The Washington Metro Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers, and all of ASID, has lost a treasured Society member. Sarah Boyer Jenkins, FASID was not only a talented interior designer, but a gifted leader who shared her time, talent, and energy for the benefit of several design organizations and many charities.
Sarah was a Charter Member of ASID when the American Association of Interior Decorators (AID) and the National Society of Interior Designers (NSID) merged in 1975 and ASID was born. Prior to the creation of ASID, she had been an active member of AID, including holding the office of President, and her involvement only increased within ASID. “I am hooked on ASID,” Sarah said. “I can’t remember a time in my design career when I was not a member. I have held every office in the chapter and chaired most of the committees.” Her list of Chapter and Society activities is long: Chair of the CEU Committee and representation on the NCIDQ Council, National Co-Chair of the Residential Design Specialty Network, Chair of the Documents Task Force, and Chair of the Service Corporation Management Committee. Sarah received numerous chapter awards, including the Designer of Distinction Award in 1990, the Chapter Medalist Award in 1996, and the Design for Humanity Award in 1999. She was inducted into the ASID College of Fellows in 1997 and 2007, was awarded the Chapter’s first APEX Award, named in her honor, for “a lifetime of outstanding and significant contributions to the chapter, the Society and the profession of interior design.” Sarah was also active with the International Furnishings and Design Association (IFDA), serving as their National President and receiving the honor of Fellow.
Sarah worked tirelessly for the charities she held close to her heart. Tickets to the March of Dimes “Gourmet Gala” were hot commodities and designers eagerly sought to participate in the annual event. She was an Executive Committee Member of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and received the Margaret L. Hodges Leadership Award for her participation and fundraising efforts. Sarah was involved in the Special Olympics “Night of Trees” event for 8 years and participated in multiple National Symphony Show Houses in support of the NSO. While serving on the ASID National Board, Sarah was instrumental in the development of the ASID Foundation and brought her dedication and fundraising skills to support it.
In addition to all her volunteering, Sarah was a highly successful interior designer who never stopped learning. Her design education began at Wesleyan Conservatory in Macon, Georg,ia and continued at the School of Fine Arts there and then at The Abbott Art School in Washington DC. She also attended The George Washington University and American University, where she received a Graduate Degree in Business. “In real estate, they say the most important thing is location, location, location,” Sarah noted. “In my opinion, in our industry, the most important thing is education, education, education. We should never stop learning how to run our businesses more effectively and professionally.” She started her design career at Woodward and Lothrop and then as the Director of Interior Design and Visual Merchandising at W & J Sloane, where she mentored several of our members.
After leaving Sloane’s, Sarah opened her own business, Sarah Boyer Jenkins and Associates, specializing in residential design. Her creative talents drew many clients to her and would span family generations. Sarah’s influence on the Washington design community was profound and her work was printed in many design publications. She was honored as a Founding Member of the Washington Design Hall of Fame.
“Personally, I'll never forget Sarah for her friendship, her kindness, and her generous service to our entire community.” - Mary AD Petrino
“I remember her dedication and her indomitable energy and spirit as she championed so many charitable cause, while designing gracious home environments for her many clients.” - Joann Manzek
Sarah moved into Sunrise at Fox Hills in Bethesda in 2017. During this time, she was cared for by her longtime family friend Greg Des Roches. She was predeceased by her husband Jasper (Jack) K. Jenkins, her mother Ruby Lee Boyer, and her father Col. Charles M. Boyer. Information about Services will be forthcoming.
The Washington Metro ASID Chapter is sending a gift in Sarah’s name to the ASID Foundation, an organization that meant so much to her. In lieu of flowers please think of donating to the charities Sarah worked for so diligently.
I remember meeting Sarah in 1978 when I was an intern at Woodies during college. As I recall, she worked for Sloane's and was highly respected in the area. Subsequent to that, I would see her at ASID National Conferences when I lived in Florida. She was always delightful, gracious and a super advocate of upcoming young designers. When I moved to DC in 1986 and worked for Milo Hoots, I was able to have a closer relationship with her as she was a great friend of his. They coordinated many fundraisers and Chapter events over the years of which I participated. The greatest compliment I received a few years ago was from one of her previous clients who hired me (after she retired) because I reminded them so much of her. They admired my professionalism and competence. That was one of Sarah's biggest missions through ASID was to nurture our profession to be understood and highly respected. Thank you Sarah for being a mentor to so many of us!! Sydney Pettengill
Sarah was always there! Always a volunteer and organizer. Never operated from the sidelines. We gravitated toward each other when I joined the Washington Metro Chapter in 1983. She was a role model and mentor for my career, especially for volunteer efforts and interior design-related organizations. Sarah was a devoted wife to her beloved Jack - patient, considerate, compassionate, and loving. My fondest memories of Sarah were at the Mount Vernon campus gym for the ASID bazaar - where I was fortunate to purchase several items that she had used in some of her showhouses over the years; during legislative town hall meetings where she asked tough questions and demanded answers; during the awards programs when we wore formal attire; and the last time when Autism Speaks was the benefactor of the awards program, she was directing the show from her seat. Sarah Boyer Jenkins, FASID will be sorely missed. She will always represent fellowship in ASID, she wore it well. Vincent Carter
Tito Piccolo, ASID
It is very sad news that Sarah has left us. I, unfortunately, did not know Sarah Boyer Jenkins very well and only met her in her later years as part of ASID, and knew her most closely when I was President-Elect through her immediate Past-President in her work with The ASID Foundation.
When I think of Sarah what comes to mind is a gracious and dignified woman who was a tower of strength who kept on going no matter what. She was a fundraising powerhouse for the ASID Foundation, and a model spokesperson for ASID, and the Interior Design profession. Sarah was a strong advocate for our Chapter and face of Interior Design who was well known in the greater Design Community, evidenced by her amazing ability to easily open seemingly closed doors allowing us to move forward.
Sarah's attendance at Chapter events was remarkable. Her presence was that of a Rock Star whose legendary presence electrified the audience who recognized her greatness. Sarah will be greatly missed. Claire Tamburro, ASID