustic Tuscan details, Victorian millwork, and highly textured walls. To quite the noise, the Komendas removed incongruous design elements, expanded passageways, renovated the kitchen, and even ripped out the old floors. “It’s the first time I’ve owned a house in almost ten years.” the designer explains. “So I was thrilled to be starting over from scratch in such a hands-on manner.”
Komenda painted the romantic desert scebes herself on kraft paper and secured them to the walls with plexiglass sheets.
Vibrant art and patterned rugs infuse the playroom with creative energy.
Throughout her new residence, Komenda sought to combine her eclectic tastes with an aesthetic suitable to the Arizona scenery. “I love pulling ideas from all varieties of styles,” she says. “But I still wanted the house to feel like it was in the Southwest.”
To create an appropriate color palette, she drew hues from the surrounding desert landscape—dusty mauves, purples, even a pale green inspired by the morning sky. “It’s all about finding an equilibrium by mixing cool and warm tones,” Komenda explains. “It satisfies the eye to find that balance, and it makes an interior so much more exciting.”
Linus, the family’s standard poodle, stands guard in the entryway.
A claw-foot tub found on Craiglist adds vintage charm to the guest room.
To achieve the appearance of soapstone countertops, Komenda covered sheets of plywood with a concrete mixture that she stained black.
Adding interest to the back porch’s tired concrete floors, Komenda painted a tumbling-block pattern.