Today I am excited to share Coffee With Kriste Michelini. Kriste was just recently named one of 2014′s top ten “New Trads” by Traditional Home! You can bet you will be seeing more of her work in the glossy magazines! Kriste’s designs are traditional and sophisticated with a modern edge.
I am sure you have seen this photo all over Pinterest, it was from the 2012 Marin Decorators Showcase House.
ACI: When did you know that Interior Design was your passion?
KM: I have always known that I loved houses when I was a young girl. My parents would buy a house, fix it, decorate it and then we would move to the next one. They loved it. I think it definitely had an influence on me. When I started remodeling my own homes it was at that point that I thought to myself that I should really pursue this as a career. It is all consuming and I love the process even though it can be quite stressful.
ACI: Where do you find your inspiration?
KM: I really find inspiration every day. It can be in my own backyard, a color combination that I see in an outfit, gardening and of course when I travel.
ACI: What is your favorite book/magazine on design? How about your favorite site?
KM: Some of my favorites books are David Hicks, Slim Aarons, Peter Beard, Vicente Wolfe, and Marlene Birger. Magazines would be Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Veranda, C Magazine and Domino. I enjoy online magazines such as Rue, Lonny and Matchbook. In terms of blogs I love Remodelista. It aligns with my aesthetic and it is well curated.
ACI: What is the most frustrating aspect of your job as a designer? And the most rewarding one?
KM: Because of HGTV, there is a misconception with consumers on how fast a room can be built and put together. It takes a village to build a room and typically 4-6 months once the design is approved because of the lead times. I think our clients are often surprised by this information.
I love installation days, they are like Christmas morning to us. There is nothing better than when our clients walk into their completed rooms and watching their reaction. It is very emotional. We treasure these days because they are so rewarding. It is seeing the design come to fruition and then our client is ready to create memories in these rooms.
ACI: What decorating techniques/ideas/projects would you recommend to a homeowner who wants a quick update to their space?
KM: I would definitely say painting a space can have the biggest impact. Make sure the space plan of the room has the best furniture layout so the room functions effortlessly. Updating lighting. Lighting is the jewelry of a room and it can make a huge impact. Lastly invest in great art. It can elevate a room from ordinary to extraordinary.
ACI: What’s something you should never skimp on when decorating your home?
KM: Invest in hard finishes. What I mean by that is invest in quality hardwood floors, cabinetry, hardware, molding, tile, countertops, doors and windows. You need to get the shell of your house correct and cleaned up and then it makes the decorative phase that much easier to execute when you have architectural integrity to your home.
ACI: What’s your favorite color combination lately?
KM: I would say grey with purple or grey with citron. We have recently completed two living rooms, one in each of those color combinations and they were sophisticated, fresh and modern.
ACI: What is your most cherished possession?
KM: My family, of course.
ACI: What would your dream project be?
KM: I would love to design a hotel/spa. I think that would be great fun.
Thank you Kriste for joining us today, and I could not agree more that installation days feel like Christmas! Best part of the job!
Have a great weekend everyone!!