Designer Crush Q&A: Kyle SchunemanAuthor:Rachel Amy Shahvar
We can’t get enough of Kyle’s innovative, playful eye, and couldn’t ask for a better interviewee for our inaugural Designer Crush Q&A series!
1. Where do you currently live in CA and what’s your favorite thing about how you’ve designed your personal space?
I live in West Hollywood. My style is constantly changing so I love trying new things and evolving my aesthetic to a richer and fuller place. I just installed a custom plaid wallpaper in my space that I am really digging.
2. What’s your dream design project? Who would it be for (dead or alive)?
I would actually most like to start a product line next. I want to create a line that is focused on the young, urban trendsetter a lot like the readers of my book, “The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces”. I found out there are so many people in their 20s and 30s that want to live well but are intimidated by the process or can’t afford well designed pieces for their home, so I want to create a line aimed at them because I think creating a beautiful home is essential to starting the cycle of living well in all aspects of your life.
3. In real life, what’s your favorite project you’ve completed to date?
Every project is like a child. I not only do interior design but I art direct photo shoots for everyone from Target to CB2 so each is a unique creative process. I think my book was the biggest labor of love of my career so far so I’d have to choose that even though there were 10 unique projects within. I’m very proud of showing people that design doesn’t need to be perfect but it should reflect who you are – that’s what makes the world go round.
4. You’ve been gifted a fabulously furnished dream home but can only bring one item from your current space. What would it be?
Probably my wood carved sunburst convex mirror. It was the first expensive item I bought and have had it in all my homes since. It feels like a friend that has gone on this journey with me and I want to keep him close!
5. What’s your creative process when designing a space?
When I first walk into a client’s space I don’t say a lot. I like to hear from the client what they like, what they want, and how they use their space. I don’t want to influence to a point where they try to act like they live a different way, or like a certain style, just to appease me. I’m a strong believer in being the conduit for a client’s style and elevating it to the highest level but to keep their unique perspective. After that meeting I’ll take a day or two to let the room sink in and then create a mood board to present to the client. I do always think the room has to function well first – then you can bring in the pretty and how to make it work efficiently as well as beautifully.
6. Where do you score your favorite interior design items? Any shopping tips for us?
I love vintage stores and flea markets. When the pieces end up in a room I want to have a unique story of how they got there. I also think online shopping is key, especially for finding deals. I have hundreds of design bookmarks of places I’ve read about on design blogs or are my go tos. If you’re looking for a certain piece I think a great resource is Shopstyle.com because you can compare lots of different websites quickly with all kinds of different categories. I also am a fan of the morning email flash sale sites like HauteLook, Joss and Main and One Kings Lane.
7. Ever had an epic DIY disasters? What project would you never dream of taking on yourself again?
There were LOTS of DIY projects that didn’t end up in my book! I think that’s part of the fun – trying things out even if they don’t turn out well – it often times will spring a new idea or a better way to do it. I would NEVER try to reupholster a piece of furniture myself – that should be left to the professionals! Sewing projects in general scare me. Maybe that will be my new year’s resolution, to learn how to sew.
8. What new design trend are you excited to integrate into your next project?
I’m loving plaid and really want to incorporate it into a new project in a new way. Show how modern it can really be and how layers of different plaids can create the ultimate chic pad.
9. Lightning round! (pick one)
Beach or mountains?
Beach these days.
Twitter or Facebook?
Twitter for work, Facebook for friends.
Architectural Digest or Wallpaper Magazine?
I read my first issue of AD at 13 – gotta stick to the classic.
Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen?
TOUGH ONE! I’ll say Kitchen since everyone ends up hanging out there.
Would you rather shop new or vintage?
Vintage for sure.
Great view or perfect pool?
I like interacting with my surroundings so I’d rather have a pool to have fun in.
SF or LA?
I’ve lived in both and I’m definitely an LA guy.
10. What’s one tip you wish someone had told you when first starting out in the design world?
Measure Twice! When I first started I would just kind of “wing” measurements and it would get me into trouble. I had a custom upholstered headboard that wouldn’t fit up the stairs, custom built ins that didn’t match up perfectly, etc. I learned my lesson. I also learned that when you’re dealing with craftsman let them have the solution as they will know best. If you need something done don’t suggest how you would fix it, instead let them tell you – they most often know better!
More about Kyle: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Buy his book!
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