When we’re scaling through Pinterest or browsing vintage markets, something special happens. We self-identify with the items we’re looking at to build the heart of the home. We find an emotional, tangible connection with items. Perhaps it’s a pillow decorated with peacock feathers or a velvet golden couch. Maybe it’s an open concept bedroom with a modern feel and softened pink accents. Design is all about what touches our hearts. We decorate with a personal twist, even if we don’t notice we’re doing so.
“I am passionate about home design because it is a reflection of who we are as people. It’s important to create a home that is in partnership with our lifestyles. A space that we feel happy and content in,” she told Project Remodel in a recent interview about her personal style. We were lucky enough to ask her a few questions about the personalization of home and how design functions and fits in her every day life.
Dig into the interview below.
Tell us a little about yourself! We know you’re a designer for We Three Design (we’d love to hear about that) and a design blogger for your personal brand, Simply Grove. Tell us about the moment you decided to be a designer; what determined your true passion for design?
Kirsten: I have always loved design! When I was just eight-years-old, I was redecorating my bedroom over and over again. I’m a one trick pony and design is my trick. I got married early in life, so I went straight to work for builders in my city. Since I was self taught, I’ve had to work extra hard to prove myself. And because design my passion, I LOVE working hard. I’ve been designing and decorating for 13 years. I started my blog, Simply Grove, almost 11 years ago. It was on a whim and I am so glad that I stepped out and did it. Simply Grove has opened up a lot of doors for me. After I started my blog, I was designing independently until recently. This past January I started a full service design firm with two of my closest designer friends, Nicole Powell and Sam Salinas. The three of us make up We Three Design. I love working with them. Their strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. Their resumes are STACKED. I’m proud to work side by side.
You are based in Boise, Idaho. Do you see anything different in design between the west coast and the east coast? What do you love about both?
Kirsten: Oh yes! The west coast feels very easy breezy, while the east coast feels a bit more hip and fancy. I love both coasts! When we get a project towards the east coast, it becomes an opportunity to create something a little more refined. In the west, we have fun and can really think outside of the box.
We’ve been dying to chat about your home. It’s such a beautiful space. If you HAD to pick, what would be your favorite room and why?
Kirsten: A little backstory about the house: I saw the house before my husband did and he actually let me put in an offer before he saw it! What a good hubby. The room that sealed the deal for me was the back living room, which we lovingly call the “man cave.” It’s wrapped in teak wood with layers of shingles. It’s quirky and fun. It’s the only room that we didn’t do any renovation to, except for painting the wet bar cabinets. I’m also a huge fan of my patio. It has a small bar area that’s also original to the house. It’s perfect for entertaining.
In the photo below, you will see our family room. We also have a very large family room and I hadn’t found a chandelier that felt big enough to fill the space. To determine the right chandelier size, you add the dimensions of the room together in feet and then convert the answer to inches. The answer in inches should equal the diameter of the fixture. So if your room measures 10′ x 14′ the diameter of the fixture should be at least 24″. Saying all of that, my new Counterbalance chandelier from Blueprint_Lighting fits like a glove and feels like a total dream. The scale is spot on and the design is classic and will stay classic for years to come.
Speaking of home, we know you recently remodeled your kitchen. Tell us more!
Kirsten: It feels like our kitchen has gotten a few remodels, and I still have things I want to do. It’s the never ending project! The first remodel included removing all of the upper cabinets, painting the existing cabinets, new hardware from Amazon, new appliances from KitchenAid and new soapstone counters from Polycor. My husband also built a fantastic wall pantry. The second remodel included backsplash tile from Fireclay, sconces from Triple Seven and a ceiling flush hood vent from Zephyr. Because my kitchen is a long, narrow kitchen, it was important to me to not have any upper cabinets so that the space feels more open spacious. I love how it’s turning out!
Where does your home design inspiration come from?
Kirsten: My number one influence is traveling. When we leave our own four walls to experience a big, wonderful world, our design preferences can change and grow. Anytime I’m in Europe, I immediately feel so inspired by colors and textures. And then there’s Australia. How can you not be inspired by their design!?
Tell us about one of your favorite projects! What was your biggest challenge and why?
Kirsten: We recently designed a jewelry store, which was an absolute blast! We had to work with the right lighting, the right mood and the right layout. It was a really cool project to see come into fruition.
What and/or who are some of your design inspirations?
Kirsten: I look up to many designers, but recently I have discovered Paris designer, Charlotte Fequet and I’m obsessed. I love how she uses colors and textures to her advantage.
If you could describe your “personal touch” or why you stand out among designers, what would that be?
Kirsten: Off the top of my head, I feel like I bring a very clean aesthetic to the design world. Even while working with aesthetics that can come off full and fancy, I always come back to simple. I appreciate ALL design styles, which I think is important as an interior decorator. But at the end of the day a good designer is recognizable.
If you had to describe your design style in three words, what would they be?
Kirsten: Clean. All embracing. Approachable.
A fun last question. If you had all the money and resources you needed, what would you design/create?
Kirsten: A boutique hotel. Please call me if you have one!