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Common Interior Design Dilemmas: An Interview with Kevin Harrison of KH Home

By Kevin Harrison

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

KH Home is both an interior design studio and a retail storefront. We like how the interior design activities bring a creative edge to the retail operations and how the retail operations bring fresh daily challenges to our designers and salespeople. We have a talented retail staff focused on finding the best gift, table top, home accesories, and jewelry lines for the shop while our designers bring an eclectic mix of vintage and new pieces to the store and our clients.

After college, I lived in Chicago for 18 years and worked in commercial interiors. I loved my time in Chicago; it gave me hands on experience with large projects that had to be executed to an exacting budget and schedule. But I wanted to open my own firm and so I decided to come back to metro Detroit in 2006. With my family here in Clarkston it was the logical spot to open the shop and design studio as KH Home in 2008. Clarkston is a great area and is developing a style all its own. I hope our shop has been able to reflect and foster the communities growth in that respect over the last seven years.

What are some of the services your company provides?

Interior design
We will help with interior projects of any scale; from commercial to residential. From a simple color consultation to an entire home remodel or office refurbishment. We have a diverse and dedicated design staf so we are always ready to help a new customer.

Handyman service
We have a handyman on staff full-time, so we can help with simple repairs around the house. It also gives us the ability to give our customers the best possible service including drapery and window treatment installation, artwork installation, light bulb replacement, etc.

White Glove Delivery and Warehousing
We have our own warehouse so we can offer our customers storage as needed, faster deliveries, and we can control the quality of our delivery staff and products. We can also receive shipments (non-KH Home product) for customers and take care of the "last mile" of their delivery when it is convenient for them.

Corporate Gifts
We have a great selection of gifts and can develop a customized offering for our customers' business clients. From our signature candles to a monogrammed glassware program - we can fit any price level. We also offer complimentary gift wrapping and deliver when requested.

What are some decorating mistakes you notice when you walk into a home?

Lighting that is too small for the space; both lamps and hardwired fixtures. Lamps on end tables or nightstands need to start at 30" height. Also think of every major room requiring a minimum of five sources of light, and your ceiling lights only count as one!

What tips do you have for themes, color choices, furniture when decorating a long lasting room for a young child?

Don't use a color that is too strong. Go with a "grayed" color for a child's room- it will work for years. By "grayed" we mean a duller color ? so if your son wants a blue room, use a gray with a hint of blue. Going from a 2" sq. sample to an entire room is a big jump, and color will always be stronger than you think when the room is complete.

How do you deal with combined living and dining rooms?

The two spaces will need a few things to unify - similiar wood color, lamp shades of the same color, an accent color that is the same or at least similiar. Beyond that, have fun and give each space its own personality.

What current trend do you think people will become tired of in five years?

The trend that most concerns us is the growing popularity of furniture that is built to a low price point and the quality of the furniture reflects this fact. The best quality furniture is the most green solution and the least expensive in the long run. We love to do a "master plan" for homeowners. This gives our customers direction for purchases over the next few years, and by budgeting for these purchases over a longer time horizon, they can afford higher quality furnishings.

Do you ever have trouble finding inspiration? What inspires you today?

The broad range of design challenges our customers bring to the shop ensures that I don't run short inspiration. Good design is everywhere these days and so our clients have higher expectations and aspirations. I find inspiration in being able to meet and exceed these expectations. I love solving problems, which to me is at the core of good design. Creating a pretty room can be relatively straight forward, but I love solving a client's issues with design and making sure that the finished product supports the architecture of the home and the lifestyle of the occupants.

Do you have any personal design secrets you'd like to share?

I have used wide horizontal stripes in a foyer on the stairway wall several times recently- and it is always a knock-out! The stripes can be high contrast or a subtle color shift, but should be 18-24" wide and always an odd number. I have a great example of this on my website.

What is the best way to reach you or your company?

I have enjoyed the opportunity to discuss interior design with you; it is my passion. I would be happy to receive comments or questions from your readers at:

KH Home
27 S. Main St.
Clarkston, MI 48346

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