Q&A with DE­SIGNER KEN­DALL WILKIN­SON

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Ken­dall Wilkin­son fo­cuses her clas­si­cally trained eye (and her mom ex­pe­ri­ence) on com­bin­ing new, vintage, and un­ex­pected el­e­ments to build in­te­ri­ors that are fash­ion-for­ward but time­less.

Q: What is your ap­proach when de­sign­ing for a fam­ily?

A: It is strate­gic and col­lab­o­ra­tive. I gather a lot of in­for­ma­tion from my clients about their de­sign aes­thetic and life­styles be­fore I cre­ate a de­sign plan. Hav­ing two boys of my own is re­ally help­ful—I look back at what worked for us at dif­fer­ent stages of their lives. I think about how kids use fur­ni­ture, where they like to eat, etc.

Q: What are your go-to el­e­ments for cre­at­ing time­less in­te­ri­ors that suit all ages?

A: I use in­door-out­door fab­rics be­cause they look good, are durable, and have a nice hand. I opt for satin paint fin­ishes be­cause they’re easy to clean. I love to de­sign game rooms that re­volve around a fam­ily’s hob­bies and that bring fam­i­lies to­gether no mat­ter their ages. Lately, we’ve been hook­ing up old­time video gam­ing sys­tems that par­ents re­mem­ber and kids love. Q: How do you turn up drama and glam­our in fam­ily-friendly in­te­ri­ors?

A: That’s where bold col­ors and pat­terns come in. Wall­pa­pers and spe­cial one-of-a-kind pieces add in­ter­est to modern spa­ces. Lucite fur­ni­ture, mir­rors, and chan­de­liers bring in shine. I layer things like wool, leather, fur, and sparkle to cre­ate a tex­tu­ral mix. Art is im­por­tant, too; it’s what makes a house feel like a home.

Q: What is your best ad­vice for dec­o­rat­ing a home where kids abide?

A: Don’t start with too much fur­ni­ture. Kids need to have room to move about. Watch how they use the space and how you live in the home. You’ll find that you live dif­fer­ently than you thought you would. I work with clients year af­ter year to layer in new things that work with their fam­i­lies’ chang­ing life­styles.

Q: De­scribe your de­sign phi­los­o­phy.

A: I want peo­ple to come into a room and first see it as a fluid whole, and then look at the fab­u­lous pieces that make it beau­ti­ful.

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