Q: How long have you worked at Kibler & Kirch?
A: Seven years! Before that I was an independent interior designer. Originally I was working for a builder in Chicago where I would help homeowners make all the selections that go into their home and I would coordinate the building. I met several designers that would come in and furnish, bring rugs and art and turn this shell of a building into a home and I was really excited by that. To me that was a combination of practical building with art. That’s what inspired me to get my degree from the Art Institute of Chicago.
Q: What projects have you worked on in the last couple of years that stands out as a place your work really got to shine?
A: One of my favorite jobs was working on the contemporary ranch house. Our client was so incredible. Her space was part of the landscape and really incorporated her history and her future. I appreciated that it wasn’t a super-sized house. It was very focused on comfort and view, family and friends. There was a pureness in the architecture. It was on the modern side but blended with the area. I really enjoyed that project.
Q: Is there a particular part of the house you enjoyed designing?
A: I’d have to say the kitchen. The big open glass shelves and the big windows. We did a huge island that really stood alone. We used the best appliances and focused on the easiest way to cook—creating an open flow.
Q: Do you have a certain area of expertise?
A: I also really love the construction process, pulling together people’s talents. I’m very comfortable with a toolbelt on. The human aspect of bringing it all together is really exciting, literally creating a space. I love a multi-function area. In residential, often the kitchen, dining, living area is all one area that works together and needs design help to designate a separate yet have a cohesive feel.
Outdoor spaces also really speak to me. My heart is with nature. I like turning that into a place people want to be in—hangout with the trees—and how that changes the way people feel. I just moved to a Victorian house on Rock Creek and being by the water changes how I feel.
Q: What have you learned about yourself as a designer as you are decorating your new house?
A: I incorporate a lot of my past. There is always a historical element. I want things that are real and have a story. I have a rocking chair that was my grandma’s and she rocked all of us babies in it. I just reupholstered the cushions in a Ralph Lauren floral. I love it. I’ve also noticed I gravitate towards red for myself. It’s a cozy color. It’s very edible and I use it a lot in my kitchen/dining/living combo area. I’ve really been enjoying the stained-glass in my new house. It adds a pop of color.
Q: Where do you find inspiration?
A: I do like Dwell magazine. While there more streamlined look may not be my personal style, I went to a conference they held in Los Angeles and had an amazing experience. I’m really drawn to the clean efficiency they tend to showcase. The conference had a large element of eco-friendly design. How to build with less waste and that really excited me. A lot of great lectures there and I learned some cool stuff!
Q: What’s changed in mountain decorating since you started your design career?
A: I certainly did more of the “moose and spruce” look when I started in the West. That has evolved into a more sophisticated interpretation of western, and a more personalized, eclectic look.