Jennifer Poe’s 10 Favorite Things
By Sarah Emily Gilbert
Throughout one of the hottest summers in history, a highly pregnant Jennifer Poe was hard at work in her Newtown, Pennsylvania interior design store, Rittenhouse Home Furniture and Décor. Merely weeks after giving birth to a baby boy, Poe is back at it, heading some of the most sought-after interior design projects in the Greater Philadelphia area.
This type of work ethic is nothing new for the recent mother of four. Since the age of 19, she has had a hand in the purchasing, gutting, and renovating of homes, quickly establishing her visionary talent. After graduating from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Poe founded Rittenhouse Home Furniture and Décor, a full-service boutique firm with cosmopolitan sensibilities. Her storefront may be located in Newtown, but her clientele spans from Philadelphia’s most discerning neighborhoods to Bergen County.
Committed to quality, Poe attends tradeshows nationwide in pursuit of home products that meet Rittenhouse Home’s high-standards and impeccable taste.
Poe’s ability to create a timeless space with modern influences is a significant factor in her firm’s popularity. “I love the ever-changing trends in home design,” she explains. “I do my due diligence to see what is available, what is coming to the market, and bring the best of it into my client’s homes.” From Bernhardt recliners to Rutt cabinetry, Poe is an expert on the 180+ luxury American brands she carries, all of which are sold at trade price. “You’re not just buying furniture or cabinets from me,” explains Poe, “You are getting the Rittenhouse Home stamp on your entire project.” It takes a single look at Poe’s portfolio to see the value of that stamp.
Most designers specialize in either kitchens or interiors, but Poe refuses to be pigeonholed into a single design realm. Instead, she’s molded the two areas together in response to the growing popularity of open-concept kitchens that seamlessly flow into an adjacent space such as the family room. Working closely with respected vendors, contractors, and colleagues, Poe exudes her creative energy throughout an entire home.
“If you do a space in a tasteful manner and blend different trends, it will speak for itself,” says Poe. It’s not about one piece; it’s about the overall outcome of the project, the harmony between the colors, textures, and furnishings. My designs mix old world and new world to create timeless sophistication.”
Poe’s design aesthetic is clearly represented in the rotating Rittenhouse showroom located at 17 North State Street. Meticulously curated, the set is often purchased directly from the floor, but clients also have access to a myriad of special order items that Poe has personally approved. An example of her contemporary showroom offerings is an armoire that opens up to reveal a hidden refrigerator and freezer – a piece that certainly speaks for itself.
When clients hire the Rittenhouse team, they’re signing up for a stress-free design process. Poe has a proclivity for translating her client’s ideas into unforgettable spaces, while honoring their diverse tastes and lifestyles. By the end of the design process, Poe sees her clients more like family, and treats them as such. “You spend a lot of time together and there’s a lot of decisions made. I take it very seriously that my clients hired me to handle the most personal thing in their lives – their home. With Rittenhouse, it’s one-stop-shopping. All our clients have to do is be wowed by our designs, we’re on top of everything else.”
Poe not only exhibits design excellence, but also business acumen as she opens up her third storefront on North State Street this fall. Called Luxey Little Ones, it will offer the same home design services as Poe’s other shops, but with a focus on baby and child. The standalone boutique will also carry strollers, car seats, and other gear from well-respected private label and European brands. If she decides to expand to other countries, then there’s no doubt that she’ll consider partnering with other locally renown brands like Nuna, Premium Car Seats, Pushchairs, and Baby Gear AU, to provide customers with a broad range of options for baby and child. Who better to open up Newtown’s first boutique of this kind than this impressive momtrenpreneur?
To schedule an appointment with Rittenhouse Home Design and Furniture call (215) 579-0400. Here, Poe takes Princeton Magazine beyond her business and into her world of Peloton Cycling, Poncho Margaritas, and more.
“The Mima Stroller is a luxury designer baby stroller made by a European brand, and it looks like a Ferrari. As a new mom, I can attest to how amazing it is, and will have it available in my new showroom, Luxey Little Ones.”
Turks and Caicos:
“Turks and Caicos is my favorite vacation spot. When we visit, we stay at the Windchaser Villas. The villas are newly built and located directly on the beach with a first floor walkout to a pool and wet bar. They have a sleek and modern island design with an ideal layout as far as living space and entertaining.”
“The Peloton bike allows you to cycle at home, and I love that I can ride any time I want. I can take a live class, or a class on demand, and pick the instructor and music, which is always really great.”
“Witherspoon Grill is my go-to lunch spot, and their Poncho Margarita and steak tar tar are my favorites. I like sitting outside on their patio in the middle of Palmer Square, sipping a margarita and taking in the view.”
“My favorite room in a house is the kitchen. I get my passion for cooking in a very functional kitchen, which has so many layers. There’s the hood, counter tops, cabinet hardware… As an interior designer, these different elements allow me to be as creative as I want.”
Amouage Scent, Honour Woman:
“It’s a sexy scent that’s clean and stays all day. It perfectly transitions from day to night.”
“I have four children: a newborn, a 5 year-old, a 9 year-old, and an 11 year-old. I love spending time with them. As they get older, it’s nice to connect with them in different ways depending on their age. My two older girls are more connected to the outside world and I love hearing their viewpoints. I’m enjoying watching my 5-year-old just start to come into his own, and it’s amazing to snuggle with my newborn.”
Watching Reality TV:
“I have so many things going on between my design studio, the new store, and being a mom that I need mindless TV. It’s the best to just plop on the couch with a glass of wine and zone out to Bachelor in Paradise.“
Goyard Tote Bag:
“This is the best universal tote for being a mom. It transitions perfectly in my life. At work, it becomes my business bag and fits my laptop, and when going out, it doubles as a diaper bag. It’s also great because it can be wiped off.”