Editor's Note: This story appeared in the December 2015 ORANGE Issue IV.
Hailing from a family of contractors and architects, Callie Jenschke has design in her blood — and all over the walls of her eclectic home. Her walls are painted in rich hues of green, blue and gold, a refreshingly far cry from the all-too-ubiq- uitous minimalist aesthetic most designers tend to favor. She doesn’t shy away from textures and patterns, pulling inspi- ration from a variety of styles and cultures and blending them together seamlessly. This could only be her home and no one else’s.
By Caitlin Phan
Photos by Thea Robinson
“I shop a lot of flea markets from all over New York, around L.A., Florida,” Jenschke says. “I constantly am searching for crazy, funky stuff.”
Jenschke, a local interior designer and ORANGE Magazine alumna, earned a degree in journalism during her time at the University of Texas. She landed editor positions at several home magazines in New York City, including Metropolitan Home and Martha Stewart’s Blueprint. After a few magazines closed, she decided to leave the world of unpredictable journalism and co-founded Scout Designs in 2010. “I was always really interested in the visual side of creating photos and producing photoshoots,” Jenschke says. Though she’s no longer a writer, she says her journalistic sense of curiosity and editor’s eye help with her design.
She found her way back to Austin and founded her own interior design firm, Native Design, in 2013. Along with partners Kim West and Kristin Gish, Jenschke recently opened SUPPLY Showroom in September, a curated space which showcases their savvy taste in home furnishings. West is a fellow designer and founded her own firm, Well Dressed Space. “[Jenschke] has a really sophisticated aesthetic,” West says. “She just knows what looks good and has that innate taste level.” Gish, handbag designer and owner of Kage Handbags, acknowledges the versatile element of Jenschke’s design. “Not only does she appeal to women but she also appeals to men,” Gish says. “She has an edge to her design aesthetic that appeals to everybody.”
Vogue named SUPPLY one of Austin’s six must-see design destinations in October. As it turns out, Instagram played a big role in the curation of a Vogue-approved showroom. While Jenschke loyally follows the careers of her favorite artists and designers, she also uses them to find new artists, designers and potential vendors for SUPPLY. She admits to being obsessed with home goods and, as a result, always keeps her eyes peeled for different and exciting home goods. “We’re constantly scouring the market via Instagram or through small, offshoot shows,” she says. “Instagram is a huge help and has completely changed the way we search for new and inventive resources.” If one of her favorite designers posts a mood board and she spots a fabric she loves, she can easily track down the fabric’s vendor. From there she will contact them to obtain the fabric for SUPPLY.
College students might find it hard to decorate drab dorm rooms and uninspiring apartments on a tight budget, but Jenschke suggests checking out garage and estate sales. “You can find the coolest things for $5,” she says. “It doesn’t have to be designer; It can be some weird object.” She found her favorite 1950s-era Asian armoire in a “creepy” Los Angeles furniture warehouse which she then shipped across the country to NYC. Buying art is another way to easily personalize your space, according to Jenschke. Her favorite cloud painting was purchased from a man in the streets of New York for a low cost of fifty dollars. “You can make art out of a lot of things,” Jenschke says. “You just have to think outside of the box when it comes to decorating your space, whether it be where you shop or what you use to decorate your walls.”
After journalism school, Jenschke didn’t think she would end up on this path — today, however, her work is proof that the learning doesn’t stop after you graduate. “To be a home editor, you’re not really writing a lot,” she says. “You’re actually just selecting product and you become an expert in those products. You’re constantly being educated.”