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Timeless Interior Design Trends: An Interview with Armina Kasprowicz of AK Design & Accents

By Armina Kasprowicz

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

I founded Rochester Hills, MI-based AK Design and Accents in 2004. The AK stands for me, Armina Kasprowicz. We are an award-winning interior design firm, and create timeless, livable interiors that reflect our clients' tastes and lifestyles. Ak Design & Accents strives to develop client relationships that continue for years (many of our projects begin with one floor or one space, and extend over time to additional rooms, outdoor spaces, second homes, etc.).

Many things inspire me, including my European background and extensive world travels. After moving to the United States, I received a degree in interior design, studied graphic design and international studies, and became accredited in a variety of interior-design organizations, including the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).

We serve clients throughout metro Detroit and surrounding areas, including Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Franklin, Huntington Woods, Pleasant Ridge, Northville, and Traverse city. We also often work on projects around Michigan and outside of the state (vacation homes, etc.)

What are some of the services your company provides?

AK Design and Accents offers a complete interior design service ranging from consultations for one room to entire homes that are newly constructed to complete renovations and overhauls.

Services Provided:
Interior Design
Space Planning
Interior Architectural Detail, Custom Cabinetry and Furniture Design
Furniture and Fabric Selections
Wall-Covering Selections
Carpet, Rug and Hard-Floor Selections
Lighting Design
Color Consultation
Window Treatments

What are some examples of designs that have "staying power?" What are some classic colors and styles that will do this?

Timeless design, or anything timeless for that matter, has staying power. Timeless design is not created to be temporary, a fad or a trend. A timeless look is the one that will stay fresh and relevant today and tomorrow, it features designs, styles and colors that are considered to be "classic", created to last, in style, color, and materials that were meant to last. The style that is designed to by highly functional.

Timeless design is quietly understated, simple and sophisticated yet not bland and boring. Timeless design is a relatively easy one to achieve. A room should aim for simplicity, subtlety and elegance. Backgrounds should be neutral, and not busy. Emphasize clean lines and shapes and the home's natural architectural details. For patterns, use bold ones such as stripes, plaids and checks. Use natural materials in your home- lots of wood and stone (and natural fibers). Make sure that your furniture is appropriately scaled to the size of the room it's in.

Invest in quality furniture that will last, antique pieces that give a space a sense of history that can forever be expanded onto, they become timeless when incorporated with other styles and furnishings.
Of course you can incorporate other elements of design and pull them within, items, for example, from yesterday, today and tomorrow can all be pulled together to create a look that is timeless and fun and it reflects your personality and lifestyle. You can place an antique piece of furniture against a neutral wall, under a large piece of modern or contemporary art and it will look fabulous. It's about creating a sense of balance and order.

What are some design fads I should avoid if I want to remain trendy for years?

The question throws me because trendy for years is more timeless than trendy, I believe. Timeless décor resists trends.
To create a room that is timeless, steer away from overly decorated and overly busy patterns, shapes and spaces. Steer away from clutter, knick-knack and tchotchkes. Here, less is often more.

More specifically, what are some functional design elements I can add to my bathroom or kitchen?

Today's kitchens are more than a place to cook, they are a big part of our living space- a social center of our household.
People who love to cook need a cook's kitchen, which are driven by function. They need to be practical and durable- the working space/layout is very important, as is the size of the island and well organized cabinet space. A large-capacity refrigerators, a high-performance range, warming drawer, quality exhaust hoods, wine and beverage chillers - these should all be on the list of those who like to cook and entertain. In addition, the size of the kitchen and eating area is also very important.

Those who are not overly passionate about cooking may look to a kitchen for snacking, chatting, enjoying a cup of coffee, etc. Those folks can go for more of a "wow" factor and don't need to consider practicality as much. A glass backsplash, lacquer cabinets, and a mix of textures provide plenty of "wow" and visual interest.

As for the bathroom, again it depends on the homeowner's lifestyle. Decide whether the bathtub or shower should take priority. You may need a large shower space if you multitask- shower, shave, brush your teeth, etc. A Jacuzzi may be great for relaxing, but if you lead a busy life, you may have zero time to use it. Choose your elements wisely, based on your needs/lifestyle. Never skimp on details like lighting, storage, faucets and even shower rods. It is important to buy the best you can afford. Stone is a natural material for bathrooms- if you can't afford it throughout the room, aim to introduce it where possible.

Do you believe that neutral colors are always the way to go if you want to remain timeless? What are some fun color options that will be timeless?

Neutrals have a strong presence in traditional home décor. They don't overpower the space, they create a perfect backdrop for furnishings and colorful art. I love grays and off-whites and beiges accented by the crisp, bright whites of architectural moldings in ceilings, arches and doorways.

Of course you can also opt for classic colors like black, navy blue and dark greens that are often complemented by these neutrals. Trend colors can come into play, when used in small doses and can co-exist beautifully with traditional ones. It's best to incorporate this color with accent pieces, art and accessories. If you want to stay "timeless", however, be careful so that the trendy color is not the one that sets the tone for the room; but don't be afraid to use fun, vibrant colors, choose the ones you love; your home should always reflect your personality and lifestyle it should have a positive influence on your mood; design your home for you, so you love it!

Do you agree that hardwood flooring is something that will never go out of style?

Nowadays there are so many fabulous flooring choices, but I do believe that hardwood flooring will never go out of style it can create the most extraordinary foundation for any design scheme.

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

The best way to contact AK Design and Accents:
Email: armina@akdesignandaccetns.com
Office: 248-853-6387

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