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Interior Design that Fits Your Lifestyle: An Interview with Kent Curtis Weakley of KentCurtis Design Studio

By Kent Curtis Weakley

Please tell us a little bit about your company and the services you offer.

KentCurtis Design Studio is a full-service residential interior design firm. Our focus is to help you recognize yourself at home. We provide turnkey services, from initial sketches through furniture placement and art installation. We offer strategic design planning and phasing. We assist in the creation of realistic and attainable budgets. We create a rational timeline and advocate with all parties in maintaining and ensuring that deadlines are met. We assist in the acquisition and placement of fine furnishings, antiques, and artworks. We offer pre-sale arrangements of home furnishings. We work closely with the aging-in-place community of design professionals.

Can you briefly talk about the importance of matching the way your home is decorated with your lifestyle and personality?

There's quite a distinction between designing an interior space and decorating it. Design is a holistic process of evaluating needs, determining goals, creating and designing solutions. Then and only then can one decorate the surfaces. We approach design first by assessing the natural programmatic needs of the client and the space. How do you wish to live? Do you entertain? Large dinner parties? Frequent guests for overnight or longer? Do you have or need a home office? In which space(s) do you currently spend most of your time and why? How do you feel in that space? How do you wish to feel in that space?

We assess traffic flow through space and how the sequence of spaces function, and how they might function better. We analyze the space and create a methodology for better usage and flow. Do you need more storage? Do you have specific heirloom or legacy furnishings or artworks that you'd like to better showcase? Do you need or want to downsize or declutter? Only after a thorough inventory and analysis of needs and wants can we begin to design a space where you'll recognize yourself at home.

What's the first step you would take to create this type of interior design?

We ask a lot of questions and listen very intently.

What are the most important aspects of personal taste and lifestyle that should be factored into interior design?

Personal taste is such a tricky and fickle thing. Taste changes over time. What is trendy and popular today may be tomorrow's fish wrap. When someone asks for an industrial look we ask what does that mean? Are there colors, textures or forms that remind you of industrial? Is this something you saw in a slick magazine? Defining a personal lifestyle is key to realizing your personal space, which is why developing a personal relationship with each and every client is so important. We want to know how you currently live and how you might like to change that. These questions (and many more) begin the process of evaluating what may and what may not work.

Is there anything that people don't normally consider when it comes to redecorating their house that they should consider?

There are two major considerations that continue to stymie clients. Budget overruns and the inherent disruption in changing a space. Cost is such a large part for so many of us that getting the numbers right the first time is critical. Crystal clear communication upfront and throughout a project can make the relationships and the process joyful. Last minute changes cost more - lots more - so let's make the design decisions up front, lock in costs as best we can, and stick to a plan of action. This means that early design development may take longer than expected. The end results are always better.

Second. We remind (and often encourage) clients that moving out is always an option. No kitchen? No bathroom(s) for weeks at a time is hugely disruptive and annoying. Dust and construction mess? Do you really want to live through that? The realities of a renovation can be sobering. Communication upfront and throughout is key.

What advice do you have for a household where the members have tastes and lifestyles that aren't necessarily the same?

We often ask couples to make separate design scrapbooks or folders of clippings and ideas they love: colors, furnishings, qualities of light, fabrics, pictures of spaces. Then we sit down at a big table and compare. This can be challenging. When everyone feels like they're being heard, then establishing compromise and creating a beautiful space can be fun! The results are often better than what either party expected.

What's the best way for people to contact your company?

Call (575) 770-0809 for a free half hour of design conversation. Visit our social media and watch what we're seeing and talking about.

LinkedIn: kcweakley
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