Designer Spotlight - Kendall Simmons

Designer Spotlight - Kendall Simmons

Posted by Esme Oehmig on

{Colorful Home office by Kendall Simmons, photo by Catherine Truman}

Kendall Simmons is an interior designer based in Nashville, Tennessee, although you will often find her traveling all over the world with her husband and business partner, Kane. She designs comfortable and playful spaces with an emphasis on color and art and also has a thing for balloons in bathrooms! Kendall's designs are inspired by her travels and she even designs while she travels. We asked her a few questions about her work and what inspires her. Keep reading to learn about designer Kendall Simmons. 

Kendall Simmons Stoneking Kitchen Girly Lanterns
{A colorful kitchen by Kendall Simmons, photo by Catherine Truman}

How did you get started in interior design? Did you always want to be an interior designer?

I was artistic as a young person, and I grew up in a creative home. I'm fortunate that I knew I wanted to be a designer from a pretty young age. I searched for universities based on whether or not they had an interior design program! Right after I graduated from college, a design firm in New York took a chance on hiring me, and the rest is history! I cut my teeth as a design assistant in New York, and then eventually moved back to Nashville, Tennessee and started my own company. 
'Getting started' in the design world can feel like an overwhelming obstacle when you're young and just getting started. It felt like there was no clear roadmap! In my experience, the way to accomplish 'getting started' was to take the lowest design assistant job available at the best company I could find. Those were tough days! But slowly but surely, you grow and improve and learn the business through trial by fire! 

Nashville Loft design by Kendall Simmons, photo by Alyssa Rosenheck
{A Nashville Loft designed by Kendall Simmons, photo by Alyssa Rosenheck}
 You and your husband/business partner, Kane, travel A LOT! How do you balance work and travel?
We don't always have a perfectly healthy balance between work, life and travel. But after years of shuffling both, we've struck a balance over the last couple of years that is working very well for us! We've worked hard to develop our online interior design services (E-design!) so that we can be actively engaged with our clients from anywhere in the world, as long as we have an internet connection! Working with clients online allows us to offer an awesome, affordable design service, and travel at the same time! 
When you own your own business, it's difficult to turn that part of your brain off. There's always more work you could be doing, or ideas you could be discussing. But, on the flip side, you have the flexibility to choose when and where you work. We have days where we work from sunup to sundown, but we also have days where we work a half day so that we can go explore a new place for the afternoon. The freedom is wonderful!
Kendall Simmons and husband and business partner Kane
{Kendall Simmons and husband and business partner Kane}

Where have you traveled recently that surprised you/inspired you?
We spent a month in Portugal last year, and that trip had a big impact on me aesthetically. Everywhere you looked you saw crumbling faded hand-painted tile facades, combined with crisp new street art in vibrant colors. It was such a clear visual example of old + new. Kane and I were lucky enough to spend time with an artisan who is classically trained in the Portuguese art of hand-painting ceramic tiles, and it was an inspiration to see him keep the art alive!
Chicago Apartment Photography by Aimée Mazzenga
{Chicago E Design, photo by Aimée Mazzenga}

When you are traveling, what makes you feel at home?
I've never been a homebody, but there are definitely a few things that make me feel cozy and comfortable wherever I am! The first is a stack of good books. This is by far my least practical travel habit, but I travel with a physical stack of books everywhere I go! They take up so much space in my bag, but I just don't get the same enjoyment out of a digital reader. Also cozy pajamas, a good cup of coffee each morning, and a great glass of wine each night! Last but most important, I feel like I'm at home as long as Kane's there. I can do without the rest if I have to! 
Bedroom by Kendall Simmons, photo by Catherine Truman
{Bedroom design by Kendall Simmons, photo by Catherine Truman}

You have paint guides on your beautiful new website, what is your favorite color?
My favorite colors change over and over each year, and can vary depending on lighting, circumstance, or my mood. That being said, pink is a perennial favorite! The brighter the better. If you look through my work over the years, pink is a strong common thread that weaves through it all! I love pink as a strong color theme, but even more as an unexpected accent. I love the challenge of incorporating pink into a space that feels sophisticated rather than sweet! 

Kendall Simmons Balloons in bathrooms
{Balloons in Bathrooms, photo by Catherine Truman}
What is your favorite Stray Dog Designs piece and why?
Stray Dog lighting is always my fave! The bright color options are such a wonderful departure from the standard metal finishes that you see with every single other brand! The Girly Lantern is a specific favorite - the delicate scallop edges lined with white is perfection! It's impossible to walk into a room with a Stray Dog light fixture and not notice!

Ridgetop Living Room, photo by Catherine Truman
{Serene Living room by Kendall Simmons, photo by Catherine Truman}

What is something you encourage your clients to splurge on?
I encourage my clients to splurge on original artwork more than anything else. A collection of artwork that's been gathered over time tells the story of a person's life in a wonderful way. A person will remember exactly when and where and from whom they bought each piece. I also love how artwork can be endlessly re-configured as a person moves from home to home throughout the course of their life. Also, supporting artists by purchasing their work is good for the community and good for your soul! 
(Oh, and I encourage my clients to splurge on Stray Dog Designs, of course!)  ;)
Thanks so much Kendall! To see more of her spaces, click HERE
Woo hoo! you made it to the end of this blog post. Take 15% off your next order with the code SECRET15. 

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