Meet Kristen with Ideaspark Interiors
A few months ago I hung out at Kristen's house to take photos inside her beautiful home in North Portland. A glimpse of her interior decoration skills. I've known her almost the entire time i've owned my shop (my very first memory is of her and her husband walking in to the store with 6-7 BOXES of amazing clothing). As i processed her items for consignment I realized that this woman has style. Any time i've done something new she's supported me with advice or bringing in clothing. In the last 5 years she has transitioned into interior designing from a long career in PR work and and helped open 2 very successful Portland based restaurants. Tabor Tavern in SE first then Swift & Union last year in Kenton. Since she started interior design she has helped me with my space and recently she helped a dear customer of the shop. That customer will not stop talking about how she loved what Kristen did with her space and how it made being in her space so much more enjoyable!
I asked her some questions:
WHY INTERIOR DESIGN NOW?
In today’s world, home decor trends are ever-changing and occurring at a breakneck speed. As a designer, it’s difficult to keep up and it’s even more so as a consumer. I find it’s hard to stay true to your personal style when all of the home magazines are telling us what we own is “so yesterday.” Hiring an expert is great way to minimize the noise; he or she can identify which trends are likely to pass and those that are tried and true. This can not only help you feel happier with your home, but significantly reduce the amount you spend chasing after the latest trends.
WHAT DO I WANT POTENTIAL CLIENTS TO KNOW?
Hiring a designer should neither be intimidating nor make you feel incompetent. To me, bringing in a designer is akin to hiring a great hairdresser. You could cut and color your own hair, but in all likelihood, the result will not be as good. Like a hair stylist, my goal is not to judge a client, but to assess what he or she has to work with and then recommend ways to make their space both functional and fabulous.
MY IDEAL CLIENT
My ideal client is open-minded and willing to get a little vulnerable. I feel a huge amount of responsibility when I am invited in to a person’s home. This can be a very difficult process for some people because I do dole out a bit of tough love (i.e. do you really love that Hope chest from high school). Those who are willing to dig deep and take a few chances are the ones that will glean the greatest results.
WHERE DID I STUDY
I have my undergraduate from University of Oregon. I practiced public relations for 20 years before deciding I needed to follow my dream of interior design. I studied that at Heritage School of Interior Design here in Portland. It’s an amazing, accelerated curriculum that I can’t recommend highly enough.
BEST HOME FURNITURE SCORE
There have been so many, but my latest would be these gigantic wooden hands I found at Kenton Antiques. They are both weird and wonderful and always elicit a response from guests. If I could shop second hand stores exclusively, I would.
WHAT PARTS OF MY BACKGROUND HELP WITH INTERIOR DESIGN
Personally speaking, I have always been impacted by my environment. If a space didn’t feel right, I literally couldn’t focus. This has been an advantage in interior design in that I am not afraid to try many things in a space until I find the one that fits and makes a space feel harmonious. Professionally, I practiced PR for 20 years helping clients tell the stories of their businesses either verbally or in writing. Today, I am helping clients tell their stories through their homes’ design.
WHERE ELSE HAVE I LIVED?
I grew up in California in the central valley. I attended college in Eugene and did a stint abroad in France. My husband and I lived in Seattle for a year, as well. We’ve also lived in nearly every quadrant of Portland, each of which can feel like another country at times! We’ve been in North Portland for nearly two years now.
WHAT TRAVELS HAVE INFLUENCED ME?
Ah, travel. My long-term goal is to have a client on every continent! My husband and I do not have children (of the human kind) and have spent the majority of our 20 years together plotting our next getaway. We have been all over Europe, SE Asia, Japan, South America, Central America and Mexico, to name a few. There are three things I must do whenever I visit a place 1) Go to a grocery store and wander the aisles. 2) Visit a gallery featuring local artists and 3) Get a pair of shoes or jewelry from a local maker. Food, design and fashion make the world go ‘round.