A Talk with Jennifer Mitchell of Design Hole

jennifer mitchell of design hole with kim vallee at laloux

Today’s interview is with a charming, joyful and talented interior designer who works in the Detroit-metro area on both residential and commercial projects.

I had the pleasure to have dinner with Jennifer Mitchell of Design Hole and her husband last December when they visited Montreal. This is when this picture was taken.

You may recall that Jennifer wrote three remarkable guest posts for ATWKV last May to help me when I got my ACL surgery. She inspired us with her Amusing Painting Party, her Book Club Party, and her Mother’s Day Breakfast Menu.

Let’s start with the interview about her blog and her tips for home parties.

At Home with Kim Vallee (AHWKV): When and how did you get into blogging?

Jennifer: I’ve always loved writing and have written free-lance pieces for magazines and newspapers for years. A blog gives me the chance to pursue my love for design and my love for writing. I decided to start a blog on an impulse. I had been forced to slow down my working life due to a hip injury. One day, while I was feeling particularly cranky about it, I decided that if I couldn’t practice my craft in real life (however temporary) then I’d write about it instead. I had no long-term plan, or any plan, for that matter. Two years later, I’m still writing. I feel lucky to be a person who’s vocation is also my avocation.

AHWKV: What is the idea behind Design Hole?

Jennifer: I write about Interior Design, with a focus on helping readers design their own homes. Design Dilemma is a regular feature whereby I help a reader solve his or her design problem. Readers send me photos and questions. I love writing these posts. I also enjoy writing about color and lighting. I get the most questions about those topics. I also follow trends and new products.

AHWKV: I must add that the Chair of the Day column is a fantastic way to learn amazing facts about iconic chairs and the latest design.


AHWKV: How would you describe your blog?

Jennifer: My blog is information, but mostly it’s fun to read. I like to think that my blog is fun to read, even if you’re not into interior design. I’m not afraid to share my opinion on design – both good and bad.

AHWKV: What people can expect when they read Design Hole?

Jennifer: I really hope people will enjoy reading it. Of course, I offer good advice and new ideas. But if a blog isn’t fun to read then you can be the best designer in the world and no one will care. Being a good writer is almost as important as the design ideas. Fortunately, that’s a lot of fun for me.

AHWKV: Why do you like blogging?

Jennifer: I’m a famous chatterbox. If I can’t talk someone’s head off, then at least I write my own off! Seriously, I have a lot to say about design. I have a definite opinion and a blog gives me an opportunity to share it. I also like helping people who couldn’t otherwise afford a designer. Recently, I helped a firefighter with a family of four figure out how to spruce up their home. He was so thankful. Being able to help people like that makes life worthwhile. So for me, blogging is satisfying on many levels.

AHWKV: When you are doing a party in Detroit, where do you shop for your supplies?

Jennifer: I like to make my own centerpieces. So I shop at places like IKEA for centerpiece materials, Bureau of Urban Living and The League Shop for special things plus guest towels, Blossoms for flower arrangements and Trader Joe’s if I’m making my own. Also, Hirtz’s in the Eastern Market is great for gourmet things and baskets. I DO NOT buy food from Costco because everyone knows it came from Costco.

AHWKV: Which vendors do you use to organize your party?

Jennifer: The Rattlesnake Club does an excellent job with catering. Blossoms is great for interesting flower arrangements if I don’t have time to make my own. They have more than the usual thing when it comes to flowers. Sometimes I make my own placemats. I create them on Photoshop and get them printed at Kinko’s.

Stay tuned! Jennifer will share her favorite shops in the second part of the interview. I will try to publish her city guide of Detroit tonight.


+ Design Hole
+ Image of Jennifer Mitchell and Kim Vallee taken at Laloux in Montreal – copyright Jennifer Mitchell

  • Jennifer
    October 28, 2008 at 11:15

    Thanks Kim! It was fun being interviewed. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we were in Montreal.