Guest Blogger: Kirsten Krason

Kirsten Krason is the talented voice behind 6th Street Design School and we are so happy to have her as our guest blogger today!

When was it that you were first inspired to be an interior designer? I've always been a creative person, however, it took me a long time to decide that interior design was what I wanted to do. I was first inspired when I visited the Utah Parade of Homes a few years ago. I looked at each beautiful home and decided that someway or another I was going to do that one day. I feel so lucky to be living my dream. It is the best job in the world.

What inspiration have you drawn from the various places that you've lived and traveled? How do you incorporate it into your design? I have been lucky to travel a lot in my life. My parents took us on many trips as children. When I was in college I had the opportunity to visit China and Italy as well as spend five months living in Russia as an English teacher. Now I am married to a pilot and we try and travel as much as possible. I love unique cultures and find that there are few things better in the world than being exposed to different kinds of people and lifestyles. The architecture from different countries, especially the older ones, is stunning. Putting mementos from different countries into my home reminds me how big the world is and encourages me to be adventurous in my life and in my designs.

Who is your design icon? There are so many amazing designers out there but I have to say my favorite designers are bloggers. Most of the time these people have not had any formal education in design, just a passion for it. They are the ones who are usually not afraid to take risks. They are resourceful and are often making their homes beautiful on a limited budget. They pour their heart and soul into making their own homes beautiful. One room at a time.

If you could choose, what would be your ultimate dream project? I would love to work on a project like Extreme Home Makeover. To help design a home or room for someone really deserving would be so special.

What is your design "pet peeve"? Rules. Most of the time when I first come to a client's house they have been stumped because they find themselves worried about breaking the "rules". I think most of the time I have to reassure them that following design rules is not always the recipe for a successful room. Sometimes breaking the rules is the best part!

What is the most difficult part of being a designer? Most rewarding? The most difficult part is trying to convince clients to trust me! It's hard when I know how amazing the room could be but because of a client's fears or doubts the room never gets to that place. I don't want to do a room that's just "all right". The most rewarding part is when you help a client see the potential in their room. A lot of my clients feel like there is no hope for their rooms and I like to show them that their home can be just as beautiful as they dreamed it could be.

What advice do you give when helping someone determine their style? I would say start making a collection of things you are drawn to. So many people have no idea what their style is. Once you start gathering images and products that you love you will start to find that you either love color or hate it. Maybe you find yourself being drawn to graphics or florals or both! Once you figure out what you love, embrace it! I don't try to bring a lot of neutrals into my home because I know that color is what I love. Even though I can appreciate a beautiful neutral room, I'm comfortable with the fact that it's just not "me".

Where do you go for inspiration? When I am stumped on a room, I always turn to blogs and magazines. Sometimes all it takes is to flip through a couple of magazines before the perfect idea strikes. I'm not sure what designers did before blogs. I love that someone can create a room and the next day it is online for all to see. Suddenly people are noticing colors and patterns and trends that they never would have thought about before. There are so many creative stay-at-home moms who are getting to showcase their talent for design. I think that is amazing and it inspires me everyday.

What is your favorite place in your home? My office is my sanctuary. I love everything about it. This room evokes a feeling of peacefulness which is exactly what I need. I love to sit down at my desk and stare out my windows at the mountains. Sometimes the life of a mother can be overwhelming and stressful. It's so nice to come into this space that is all mine and feel happy. I like that this room is a mix of modern clean lines and also has a femininity and softness to it. The hard and clean lines make me feel efficient while the softness of my rug and the pretty chandelier make this room feel luxurious.

What would you say is your favorite 'finishing touch' to a room? I would say personal elements are my favorite finishing touches to a room. After every piece of furniture has been placed and after all the big accessories are put out, I love to come in with all the personal photographs and mementos. Little picture frames on the fireplace mantel or artifacts from travels on the end tables. A room is not complete without these things.

Thanks Kirsten for taking the time to share some advice and inspire us! Stop by her blog, 6th Street Design School.