When did you first become interested in design?

Lauren: I’ve always been interested in design. I’m one of those stereotypical designers who was regularly rearranging my room at a young age, but always drawing a floor plan on graph paper first to make sure the layout would work. As a kid I was also fascinated by the floor plans included with the home stories in my mom’s Better Homes & Gardens magazines.

You describe your firm’s design style as balancing function and aesthetics; how does this effect your design process and philosophy?

A finished design is only successful when function and aesthetics are in balance. It’s one of the things we focus on most while designing for our clients, and our process involves a lot of give and take to make this happen. For example, if a space looks amazing, but doesn’t flow well or lacks the storage that it needs to be comfortably lived in, then it’s not a successful design. Likewise, the opposite is true when a design puts too much emphasis on how the space will be used, and the aesthetic value gets lost.

Can you tell us what is integral when collaborating on your designs?

The most important collaboration is the relationship we form with the contractor when we design for a construction project. When we’re all on the same team and have open communication, the project goes so smoothly. We love being involved in the process during the home build too, and meeting on site periodically with the contractor and homeowner so we’re all in the loop. This helps immensely when we’re verifying details as they go in, and allows us to suggest alternate solutions when unexpected challenges come up.

Outside of design, what are you currently interested in and how is it influencing your thinking?

Lauren: I love cooking, gardening and reading while I’m at home. For me, it’s important to put my focus elsewhere and calm my brain, which allows me to recharge.

Kelly: Spending time with family. My husband and I recently welcomed our first child in 2022 and he inspires in new ways every day. I’ve always kept functionality and durability in mind, but having a little one at home brings that to a whole new level!

Favorite part of the design process?

Space planning, whether it’s reconfiguring a home’s floor plan in a construction project or for a furniture layout. It’s kind of like a puzzle and is really satisfying when you get it right.

In your opinion, what is the most fundamental element of interior design?

For us, it’s ensuring that the design of the interior blends seamlessly with the architecture, whether it’s a remodel, new build, or even just furniture. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to be historically accurate for older homes or that we can’t have some fun integrating unique elements. Making sure that we respect the architecture and avoid including anything that’s visually conflicting goes a long way.

Latest design discovery?

Finishes that patina over time – marble, unlacquered metal, etc. They add such a distinct layer to a home’s character.

Favorite detail of your childhood home?

Kelly: I grew up in a farmhouse that’s been in our family since the early 1900’s. We had a dumbwaiter that went from the kitchen on the main floor to the basement cook’s kitchen where they would feed the farm workers. It was such a unique feature and still to this day I get excited when I see one in an older home. The best part about our dumbwaiter was that inside the door was written a shopping list from many decades ago, “6 dozen eggs, 5 lbs flour, 2 lbs sugar, bacon and milk”, as well as an old recipe for doughnuts!

For more information visit: www.kandlinteriors.com