'I love the creativity'

AT WORK

Interior designer handles residential, commercial challenges from simple to complex

June 04, 2008|By NANCY JONES-BONBREST | NANCY JONES-BONBREST,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Laura Kimball

Interior designer

LCK Interiors, Perry Hall

Salary: $42,000

Age: 30

Years on the job: 10

How she got started: Thinking she wanted to be a teacher in elementary school, Kimball enrolled at Towson University and began classes. By the end of the first semester she realized that it wasn't the career for her.

She transferred to Brigham Young University, took an interior design class and she was hooked. Kimball interned with a commercial design company and later went to work for a high-end residential design firm. She began her own business in 2002, after being laid off.

Typical day: Kimball starts her day answering e-mail and returning phone calls from her home office. Any appointments are usually set up for early in the day, but she also offers evening appointments and one Saturday a month. Kimball said a normal week would include about five appointments with both existing and new clients. Lately, however, she has been scheduling about eight appointments a week.

These meetings take one to three hours. She'll then return to her office to work on plans for clients, which include residential and commercial. In a month, she'll typically work on a range of projects from simple design consultations to more complex efforts such as designing a new kitchen.

One of her current jobs includes helping a client design and decorate a 6,000-square-foot house. "It can be an overwhelming process. I give them a few options and just narrow it down for them."

Design bag: Kimball takes a design bag with her to every job. It carries paint samples, a lighting catalog, a 25-foot tape measure, notebook, architect's scale and grout samples.

Hourly rate: $85

Her style: Classic

She would never: Design a themed room.

Decorators' show houses: "It's a great cause," said Kimball, who added they also work well as marketing tools and for portfolio photographs. She's been involved with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's Decorators' Show House since 2002.

Clients' style: "A home should really tell a story about the people who live there. I try to get a feel for them and who they are, and give them the very best version of that."

The good: "I love the creativity and working with people."

The bad: "Having a small business, it's doing everything. There's just not enough time."

Hottest trend: Timeless design. "More people just want to come home and be done. They don't want to keep changing things."

Best tip: Don't forget about lighting. "It's one of the simplest changes and can make such a huge impact."

Philosophy on the job: Good design should be functional as well as beautiful. And it should be timeless in character.

Extracurriculars: Kimball serves as the president-elect for the American Society of Interior Designers Maryland Chapter. She also is on the board of directors for the Friends of the Perry Hall Mansion.

Nancy Jones-Bonbrest

Special to The Sun

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.