Describe yourself in a 5 words. Driven, sassy, focused, attentive, enthusiastic.
What inspires you? Seeing people who are good at what they do; world class cities, like New York City, Paris and San Francisco. However, a wonderfully presented meal with a glass of wine works too!
I'm good at...bringing a team or project together.
I’m bad at...being patient.
What are the highlights of your career thus far? Walking into the Barnes & Noble in Chicago and seeing my book, Home Decor: A Sunset Design Guide, being read by a store patron.
What are your goals for the next 5 years? I would like to continue to write interior design books for homeowners and students, publish my cookbook and writings on Spanish Revival design and establish our Kerrie Kelly Design Lab product lines.
What do you enjoy most about working in the interior design industry? I love the creative ideas we gain by collaborating with our vendors, clients and other designers.
How did you develop the concept for Kerrie Kelly Design Lab? I wanted a space where our design team could create effective spaces for our clients. Our sample library, meeting space and communal table allows our team to provide an interactive design experience.
What has been the most exciting collaboration you've worked on so far? I have loved my collaboration with Pearson Education as it has allowed me to meet with design industry icons such as Michael Graves, Eddie Ross, the Eames family, Barbara Sallick and others.
How long have you been working in design and what is your creative background and training? Since I was allowed to design my childhood bedroom! Once I graduated from California Polytechnic University-San Luis Obispo, I enjoyed visual merchandising for Nordstrom and then spent several years as a Buyer and Designer for Ralph Lauren Home Collection. In 1999, I worked as Director of Design and Merchandising for Del Webb Corporation until I officially opened the Kerrie Kelly Design Lab.
Can you explain how Kerrie Kelly Design Lab was started and what your role as Principal entails? The Kerrie Kelly Design Lab started because clients needed additional design assistance beyond Ralph Lauren and Del Webb. Initially, I helped clients with finishes, color and lighting selections after hours. This ultimately turned into an endeavor that needed much more attention. Therefore, I decided to open the Kerrie Kelly Design Lab full-time. My role as a Principal at the firm entails motivating and managing my design team and vendor partners so we can deliver on the vision of our clients.
Are there any areas that are particularly difficult or challenging? Not enough hours in the day for all the design we want to do! But seriously, the design business requires several balls in the air to be successful. Managing social media, marketing, accounting, designers and clients always keeps us on our toes.
What do you believe sets you and your company apart from your competitors design firms? The moment clients are introduced to our team, they can feel the energy and verve we have for good design and its process. This paired with our strong vendor relationships, continuous product knowledge, accessibility and attention to detail helps set us apart from the others.
Beyond the clients brief, what are the main inspirations and intentions behind your design style? Authenticity.
What are you working on at the moment? Our team currently has 30+ residential and commercial projects we are working on while partnering with HGTV on a television project. We are also preparing to launch my new book, My Interior Design Kit with Pearson Education in January 2012.
Do you have any words of wisdom that you would like to pass on? Leap and the net will appear.
What is the best piece of advice you have been given? "You do you.”
What do you feel are the most important trends / changes happening in the industry that you feel designers should be aware of? Gone are the days where we specify interiors based on a magazine spread. Today, we must be capable of pulling client heirlooms out of the attics and find ways to repurpose them while feathering them in with new designs and furnishings.
What is your most treasured procession? My grandma’s necklace—always brings me luck.
What is your must-have item for next season? Something in Pantone’s Tangerine Tango, of course!
Who’s your favourite Style Icon? Ralph Lauren
Most inspirational person you have met? Jeanette Locker, my college interior design professor.
Your favourite location? SoHo, New York
In a nutshell, your philosophy is...Everyone Deserves Great Design.