A weekly blog series exploring different creatives' views on color and its use in interiors, art and design. We will dive deep into their obsessions with color. How and why they use color. You will get to know their stories and you may even gather some tips for using color in your own home. What is better than learning from the experts!
Designer Spotlight: Christopher Kennedy
photo by Molly & Co.
Susan Jamieson: What one color represents your design style?
Christopher Kennedy: Yellow. Happy, brave, and optimistic.
SJ: Do you use color as a dominant role in your designs or as an accent?
CK: I am a Gemini, do I have to choose? I actually use quite a bit of white (especially on walls) and neutrals, but I do use healthy doses of color as an accent. I think my firm is known for its use of color, but it is nearly always an accent.
SJ: How do you feel about matching colors in a room?
CK: I tend to do entire houses, mostly vacation homes where everything is selected by team and is new for the property and homeowner. Occassionally, I notice that our designs scheme can get a bit matchy-matchy. It is easy to get carried away with too much of a single color story -- after all, it looks great on the design boards. I have to remind myself and the team to throw in a color to make it just a bit "off", a bit collected. We never want that model home feeling, where everything is just so perfectly coordinated.
SJ: What color represents your personality?
CK: That's tough: Maybe green. It doesn't steal the focus of red, yellow, or orange. But it is a lasting color, full of depth. I feel like green gets better the more time you spend with it.
SJ: What color comes to mind when you talk about:
Your favorite City ....... Barcelona: I think of blue. The water; the inky blue sky at night as I walk the streets and enjoy the cafes. I also think of the fresh chalky marble white of the new construction in the Sagrada Familiar. It's incredible to see the progress in just the last decade.
The House You Grew Up In ......... Peach and Blue: the country style popular in the 80s and early 90s.
Last Fabulous Dinner You Had ........ Burgundy: as in fabulous red wine.
Your favorite Flower ....... Green, all colors: I am a succulent guy.
Your favorite season ...... Pink: Spring and summer. Pink flowers and the pink pool floats in my pool.
Your Favorite Art ...... Most of my favorite artists use every color: Stella, Hirst, Picasso.
Your Favorite Room in Your Home ..... I don't play favorites
Your Favorite Article of Clothing ...... White: I love a crisp, white, freshly laundered dress shirt.
SJ: Name a color you never use?
CK: I don't use a lot of red. I do most of work in Palm Springs, where it is already quite hot. I use mostly cool colors.
SJ: Name a color you use frequently?
CK: Blue and green are my go-to colors. Blue, especially aqua to turquoise, to represent the water and sky. Green for the grass, succulents, and palm trees.
SJ: Do you have a pet? What color reminds you of him/her? Do you have a nickname for this pet?
CK: Yes, I have my Harley. He is a rescue. He looks like a golden retriever that was shrunk in the dryer. He is the most beautiful orange color. I call him Harley-Barley.
SJ: What is the Now Neutral?
CK: I am so tired of grey, though it is the now neutral. But I am into blue as the new neutral, especially deep inky navy blue.
SJ: What is your prediction for the next big color trend?
CK: I am trying to bring back warm neutrals. Everything from off-white to oatmeal to sand to -- dare I say it -- beige.
SJ: What are the best color combinations?
CK: I think people have forgotten that you can mix warm and cool neutrals in the same house. Not everything has to be grey and white, people! I love grey and brown together. Think of men's fashion -- like wearing a grey suit with a great pair or brown or camel shoes. Let's start mixing neutrals again, people!
SJ: Best advice when it comes to picking paint colors?
CK: I just spent the morning looking at exterior paint colors in 110 degree heat, and nearly had a meltdown in every regard -- so, today, maybe I am not the guy to ask. My only advice is -- test, test, test. My client could not believe that the beautiful taupe-sandy color we had picked out together in my studio was the one we were looking at tested on her house. It went almost bright algae green in the Palm Springs morning sun.
Thank you Christopher for your insight on color!
Check out Christopher's books:
or Follow him on Instagram @christopherkennedyinc