Designer Jeanne Collins on How White Sofas and Families Can Coexist! - New Canaan & Darien Moms

Meet Jeanne Collins—Founder and Principal Designer of the New Canaan interior design firm to watch, @jermar_designs and mother to a poised and kind ballerina. Following a successful early business career, Jeanne went back to design school to follow her passion for creating luxurious interiors that also function for family living. Two years later JerMar Designs has already earned critical acclaim for projects that layer contemporary styles with traditional elements (inspired by Jeanne’s appreciation of our local historic architecture).

Below Jeanne shares design tips for making a family home both stylish and practical—even if you choose a white sofa!

Photo by Ellyett Photography


Yes, ANYONE can have a family room with a white sofa! I recently did a design project for an active family of five, who wanted a contemporary update on their dated living room. We went for a bright, modern, and airy white space, but it was important to be durable enough to handle three children and a dog!

Photo ©Jane Beiles


All the fabrics were either Crypton, performance, indoor/outdoor, or treated upon arrival for stain and soil resistance. This active family of five tested them right away! The dining chairs have survived ketchup and chocolate spilled on day 2! The all-white sofa survived a red Gatorade and beer mixture! I love using these luxury fabrics in all my designs.

Photo ©Jane Beiles


One of my favorite fabrics to incorporate is a luxurious indoor/outdoor velvet. These type of fabrics easily handle dirt and stains with just a soap and water clean-up. Indoor/outdoor fabrics can be thick, soft, come with varying sheens and shimmer, and are available in many colors and patterns. I like to use them on dining chairs, ottomans, custom pillows, and swivel chairs.


Crypton resists stains and liquids. The liquids bead up and can be wiped away with a damp cloth. I have tried it for clients to show them how it works, and it is AMAZING! Crypton fabric comes in a wide variety of patterns, solids, and brands. When selecting custom furniture or re-upholstering existing furniture, I always recommend Crypton…especially for families with children and pets.


If I find the perfect piece of furniture for a client, but the fabric isn’t already performance or treated for stains, I treat it upon arrival! I will have the furniture delivered to my custom furniture workroom where they very affordably will treat the fabric for stain and soil resistance. The white kitchen chairs below are an example of this. The velvet on the chairs came untreated….which is crazy for dining chairs! So, I had them treated and they have survived a wide variety of stains!

Photo ©Jane Beiles

The home from Jeanne’s all-white design project was recently featured in Bedford & New Canaan Magazine. To learn more about Jeanne Collins, follow her at JerMar Designs.




Join The New Canaan Darien Moms Network Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around New Canaan Darien CT with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.