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Designer Diaries: Kiki Design Studio 📒

A Los Angeles native through and through, Kristin 'Kiki' Hector coins her studio's interior design aesthetic as California-Eclectic.

We're in awe of Kiki Design Studio's latest purple-praising project, where the team tackled an entire basement remodel. Let's catch up with Kiki to discuss caring client management, splurge-worthy design decisions, plus how anyone can be convinced to embrace maximalist colors 🎨


Meet the team 👋

"Hi, I’m Kiki. Kiki Design Studio (KDS) is small but mighty. When you work with KDS, you are working with me directly. I oversee all design, conceptual planning, space planning, and more. We also have Haley, our project manager, who helps oversee the projects from start to finish and manages all the decisions and details involved in projects both small and large. We are a '1-2 punch' duo, supported by a great team of general contractors that we entrust to bring our visions to life."

 

Caring for clients 🤝

"We commit to being readily available and highly communicative with our clients. We go to bat for our clients, maintain a positive attitude, and provide a shoulder to lean on during high-stress times. We cherish the trust inherent in our client relationships and value creative collaboration. We take the time to get to know our clients, which not only makes the workflow smoother but also allows us to deliver something they inherently desire, even if they don’t have the exact vocabulary for it. The beauty of working with KDS is that I pay attention to the unspoken nuances of our conversations and use that as a foundation for our designs and workflows."


Bringing LA indoors 🏙

“As a Los Angeles native and an LA-based interior designer, the city's diverse architectural styles profoundly influence both who I am and how I approach design. LA is often perceived as vast and homogenous, but each neighborhood boasts its own unique identity and aesthetic. From Spanish revival to mid-century modern, craftsman homes to contemporary designs, the sheer variety of styles provides endless inspiration and shapes my California-eclectic aesthetic.

This diversity translates into my work because the only assumption I make when starting a project is that the client is drawn to my portfolio. The rest is a journey of discovery – unearthing the little gems and special touches that make my clients’ spaces uniquely theirs. Depending on the style of the home, I try to allow the surroundings to inform my aesthetic choices and direction so that each project reflects the essence of its environment.


To splurge or save? 💰

“I encourage clients to splurge on items that will see a lot of use and wear, such as sofas, light fixtures, and other durable pieces that need to last a long time. These items are more permanent and not easily changed, so it’s worth investing in quality. One thing I love and believe truly makes a home is art. With my years of experience as a gallery owner, I have a deep appreciation for the impact of art in a space.

We pride ourselves on sourcing pieces from independent artists. While art doesn’t have to break the bank, it can add immense value to your space. It can be an emotional investment for our clients, but it’s one that I love navigating them through.”


Embracing patterns & color 🎨

“I always look for ways to bring in color without overwhelming the space, unless the client wants to go bold, which I’m also up for. Having gone to art school and interior design school, color theory is crucial to me. I can convince clients to embrace color when those colors feel harmonious throughout the entire design. This trust between client and designer is essential. I love pattern clashing and often hear clients say, 'I would not have put those together, but now I get it.' Harmony is key.”

Inspiring designers 👩‍🎨

"Cortney Bishop, Beata Heuman and Widell + Boschetti. I love all three because they represent different aesthetics that I admire and strive to achieve for my clients. Each leans fully into their unique styles."

Cortney Bishop

 

Beata Heuman

Widell + Boschetti


The basement project 💜

“These clients were some of the most fun I've worked with to date. They live in their own colorful kaleidoscope to begin with and approached me with the desire to lean into something fun. The basement was a blank slate begging to be given new life. It was serving as a catch-all for the family but yearned to be so much more."
"We focused on using the word FUN as a pillar of the design ethos for this family room, while making sure the space still felt sophisticated. Practical needs like storage were essential, but the family also wanted it to evoke a '70s lounge vibe, serve as a movie room, guest room, and be a versatile space for both kids and adults – all while bursting with color. 

The SQUIGGLE Pull is a stand out feature that checks all the boxes. This detail, among others, helped transform the basement into a vibrant, functional, and stylish space that perfectly reflects the family's vibrant spirit.”

Underrated details 💡

“Other than hardware, which is honestly the detail that excites me most, I love making a room special through lighting and lighting design. We believe in the power of lighting to elevate a space and are equally aware of its potential to bring the mood down if done poorly. If I’ve ever come to your home and immediately adjusted your lighting, sorry but not sorry.”

Kiki’s dream client 💭

“I feel fortunate to have worked with incredible people who have consistently proven to be ‘dream clients.’ The common thread among them is trust. My dream client is someone who trusts me to deliver something rad. Yes, rad is part of my design vernacular and personal ethos. I’m an LA designer, after all.”

A huge thanks to Kiki for sitting down with us for a tea break. Why not show your support over at @kiki_design_studio? If you're impressed by the photography, you'll need to check out the rest of @charlotteleaphotography's work.