Interior designer Kelly Brown made two big moves a few years ago – she left Los Angeles for Richmond, Virginia and left her job to work for herself. 12 months later she says those were two of the best decisions she’s ever made. Here Kelly shares her story and her beautifully designed home office. Look out for more on home office design from Kelly next week.
How long have you worked from home? And where is home? I established Kelly Brown Interiors in Richmond, VA a little over a year ago with the intention of working from home. It’s hard to believe my office has come this far within just a year! Prior to moving to Richmond, VA I was living in Los Angeles working for a high-end residential designer. After moving to Richmond, I decided to take my BFA of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree plus 8 years of professional design practice and branch out on my own. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Describe your style? It’s a mix of modern and traditional, high and low. I never want a client walking into a room I’ve designed and define it as a particular decade or time period.
As an interior designer with multiple clients how do you keep your office organized? There are 4 things that keep me organized at all times.
1) I swear by these clear plastic see-through string envelopes. Every project I start immediately gets one of these with a label identifying the job. I keep fabric memos, finish samples, paint swatches and tearsheets of furniture selections in them. They’re within arms reach on my desk and when I need to leave the office I can quickly grab the project envelopes I need for the day, whether I’m headed to the client’s house or the design center.
2) My iPhone. Need I say more!
3) The MoblieMe “Cloud”.
4) And even with all of the clever gadgets and great software out there I still covet my…Franklin Covey Planner. I never leave my office without it.
Is there any piece of home office furniture you covet? And what is a desk accessory you can’t do without? Hands down, the furniture piece I covet most is my Humanscale Liberty Chair. And it’s not technically a desk accessory but, I reach for it everyday and without it I can’t do my job. It’s my trusty Stanley MaxSteel 25′ Tape Measure.
What would you change about your own workspace? More storage! Sometimes the physical constraints of a room limit how much storage you can get out of a particular space. As my interior design business grows, so does my vendor library of catalogs, binders and fabric samples (they eat up lots of space!). I have room to expand for about another year. After that I’m going to need to start looking for a commercial office space! That’s my next business goal.
What do you most love about your space? The paint color (Mythic Paint‘s Heather Heights #197-2), the incredible southern sunlight that bathes the room just so and beyond that the view of a 100 year old gumball tree out my 2nd story window.
What inspires you? It’s always changing with the little nuances of everyday life but if I had to narrow it down to right now: Dwell Magazine, (the now defunct) Domino Magazine (I have every single issue, stored safely in the orange magazine holders – within arms reach), 1stdibs.com, lonnymag.com, Kelly Wearstler and Darryl Carter (Both for very different reasons: the first for her daring use of color and the latter for his restrained use of color). The city of Richmond and all the creative energy it harbors inspires me on a daily basis. It’s the juxtaposition of young and old – hipster, slightly disheveled college students set against a backdrop of the disciplined vernacular of turn-of-the-century buildings. That always gets me. And right now, this very minute – the changing of the seasons. The bursts of intense yellow and vibrant magenta. The buds of lime green swaying in the wind and creamy white petals scattered on the ground.