Interview with Kristin Drohan Who Love Classic Traditional Style

Kristin Drohan, one of America’s most versatile interior designers, offers complete design services,ranging from space planning and project management to kitchen and bath renovation and selection of fabrics and flooring. Also own a furniture line to elite clients throughout the country.

Enjoy her portfolio, as well as the enlightening answers and in the end, feel free to leave you opinions in the comments section below.

Tell us about the moment when you decided to follow a career in the field of interior design.

Getting involved in an interior design career was a happy accident. I spent over a decade in the corporate world as a dept store buyer and then later in sales and marketing management.  After I had children, I was looking for something different.  I had the opportunity to start a home decor business which eventually led to offering furniture along with the accessories.  With the success of those lines, customers starting asking where to put these items.  I had a business degree and did not have a formal interior design background I felt was necessary to be a credible design resource.  That is what prompted me to study interior design and eventually add those services to my business.

Did you have other options in mind at the time?

I prefer design choices that are rooted in history, so I look to museums as an obscure source of inspiration. 

Favorite thing about your job?

I love transforming rooms into functional, beautiful spaces.

What is your first design project?

My first paying client was a large home in the DC suburbs.  It had been newly constructed and was quite large. They hired me to do the first floor which included a study, formal living, formal dining, powder bath, family room and sun room.  It was a decent size first project.

What’s your favourite room to decorate?

I love doing entertainment spaces (bars, wine rooms, media etc).  Those spaces are all about fun and whats not to enjoy about that?  I also really like doing bedrooms.

What’s your current paint colour obsession?

I’ve always used Benjamin Moore Historic colors and they are still some of my favs but lately I have been getting familiar with Sherwin Williams Zero VOC paint.  I really like Camelback and Quietude.  Camelback, like the name indicates,  is the perfect cashmere camel color.  Quietude, is a grayish sea glass. It is a perfect color for kitchens, bedrooms or sun rooms.

What is the trend for bathroom/bedroom/kitchen and living room this year?

I could write a huge article on Kitchen trends alone, but some of the changes I appreciate most are cabinets that are being built to the ceiling and  specialty lighting.  We are no longer leaving space between the cabinet top and the ceiling to tempt homeowners in putting faux plants up there.  I also love the lighting options that are being thoughtfully incorporated into kitchen designs.  Stylish pendants, chandeliers and under cabinet lighting are improving function and illuminating the interesting counter tops and back splash options available today.  Those lighting trends continue into the bath.  Layers of lights, instead of one light over the mirror are now the standard.  Using recessed lights, chandeliers, pendants, and lighting on the sides of the mirror allows for a much more flattering reflection.  Who doesn’t want to look better when they gaze at themselves in the mirror?

Luxurious upholstered beds that offer cocooning comfort are becoming the standard in bedrooms.  The upholstery offers us a soft place to lean on when reading or watching TV (I know TV watching in the bedroom is controversy, but in the survey I did on my blog over half the people have a TV there) and  with all the gorgeous fabric choices today, the bed can really be a spectacular focal point.  I’m also seeing more reclaimed wood furniture. I’m loving this movement.  It is a testament to the interior design world being more responsible.

What’s exciting you in the design world right now?

The return to using USA made goods is what is exciting to me in the interior design world.  We have learned, especially with furniture, that the quality of US craftsmanship is superior to that of goods made outside of our country.  It is also more eco friendly since transportation is one of the biggest contributors to greenhouse gases. There are some things that have terroir, like New Zealand wool or Indian silk, but for the vast majority of items we use in our business, the best is located right here in our own backyard.

What do you consider to be the most iconic design piece of the past century?

I don’t know if this is the most iconic, but a Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Barcelona Couch is one of my favorites.  In fact, the Andrew Day Chaise from my furniture collection was loosely inspired by the Barcelona.  If you give more than a century,  I would have to say a Klismos chair.  The top selling piece in my line is the Kathryn Stool and it is a Klismos style.

What do you think is the easiest way to update a room?

The easiest way to update a room is to change the fixtures.  Nothing dates a room quicker than the light fixtures or hardware. Think shiny brass from the 1990s.  I just moved into a house that was built in 2002.  The first thing I noticed was the outdated lighting and ceiling fans.  Yes, even after a decade fixtures can be dated.

Anything new and exciting that you want to share with the Homedit readers?

I’m very excited to be launching a special retail line of the Kristin Drohan Collection that will be available on line in a couple months.  I have been putting together a program for consumers, where they will be able to pick sofas, sectionals, chairs, pillows, art, rugs and curtains that all are coordinated by color palette.  They will be able to purchase USA made furnishings that are eco friendly to create a sophisticated  professional look for their homes.{pics by Michael J Lee, Greg Premru and Bob Narod}.



Published by in Exclusive Interviews, on January 30th, 2012

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