Art, Design, and Cocktails: A Conversation with Jay Jeffers

Q&A with our friends at Cavalier.

ArtPoint was fortunate to sit down with Jay Jeffers recently to talk about a few of our favorite things (namely: art, design, and cocktails). Jeffers’s inimitable store, Cavalier, will play host to ArtPoint members and guests on January 9 for our annual Patrons Party.

Recognized as one of his generation’s most dynamic talents, Jeffers was named in 2011 and 2012 to Elle Decor's A-List of the country's top interior designers. He is the founder of Jeffers Design Group, a leading interior design firm based in San Francisco whose projects include residences in San Francisco, Tahoe, wine country, New York, Los Angeles, and beyond. In May 2012 Jeffers and his husband, Michael Purdy, launched their store, Cavalier by Jay Jeffers, to showcase a carefully curated selection of new, vintage, and bespoke furnishings and accessories. Jeffers and his work have been featured in national and international publications including Financial Times, Architectural Digest, Elle Decor, C MagazineDepartures, New York Times, InStyle, House Beautiful, Wall Street Journal, and many more. 


ArtPoint: What inspired you to open up a storefront?

Jay Jeffers: Many of my favorite shopping sources had sadly closed during the downturn, and so last year I started kicking around the idea with my husband—Cavalier Creative Director Michael Purdy—of a space where we could express our shared sensibility. We both love things that are sartorial with a masculine edge (we even have the same shoe size, which justifies footwear indulgences). Now Cavalier enables us to showcase limited-edition collaborations with artisans, new and vintage pieces, and my own debut collection of custom furniture, lighting, and accessories, all of which reflect our point of view.


AP: What is the one thing that the visitors to your store must see?

JJ: The hand-painted stools by New York artist Reinaldo Sanguino. They remind me of Basquiat—it’s like graffiti in your living room.


AP: Would you say that there is a San Francisco sensibility, with regard to decor?

JJ: Choose how you want to live your life and design accordingly!


AP: Favorite time period / design era?

JJ: Now!


AP: de Young or Legion of Honor?

JJ: de Young. This year I loved Trevor Traina's photography exhibit and Gaultier.


AP: Leather or suede?

JJ: Are we talking pants?


AP: Favorite cocktail?

JJ: Winter—Rye Manhattan. Summer—Negroni.