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Inspiring Conversations with Jenny Murphy of J. Reiko Design + Co.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenny Murphy. 

Hi Jenny, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
Hindsight is 20/20….there were aspects of my childhood that exposed my passion for architecture and design, but I had no idea at the time. I grew up in rural Western Colorado and I spent much of time outdoors. I loved building mud forts and dreaming up how each one would be laid out and what each room would be used for. I would play “barbies” but rather than actually playing with the barbie dolls, I spent all of my time designing their houses. 

Living in a small town, we didn’t have much exposure to the world of architecture and design in public school. However, I did notice that in High School I started gravitating towards classes that were rooted in creativity. I loved doing ceramics and photography. When I started looking for options for college, I went into the process with a very open mind with the only guiding factor being that whatever major I chose needed to be some outlet for creativity. 

I attended Colorado State University and got a bachelor’s degree in Interior Design. My passion for architecture and design only grew stronger and stronger the more I studied it. It was the perfect combination of applicable logic and infinite creativity….it has been the perfect combination that seems truly tailored to my passions and personality. During my senior year, I interned at a local design/build firm which is what truly set the groundwork for my career path. I continued to work at that firm after I graduated for about 4 years, then moved to Denver and worked at another design/build firm for 5 years. 

The pandemic brought about a lot of personal reflection and in that time, I decided it was important for me to escape my urban life in Denver and move back to Fort Collins. During this time, I also felt a tugging at my soul to explore the idea of someday starting my own design firm. What started out as a little side hustle, quickly turned into a massive influx in referral business so in February of 2021 I fully took the leap and started J. Reiko Design + Co. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
When I look back on it, it seems like it was smooth and destined to be although I know that there have absolutely been obstacles along the way. I remember many days in college when I felt fully overwhelmed and would sometimes second-guess my decision to pursue a career in interior design. I had many professors that constantly told us “All of this work (all-nighters and all) are preparing you for the reality of this industry and career”. I was an eternal optimist and kept thinking that the workload would taper off once I got my first job after college. Needless to say, my professors were right. Design has no definitive end…. you can always be working and tweaking things. Many years and many nights and weekends spent working have taught me that is all part of the process. It is time-consuming but I always remind myself that I do truly enjoy what I do and seeing finished projects (and happy clients) makes it all worth it in the end. 

Working in the construction industry is a challenge on its own. It is constant problem-solving, pivoting, and waiting to get the call that something isn’t what you had planned on. It means collaborating and coordinating with countless other people in a wide variety of trades to bring your visions to life. I have really grown to love these obstacles…it keeps the day-to-day interesting and really makes the finished product feel like a massive accomplishment. 

We’ve been impressed with J. Reiko Design + Co., but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
J. Reiko Design + Co. is a full-service residential design firm. With a background of many years of working for design + build firms, I have a holistic take on interior design guiding my clients through the process of not only design but also construction.

I believe good design (of any kind) has the capability to improve people’s lives and wellbeing. With regards to interiors, I guide and collaborate with my clients to curate spaces that are beautifully refined, highly functional, and catered to their soulful calling, and remain true to the nature/spirit of the existing home. In turn, promoting user wellness + nurturing better living. 

With offerings ranging from furniture + styling of a single room to a whole home remodel or new build, I love it all. 

Alright so before we go can you talk to us a bit about how people can work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
I really enjoy meeting new people. Whether it is a potential client, tradesperson or professional that is looking to collaborate, or even someone looking for human connection. I am here and open to all of it. The best way for them to reach out is via the inquiry form on the “contact” page on my website. 

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Sierra Ann Photography

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