Creating scaled drawings was a skill Jenny Barker learned as a young girl from watching her grandfather, a retired engineer, work at his kitchen table. It required discipline and creativity, two qualities she admired and understood. Drawing houses, complete with floor plans, perfecting them often late into the night, became a favorite past time from then on.
Undoubtedly, being raised on a farm on Virginia’s Eastern Shore peninsula gave Jenny an early sense of adventure along with the paradoxical curiosity to see the larger world. Whether she was en point in ballet classes, riding horses down deer paths, sewing her own dresses or getting stuck in the marsh behind her home, her creativity and energy became trademarks among her family and friends.
Visiting museums in Washington DC and poring over fashion magazines like W, Elle and Vogue satisfied her early wanderlust while she was on the farm, but upon graduating from Mary Baldwin College at the age of 21, she moved to an apartment in New York City's West Village with a job as assistant to the Editor-in Chief at Notorious Magazine which was owned by internationally known rapper and fashion mogul, Puff Daddy. Her eye for scale and proportion and her uninhibited, matter-of- fact perspective became valuable assets to her career. She later worked in the creative departments at Butterick- Vogue and Redbook.
After getting married and taking a hiatus from publishing, she found herself sitting at her own kitchen table in New York City, drawing scaled floor plans for an apartment she and her husband had purchased together on the Upper East Side.
She had found her niche.
With encouragement from her architect and building contractor, she went back to school and earned a second degree from the New York School of Interior Design. In 2004, she launched her own design firm and began working on residential projects in Manhattan, Chicago and later in Virginia.
Her reputation for being honest, pragmatic, and versatile has followed her in her career.