A Quick Q&A
Kari Quick, the mind behind KQ-Design dishes on her approach, think-on-y0ur-feet work ethic and practical advice for transforming any space.
What is a typical day like for you?
Usually my days start by getting up with the kids and having my coffee. After that, each day is different. I’m either at my desk drafting a layout, or hopping from job to job to make sure everything is running smoothly. It’s a fun challenge to think on my feet and stay efficient so I can do what I love and still make time for my family.
If you weren’t doing interior design, what would you be doing?
I would probably end up in real estate. I have my real estate license, and I can’t imagine doing anything that didn’t involve houses in some way.
How do you avoid stress during a project?
By understanding that this is design, not life and death. My goal is to make the experience fun and easy, a journey my clients can enjoy.
Give an example of your creative spirit.
My creative brain is always on. When I learn about a job, I can’t help but start planning it in my head. Or in life when I walk into a restaurant and immediately wonder whether or not the tables are in the right place. I’m always thinking about how to make something better or how I would do it differently.
How do you communicate your vision to a client?
I’m very practical in my approach. I start with space planning and determining the function of a space. Once that’s in place, I create an online image board with products and room ideas which are eventually narrowed down, formalized and implemented. All-in-all it’s a very collaborative, organic process.
Describe your first impulse to become a designer.
As a child I remember looking at floor plans in Southern Living magazine, like the actual drawing of a home’s layout — which I know might seem a little strange, but I loved it.
What would you tell someone that doesn’t have a big budget?
Choose your pieces wisely. Concentrate your budget on the things that are going to get the most use, like dining chairs, and are more visually central to the room, like a bold light. These pieces are what will bring everything else up to par and you’ll get the most bang for your buck.
Besides making a space beautiful, what are the most valuable contributions you bring to each project?
There’s a lot of little things. What’s the right distance for the hanging pendant over the counter top? How far do the drawer pulls stick out? Where are the outlets located in a room? —That’s a huge one. I’m there for the details that might get overlooked.
What are your go-to basics for any space?
One conversation piece, for sure. I’m big on always having something in a space that has a story. And I love a great piece of art. I think if you have those two things, it’s an interesting space.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to remodel their home, what would it
Start with the space you’re in the most, because that’s where you’ll get the most enjoyment. We tend to put ourselves last and I think having a personal space that allows you to get away from the day is important.
You minored in Architecture at Texas Tech, Does that experience influence your design approach?
Definitely. The reason I minored in architecture is because I wanted to understand the ins and outs of a house. When I design I’m constantly thinking about the mechanics of how my ideas are actually going to come to fruition.
What has been your biggest design challenge?
I think every job has at least one challenge, but I never really panic when one arises. In fact I welcome a challenge because it tends to send us in a direction we didn’t think of and a better design evolves from it.