Interview: Celerie Kemble visits the Boston Design Center

Alexis Contant (left) and Celerie Kemble chat at the Boston Design Center, September 24, 2008.

Each year, the Boston Design Center hosts Design Boston for area professional designers. There are talks and seminars, product launches and some pretty tasty treats.

Noted interior designer Celerie Kemble shared some of her ideas and philosophies on creating long lasting client relationships by using the tools of the trade – color, texture, patterns – to create personalized spaces that truly speak to the personalities of the homeowers.

Through Q&A with Design Center VP and General Manager Alexis Contant, Celerie talked about what went into creating some truly beautiful rooms.

Here are some quick notes that I took of their chat:

• She takes inspiration from travel and, yes, design magazines.
• “Shop for the dream; create the destination”. Creating destinations in even the smallest nooks seems to be a trademark of Celerie’s style.
• Boldly patterened rugs will continue to be on trend.
• “Modern” means combining all sorts of elements from different periods and styles to create a space the suits our time.

Celerie is one busy lady. In addition to running a firm with offices in New York and Palm Beach and creating beautiful interiors that are regularly featured in design magazines, Celerie has also just launched a fabric line at the venerable fabric house Schumacher.


Click here to see the fabric line.

Here are some pics I snapped yesterday at the Schumacher showroom. So pretty!


And here’s the lovely Celerie, who was kind enough to sit down with me to answer a few questions.

LM: What do you recommend that those on a limited budget focus their resources on when looking to redecorate a room?
CK: Color! Adding color to the walls or in the fabrics in the room will make the most impact on the space. You only need one yard of a beautiful fabric to make a pillow for the sofa. Or, you can add a trim with a hot glue gun to plain white window treatments to create a personalized look.

LM: Where do homeowners focus that is often overblown or leads to mistakes?
CK: Many people seem very attached to the rugs they already own and are desperate to see that all new purchases match perfectly. Likewise with furnishings. Insisting that the redecorating has to match perfectly with what one already owns leads us to keep doing the same room over and over. Sometimes, you have to move things out of the space to get a fresh view.

LM: Who are your design inspirations?
CK: My Mom [designer Mimi McMakin who works with Celerie]; Kelly Wearstler, Miles Redd, Eric Cohler [also a speaker at the BDC yesterday!], Alan Tanksley, Lea Jackson, and others.

I appreciate that Celerie took the time to chat with me – especially as my request was so last minute and she was heading off to LA right after the luncheon at Schumacher!

In addition to her new fabric line, line of faux leathers and furnishings, Celerie has a new book (see photo above) called “To Your Taste”, coming out in November!

Thanks Celerie, so nice to meet you!

All images by Linda Merrill, except where noted.

xoxo Linda Would you like my Favorite Tips for a Well-Decorated Home? Click here!

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