As the in-house designer and selections coordinator for prominent luxury builder Tyner Construction, Jennifer Scott must keep countless plates spinning in the air like there’s no chance of a crash. Sure, there’s the “fun stuff” — choosing paint colors, sourcing tile and countertops, creating mood boards — and then there’s the logistical acrobatics: “I need to have [all the] orders at my fingertips,” she says. Not to mention a thick, memorized catalogue of many different people’s personal preferences: “I have to remember if a client is partial to chrome.”
Scott’s marked poise makes it work like magic, and that finesse also shows up in the finished product. The firm’s polished work distinguishes the area’s most exclusive developments, among them The Ramble, Mountain Air, and The Cliffs.
“I usually have my hand in about eight home-construction projects simultaneously, but they’re all invariably completely unique,” says Scott. “Our clients have distinct tastes, needs, and goals. There’s never a dull moment.”
The firm’s portfolio crosses myriad architectural styles — from rustic-modern and Gothic-kissed storybook stone cottage to contemporary farmhouse and beyond.
Many visual artists and designers get their start early — as in childhood. Is this your story, or were you your family’s visual maverick?
I was definitely a kid who was always rearranging my room and trying new ideas with paint. My poor parents — they were very understanding. As I grew older, I developed a strong appreciation of well-put-together spaces.
I did end up earning an Associate degree in Business, but design kept calling me. I ultimately got my Bachelor degree at the International Academy of Design and Technology in Tampa.
What led you to Tyner?
If there was ever a great example of “right time, right place,” this is it. I heard about Tyner through word of mouth and discovered they had discussed creating my position only a week before I interviewed … it was meant to be.
How do you typically approach a project?
We typically start by sitting down with the architect; we review and discuss the floor plan. It’s important to do this before meeting with the clients, because we can tweak things if necessary, and by the time I’m with the clients, I have a high comfort level with the project already. We can venture forward, and imagine their home together.
Is that the beginning of building trust with a client?
Yes; many of our clients are either retirees or building second homes here, and my love of this area’s natural beauty is as deep as theirs. The process I just described gets us off to a good start, but they really need to feel confident that it’s their vision we’re trying to realize.
Fostering trust has everything to do with listening. I need to truly feel their design intent, and speaking with them at length about their preferences and choices. They have to be confident that I understand their dream.
How do you get, and stay, in the flow with so much going on?
The design process is inextricably linked to understanding architectural plans well. [After that], it’s all about keeping [the process] seamless for the client.
How is new home building different from simply buying and creating interiors for an existing structure?
Though we do some renovations, most of our work is building homes that are completely customized. I really need to get to know how a client lives and uses their living space. That, in turn, informs what I create. For example, we might work with someone from Hawaii who’s building a modern home, but inside they want it to have a “touch of Bali” feel, or someone from the Southwest might be excited about the unique beauty of our region and want to incorporate natural mountain features, like stone and wood.
Many don’t realize that countless details go into creating a custom home. It can be somewhat intimidating to homeowners, and I feel privileged that I can guide them, get over and around roadblocks, like the delays and increased costs related to the pandemic.
Every decision, including the minute details, which I love, must be managed, but we also have an enormous network of sources for finishes, which is extraordinary.
Tyner Construction, 630 Long Shoals Road, Arden, 828-684-1460; 400 East Main St., Burnsville, 828-682-7421; tynerconstruction.com.