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GETTING HELP DECORATING YOUR KITCHEN: AN INTERVIEW WITH SHAREN KIRKSEY, REGISTERED INTERIOR DESIGNER

By Sharen Kirksey

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

I HAVE A DEGREE IN INTERIOR DESIGN FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, AND PARSONS SCHOOL OF DESIGN IN NEW YORK CITY. I WORKED FOR ETHAN ALLEN FOR MANY YEARS AS ONE OF THEIR TOP DESIGNERS. I WAS INDUCTED INTO THEIR FIRST HALL OF FAME, AND THEIR FIRST CIRCLE OF EXCELLENCE HALL OF FAME. I AM A REGISTERED INTERIOR DESIGNER WITH THE STATE OF TEXAS.

I STARTED MY OWN INTERIOR DESIGN FIRM WITH MY HUSBAND, A RETIRED C.P.A., IN 2013. WE SPECIALIZE IN ALL ASPECTS OF THE INTERIOR DESIGN PROCESS, FROM THE CONCEPT OF THE PROJECT THOUGH THE SPACE PLANNING, TO PLACING THE LAST ACCESSORY. THIS INVOLVES DRAWING FLOOR PLANS, CHOOSING ITEMS FOR THE SPACE, COLOR SELECTIONS, LIGHTING, WINDOW TREATMENTS, FLOORCOVERING, AND ACCESSORIES TO BEST SUIT THE NEEDS OF THE CLIENT.

What is a common misconception that people have about interior design?

THE POTENTIAL CLIENT MIGHT THINK HIRING A DESIGNER IS COST PROHIBITIVE, BUT IN REALITY, THE DESIGNER CAN SAVE THE CLIENT SO MUCH TIME AND SO MUCH MONEY. A DESIGNER CAN MAKE THE PROJECT EASY AND FUN WHILE WE ARE WORKING ON THE PROJECT, AND ESPECIALLY LATER, WHEN THE PROJECT IS COMPLETED.

How should someone who wants professional help decorating their kitchen start the process?

EACH PROJECT IS DIFFERENT, SO EACH PROCESS WOULD ALSO BE DIFFERENT. IF I WERE WORKING ON A KITCHEN PROJECT, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE EXISTING SPACE TO GET A FEEL FOR HOW THE CLIENT FUNCTIONS, AND VISIT WITH THE CLIENT ABOUT ANY SPECIFIC NEEDS. I ASK FOR IDEAS THE CLIENT MIGHT WANT TO INCORPORATE, AND WHAT THEY HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH. I ALSO ASK ABOUT A BUDGET. I THEN PRESENT WHAT I FEEL BEST FITS THE NEEDS OF THE CLIENT. IT WORKS EASILY FOR ME.

What are the basic elements of a complete Kitchen design?

THE ELEMENTS OF ANY DESIGN ARE: SPACE, SHAPE OR FORM, MASS, LINE, TEXTURE, PATTERN, LIGHT, AND OF COURSE, COLOR. EACH OF THESE ELEMENTS PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE OVERALL SUCCESS OF A DESIGN. THEY MAKE THE KITCHEN UNIQUE TO THAT PARTICULAR CLIENT.

How are the interior design fee and budget typically set?

THESE FEES AND BUDGETS ARE SET AFTER A CONSULTATION WITH THE CLIENTS. THE FEES ARE SET DEPENDING ON THE SCOPE OF THE WORK. A BUDGET IS ALSO NECESSARY SO WE WILL BE ABLE TO SPECIFY THE CORRECT ITEMS FOR THE PROJECT.

What is one of the most common regrets homeowners have when it comes to interior design choices?

I AM NOT SURE I UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION, BUT I DO NOT HAVE ANY CLIENTS WHO HAVE REGRETS WITH THEIR PROJECT. IF WE ENCOUNTERED ANY ROAD BLOCK, WE OVERCAME THE ROADBLOCK ON A POSITIVE NOTE. OUR CLIENTS REALIZE WE SAVED THEM TIME AND MONEY, AND HAD FUN IN THE WHOLE DESIGN PROJECT.

What is the best way for people to reach you and your company?

POTENTIAL CLIENTS CAN CONTACT ME IN SEVERAL WAYS, MY WEB SITE, CELL, TEXT, EMAIL, FACEBOOK, HOUZZ, AND LINKEDIN.

www.designsbysharen.com

409-838-8958 Cell

sharenkirksey@gmail.com

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