meet the designer
Kristin Lam BY KAI OLIVER-KURTIN
As a child, Kristin Lam loved to rearrange her bedroom. With a father who sold office furniture and a mother who worked at Sherwin-Williams selling paint and wallpaper, she was raised around design. Her mother often refinished furniture around the house, which was filled with family antiques, and later Kristin did the same to her own home. Today, she runs her own design firm, Kristin Lam Interiors, and has more than 30 years of experience under her belt. “I work on projects from the outside in,” she said. “If the architecture is already built or decided, the interior must flow with what’s going on outside.” Kristin prides herself on being a good listener, and many clients have expressed their appreciation that she doesn’t push her own designs onto them. “I’ve been known to ask to see a client’s closet to see what colors and styles they wear,” she said. “Are they traditional and conservative or more bohemian? In the end I want the home to feel like it’s a reflection of them — not a Kristin Lam Interiors design.”
Kristin can be reached through her website, kristinlaminteriors.com, by phone at (760) 458-8181, or through email at email@example.com.
Q&A WITH KRISTIN You note that your forte is “tastefully incorporating clients’ surroundings into the design.” How do you accomplish this? Many of my clients live on the ocean. Adding elements that are too blatantly ocean-themed actually detract from the beauty that is right in view. It’s a bit redundant to have photos of the ocean in a house that is on the ocean. The photos can’t compare to what is right outside the window. I like to add elements like soft colors that complement the view. I might paint the walls a very soft gray-green to complement the color of the ocean. I like using
darker shades of the same colors in certain rooms. I recently painted a powder bath in a beach house a very dark blue-green that had a pearl finish. The pearl of course reminds me of the ocean. I also designed a beach house for a client years ago where we had a corbel that was a stylized antique dolphin. It was a beautiful nod to the ocean at their doorstep. You say that travel and experiencing other cultures allows you to bring unique elements to your work. What inspiring design details have you seen on the road? Travel is the best way to dehomogenize design in America. As Americans we’ve come to a point where we see homes online that
we like and then everyone wants the same look. It lacks personality and doesn’t really show who actually lives in the house. It seems most homes look staged anymore. My trip to Turkey was an amazing adventure into colors and textures like nothing I have ever seen. It’s time to move away from gray and white everywhere. When traveling, it’s so great to bring home a trinket or two that you fall in love with and display it in your home. I often take a lot of photos of design details when I travel. There are so many ancient tiles that are gorgeous and very colorful.