Meet Jenny Grumbles. She’s a fun-loving DENY Artist, owner of Uptown Country Home in Dallas, the star of A&E’s hit series, Storage Wars Texas and the queen of all things salvage.
Jenny Grumbles grew up in Southern California and spent her summers and college years living in Dallas, Texas and Atlanta, Georgia. Since obtaining a degree in journalism and studio art from Southern Methodist University in 2002, she has devoted her time to painting. Jenny has been represented in galleries and shops in Atlanta, Dallas, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Laguna Niguel, San Diego, La Jolla and Balboa Island. She also shows her paintings in her very own shop in Dallas called Uptown Country Home. Since realizing her passion in painting in 1994, she has created an impressionist style with loose brush strokes and an emphasis on light and color. Her subject matter includes everything from children on the beach, home interiors, florals, and commissioned work. She is also a buyer for A&E’s hit series, Storage Wars Texas.
Hey Jenny! First, let’s start with the basics.
Describe your creative style in 5 words.
Colorful, impressionistic, uninhibited, recycled, carefree
Bungee jumping or sky diving?
Sky diving! The cord freaks me out in bungee jumping. I’ve been sky diving. It’s the best.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Describe one thing not many people know about you.
Unless it is a black and white painting, I NEVER use black paint in my paintings.
You have so many great finds and treasures spread throughout your home! Tell us the story behind a few of your favorites – where/how you found them and any ones that you DIY’d.
Thank you! Almost everything in my house is fixed-up found junk or a DIY project. Some pieces are literally from a dumpster diving outing. I love the little glass cabinet in our kitchen. It has a perfect mint green color peeling through. I try and try to get my refurbished pieces looking that perfectly chippy and peely, but it never quite turns out that way. My husband actually said this piece is the one furniture piece he can’t part with. I also really like the bed I made-over in the guest room. I like upholstering boring old beds with funky fabric. That bed came from a storage auction when I was filming Storage Wars Texas.
How has your artistic and home style evolved over the years?
I never used to like modern. I used to be turned off by it but now I love mixing it in with the rusty and shabby in my home – and even started doing some abstract paintings.
Tell us about the story behind one of the designs you have on our website.
“Hope” was actually one of my first more modern, more abstract paintings. I painted it during political season and the circles reminded me of the O for Obama, so I called it “Hope”. That painting actually ended up being a math problem for me with all of the circles and shadows.
Love it! What is your most cherished home accent piece? Why?
My most cherished accent pieces are the two antique chairs in our living room I painted and covered in white. They were my great, great grandma’s and I have a framed picture of them in her house. My grandmothers were all very stylish so I know they wouldn’t mind that I gave them a makeover and updated them. People always get mad at me when I paint antiques. I only have two pieces of unpainted furniture in the whole house and I want to paint them every time I walk by them.
We vote for paint! We believe in making your home happy with the truest expression of you! In your craftiest of adventures, tell us about your greatest Pinterest success and/or fail.
My greatest Pinterest fails are any time I attempt a recipe. They look so good and pretty and easy in the pics, but turn out gross and unappetizing and painstakingly hard to make when I do them.
We’ve definitely been there. Tell us the story behind the “man cave”/sports room and what inspired it.
My husband hates the term “man cave” so it is definitely “sports room.” He has been a collector of vintage sports memorabilia since childhood. When we were dating he always talked about how he wanted his own room to display his collections. Once he got all his stuff out, I tried to come up with creative ways to make it look stylish and not cheesy. I found him a shadowbox coffee table, painted an old lawyers cabinet, and looked for interesting vintage frames and displays. Then I decided the whole room needed to be painted a dark color to make his collections stand out. Then we had to take the doors of the closet because there wasn’t enough space to display everything that needed to be out. It’s like a little museum.
It’s amazing! How do you change up your home for different seasons? Any tips/tricks to make it feel fresh?
Besides glittering my home out for Christmas, I just add small touches for the other seasons. Maybe a funky easter wreath on the door, some white pumpkins scattered on the dining table, some pink candy around, different plants or flowers – I don’t do much traditional seasonal decor.
What’s your best secret to entertaining?
A helpful secret to entertaining in this house is that we have all white dishes and serving pieces. I can use them on any occasion and mix them in with more festive pieces. You can’t go wrong with all white. I love antique silver so I try to use it as much as I can, even if we are having people over for burgers.
Go-to recipe that’s always a party hit?
I cannot cook, but my sister makes a great party hit that I have been successful at re-doing.
Party Rye Pizza
- 1 package of party rye
- 1 lb. mild sausage
- 1/2 lb velveeta
- 1/2 lb mozzarella
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 12 oz can tomato paste
- Romano cheese
Brown the meat, drain, add spices, cover with cheese, cover with lid, heat on low until cheese melts, smear bread slices with tomato paste, top with meat and cheese mixture, sprinkle with romano, bake in oven at 300 for 8 min!
YUM. If you had to choose a piece of your own artwork right now and build a room around it, which piece would you choose and how would the space look?
It would be fun to do a room around “Study in Stripes“. Maybe an all white room with one giant piece of furniture painted Kelly Green and some hot pink pillows.
That would be SO CUTE. So, if you’re running low on creative inspiration, what’s your remedy?
I get most of my creative inspiration when I am calm. I like to take a break at my step-dad’s ranch house or my dad’s mountain house to get away from city life and let my mind wander for ideas.
That sounds lovely. Where do you see yourself as an artist in 5 years?
I think I will be painting a lot more in 5 years. Right now I focus so much more on my shop, Uptown Country Home, and interiors that I don’t make as much time to paint. I’d like to slow down and change that some time in the future.
You can invite 6 people (anybody! Living or dead) to a dinner party. Who made the list and why?
Barack & Michelle Obama because we would have so many interesting things to talk about and they inspire me. Jay Z & Beyonce to entertain us, and because they are the ultimate power artist couple. And maybe Van Gogh and Rachel Ashwell to talk shop with?
Ha! That would be fun! Things you can’t live without?
Paint & french fries.
We get that. What experiences helped form your design/artistic style today?
My mom helped me form my design style – she has been turning trash to treasure in front of me since birth. The woman who had the most influence on my painting was the artist Claudia Hartley, http://hartleyart.com. Her lessons are what turned me into a real painter.
What great influences! What is one of your favorite quotes?
“I believe in pink.
I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner.
I believe in kissing, kissing a lot.
I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong.
I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls.
I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
Love that quote. If you could trade places with any other person for a week, famous or not famous, living or dead, real or fictional…with whom would that be?
I’d like to be Elmo for a day. Did you know he’s an artist too?
We’ve never thought about that! What would we find in your refrigerator if we looked right now?
Port wine cheese, pineapple, yogurt, red bull and capri suns.
Tell us an interesting/fun fact you recently learned.
Recycling one glass jar saves enough energy to watch tv for 3 hours.
Woah! If you had a day to do anything you wanted, what would you do?
Beach, Spa, Steak Frites.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
I’m happy in Dallas because I want to live close to my family, but if family wasn’t an issue, I would probably live in Southern California or Hawaii because of the weather and the ocean.
Describe one of your pieces of art on DENY and tell the story behind it.
My crayon pieces are inspired by Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. It is a magical place I chair an art auction for every year to raise money. The annual event is called “Summer Colors.” Crayons are kind of a symbol for TSRHC.
What a wonderful cause! So, tell us, why do you love DENY?
DENY is such a fantastic company because it is so about thinking out of the box. Artists and decorators and business people all benefit from that line of thinking. Deny takes one piece of art and pulls it out of the box over and over again.
Thank you, Jenny!!