I find there is much to learn about design and business from other interior designers who are out there doing the work, with clients, every day. We share a ton of info in private facebook groups and learn from each other all the time. I've gotten to know so many great designers this way, all across the world wide web.
I'd like to start featuring them occasionally here on my blog because I think you, my design loving readers, can learn a lot from them too. :-)
Cheryl Kees Clendenon, a Florida based designer, designs lots of kitchens and baths, most recently a brilliant, garden-inspired kitchen in collaboration with Kohler, Cosentino, and Benjamin Moore.
Cheryl shares some of the most requested items she comes across these days in designing kitchens and baths, how she starts a project, and much more, below.
I asked her a few questions and then she sent some gorgeous photos of her lovely work for me to share here, that I'm sure you will love.
Designer Spotlight - Cheryl Kees Clendenon
Do you have a particular style or aesthetic that permeates your work or maybe draws clients to you and your business?
I would say we have a more casual aesthetic. We do not typically do very traditional work or heavily ornate. Casually elegant or classically modern. Sort of an "Elle Decor goes coastal" look! Most of our clients are busy professionals. They want the level of service we provide and are big "trust" oriented people usually. They need to trust us- they simply are too busy to handle the minutiae.
Do you have one signature design element or feature that you like to bring to each project you take on?
We do a lot of saturated color. Bold graphics and mix a lot of patterns. Huge fan of wallcoverings...I predict in the future it will not be a question of sheetrock but more of what type of wall covering do you want on your walls! It might be wood, or a hand woven sari silk and wood mix, a more classic wallpaper...so many ideas!!
Does your location in Florida dictate much of the style that you work in? What "starts the design" on any of your projects.
I guess sometimes it does. The last job we had out of state in NJ was a client who specifically wanted someone out of New Jersey and had a new coastal vision. That was pretty cool! And for any project we began once the contract is signed...the question is what will be the flooring...I believe in working from the ground up.
You do a lot of kitchens and baths, what are a few of the top features people seem to be requesting for new kitchens and then in bathrooms?
Kitchens: Open floor plans, targeted storage (my term- meaning a place for everything and everything has a place!), double ovens still huge, LOTS of light, less closed storage. Visual texture.
We are doing a lot of cool baths with steam showers, saunas, work out areas, statement tubs...I think people are finally embracing the "Me Suite" and why not? You begin and end your day in the bath and it should be everything you want it to be.
You recently did a fantastic kitchen design with Kohler and used lots of unique features and beautiful products that I'll be linking to here. What was one of your favorites?
That is tough question...such an awesome project. I was so fortunate Silestone asked me to be one of their trendspotters in 2015. Once in a lifetime opportunity! I think the greenhouse ceiling was my favorite design feature...something that would be tough to do in my hurricane prone area so got to dream a bit!
The overall concept was to be a family-centric kitchen with multiple seating heights, large aisleways, easy to navigate. I wanted it to be classic and not too contrived or "overly designed"....and of course it showcased some of my fave sinks and faucetry as well as the Silestone eternal collection. Benjamin Moore was also part of this collaboration and we used multiple colors in the design. Stormy Monday on the base cabinets, cloud cover on the uppers and brick, sea life on the prep area ceiling and mysterious on the island.
Here's the link to this kitchen >> Garden's Edge Kitchen
Do you offer design services outside of your local area?
Absolutely. I would say 60% of our projects lately have been not in our area. I am now at the point with both of my kids working or in grad school that I can travel easier and I enjoy it. We have honed our processes too in order to streamline the experience and make it fairly easy to do. The last project out of state, we warehoused all of the items, then brought them to the job..including custom cabinetry I had built here. It worked out great and we now have more work from the same client.
Any great projects or collaborations coming up that you'd like to share?
Our team stays busy and we have about 15 projects going on now...starting or ending or in the middle and truly love them all but we are working on a fun mid century house remodel on the bayou with a large bath remodel as well as the rest of the house. Client is a dream and she loves all the fabulous wall coverings as much as I do.
I was also selected to be a Highpoint Market design blogger along with Esteemed Media for this Fall's market and I am looking forward to this!
Are YOU a designer who would like to be featured here on my blog?
Email me here. I'd love to see your work.