What’s on My Desk: Chester-Hoffmann & Associates Founder Jean Hoffmann
The desk of Jean Hoffmann, president of Chester-Hoffmann & Associates

What’s on My Desk: Chester-Hoffmann & Associates Founder Jean Hoffmann

Elegance is timeless—even in one's workspace.

Minneapolis-based interior designer Jean Hoffmann is celebrating 30 years since founding her designer firm Chester-Hoffmann & Associates, Inc. and 40 in business. But those are just numbers. As she says on her company website: “elegance is timeless.” We popped in on her office at International Market Square and discovered that Hoffmann practices what she preaches.

On her desk

Date book: It’s my lifeline and while it may be old, it’s very reliable. I don’t use an electronic calendar because I like to write everything as it helps me process.

Templates: I have been in the Interior Design Industry for more than 40 years. In design school I learned how to hand draft and draw. To this day it’s what I prefer over digital drawings as it helps my creative process.

Photos of her dog and her dad: My dad was a self-made man and a very successful golf pro in the Twin Cities. He was my mentor, who taught me about working hard and how to take the bitter with the sweet. Family is everything to me and having a picture of Tully reminds me of home.

Project materials: I always have fabrics, tile samples, paint swatches, or various samples of projects on my desk as I am working through them.

A signed copy of “Ode to Color” by Lori Weitzner: Lori is a design favorite of ours here at CHA. She is a strong female inspiration to the design industry and we use her materials often in both our Commercial and Residential design projects.

About her workspace

Private office or open area? I work in an open area because I need plenty of space to work on projects and collaborate with my team.

View from your desk: I look out a large window at International Market Square originally the home of Munsingwear. Our Re-Finished wood floors in our studio have so much history and character. In places you can still see where the sewing machines were bolted to the floor. Our windows offer plenty of natural light, which is so important when working with colors, and pulling selections together for projects.

How much time do you spend at your desk during the week? It depends on the week and the project I am working on. I spend half my time at client and vendor appointments and love this hands-on approach.  However I am a small business owner and wear many hats, so I spend about half my week working at my desk.

What is a typical workday? Each day is quite different. I always spend a good amount of my day communicating and collaborating with my clients and design team or traveling to showrooms scouting products and making selections for our projects.

Can you work at a messy desk? Generally speaking, I cannot work at a messy desk. However, I often have so much going on during the day that it becomes messy and have to organize and re-group at the end of each day in preparation for the following.


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