Interior design isn’t just about beauty, it plays a significant role in shaping the functionality, liveability, and overall feel of a home. Long considered a luxury, a reputable interior designer can transform a space, adapting to changing needs and lifestyles, and saving time and money in the long run. So what should people know about working with an interior expert? We sat down with Kellie Burke at Kellie Burke Interiors for a masterclass on designing with both style and function.
Tell us a bit about Kellie Burke Interiors.
I created Kellie Burke Interiors over 25 years ago. I am a contractor’s daughter so I’ve been in the industry for my entire life which makes us pretty unique. I know the ins and outs of building and decor and we absolutely love running big interior design projects.
How has your industry changed over the past several years?
Social media has really changed the industry. There is a huge amount of access to interior design but the hard part is that people follow all that is “trending” which results in everything looking the same. For us, we are always driven to make things truly unique to the person and the household.
Let’s talk about trends. What are you loving right now?
I’m not much of a trend person. I pay attention to what’s happening but I design and decorate homes to be timeless. I do love grand-scale eat-in kitchens and I’m obsessed with wallpaper which is huge right now, especially the large-scale murals, which I actually started in the industry. I was a studio art major so that mural artwork was a big part of what I did and it’s fun to see it coming back in such an exciting way.
What trend do you wish would go away?
A lot of the trends online don’t make a lot of sense in people’s daily lives. The white kitchen is something we still do and it’s great but I’m excited to start moving away from it to see more of the natural woods come back with glossy paint and colors. White kitchens can always be accessorized but I’m looking forward to when homeowners get a bit more courage and start designing to really suit their individual style.
What’s a big misconception about what you do?
The biggest misconception by far is that hiring an interior designer is a luxury that you can’t afford. When building or renovating, you’re going to make tons of mistakes and the great thing about hiring a professional is that we’ve done this thousands of times and we can get you to the finish line so much easier. The sofa you’ve ordered that doesn’t fit, the recessed lights that look terrible, the 85-inch big screen TV that’s too big for the wall – those costly mistakes don’t happen when you work with someone like us.
If you could teach every homeowner one thing, what would it be?
Trust the experts. I have an accountant because I’m not a numbers person. When you hire an interior designer, it gets you so much further because it maximizes both the potential and the value of your home. The average home flip is five years so make the most of the investment to reap the rewards down the line.
What advice do you like to give to people as they start the home-buying process?
Really know your budget. The process of buying and designing need to both be considered because you don’t want to purchase a home that you can’t fill or make your own because you didn’t think about design and decor in the beginning. Everything is more expensive now and materials also take longer to arrive so having a realistic timeline will help to save your sanity.
Why should people choose to work with small businesses as opposed to a big box store?
It’s about personality. No one wants to feel bland. Your home is a reflection of your personality and if you’re buying everything from a mass retailer, you’re not really showing who you are. I love walking into a home and understanding the person. Shopping local and supporting smaller retailers offers a more endearing and personal approach and it helps the local community too, which is so important.
Your showroom is located here in the Design District. Why do you love it?
I think the Design District is really cool. It’s a support system of like-minded entrepreneurs who love design and we all get together to share resources and ideas and there is lots of support. I love the area too, it’s really up and coming and there is a ton of development going on so it’s a really exciting place to live, work, and shop.
Kellie Burke Interiors is located at 1041 New Britain Avenue in West Hartford. The showroom is by appointment only and you can explore by getting in touch at https://www.kellieburke.com.