Q&A with DESIGNER KIM STEPHEN
Designer Kim Stephen is best known for her artful combinations of juxtaposed textures, unexpected color against neutrals, and old and new accessories.
Q: What characteristics do you strive to embody in your designs?
A: My design style balances vibrant energy with relaxed livability— it’s an aesthetic that is both playful and elegant. I aim to create spaces that are sophisticated as well as easy to live in. My mother has worked in the interior fabrics business since I was very young, so I grew up around color and texture. Fabrics are now the most exciting part of a project for me.
Q: How is designing a second home different from designing a primary residence?
A: Second homes are used differently, so the practicalities required in a primary residence can often fall away. In place comes the need—for example, in a beach home—for great entertaining spaces, outdoor showers, zones for different generations within the family to entertain their own friends. It’s a lot more fun, but it’s vital to understand how the family uses the home and likes to relax in order to pull it off effectively.
Q: If you could have a second home anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: I would love a home set amongst the vineyards at Pampelonne just near Saint-Tropez in the South of France.
The sparkling blue Mediterranean Sea and a long stretch of beach are just a minute’s walk away; the vibrant and jawdroppingly beautiful town of Saint-Tropez is just around the corner with fabulous shopping and restaurants. And yet when you are tucked away in the vineyards of Pampelonne, you could be deep in rural France without another person in sight.
Q: What style would you use to decorate it?
A: It would be pared back and low-key with terra-cotta floors—a nod to traditional Provençal style—large white linen sofas, a few pastel colors to complement the light in the area, impactful art, and zero clutter. Despite the fact that I am a big fan of interior accessories, in this environment, I feel that less is best.