A White Bear Lake boutique interior design company is taking a new approach to full-service home offerings. The passion project of longtime area resident Katie Kurtz, Adorned Homes encompasses all things real estate, remodeling and furnishings. And, as of spring 2022, its scope now includes a showroom containing kitchen designs, furniture and other curated products.
In partnership with Monogram Appliances and Bertch Cabinet, the Adorned Homes showroom is set to feature a fully functioning kitchen to be used for cooking events and demonstrations. Patrons will be able to engage with the products and community during these events, watching and learning techniques that can be used in their own spaces and building relationships with other community members.
“We definitely want to be a source of inspiration for people in the area,” Kurtz says about the showroom. “We want to be a place where people can start dreaming up their next big project.”
Adorned Homes will also host quarterly sales for the general public to shop designer curated furniture pieces, dishware, linens, decorative items and more for their own spaces. These sales not only help the studio cycle through inventory, but also provide a way for community members to get excited about their own spaces.
Kurtz has always had a penchant for renovation. Her first step into the industry was working on investment properties alongside her husband. The pair initially specialized in flipping high-end residential real estate.
“We then worked with clients on finding houses in the right neighborhood and would renovate to make them their own special long-term houses,” Kurtz says.
From there, Kurtz dove headlong into real estate, interior design and furnishings—entranced by the way a home can impact one’s emotions and wellness. Now, along with being a licensed realtor, Kurtz specializes in kitchen and bath design and has made a name for herself by streamlining all her services to provide clients with an all-inclusive experience.
“We do it all from the ground up,” she says. “We take care of literally all of it so that people can just move into the house and start living in it.”
Kurtz blends her design prowess with logistics, developing designs that functionally make sense for clients’ day-to-day lifestyles. This involves considering factors such as aisle widths and appliance and storage placement, as much as the beautiful furnishings.
“I went into kitchen and bath design because I like to make spaces feel good rather than just look good. I want there to be thought put into it,” Kurtz says. “The guiding factor is the focus on the functionality of a space.”
We spoke with Kurtz about the trends she’s seeing in the remodeling world and how people can up their interior design game to suit these changing times.
SEE WHAT’S TRENDING
It’s no secret that COVID-19 created a resurgence in home design. After months cooped up working and learning from home, Kurtz says many realized that productivity could be increased with higher functioning spaces. And it was one modern design in particular trend that created issues.
The beloved open floorplan. While aesthetic and great for gathering, this cornerstone of modern home and commercial design is not the most effective environment for quiet workspaces.
“For a long time everyone was wanting open concepts and ripping out all of the walls,” Kurtz says. “Now, I think more people are conscious of separate spaces.”
Though this modern layout is still common in most communal spaces, Kurtz says she’s seen more attention focused on the separation of adjacent spaces. Whether that is an office or wellness place, or a playroom for the kids, Kurtz says delineating these spaces can help foster healthier living patterns by creating separation between work and play.
In a shift back to natural roots, interior design in 2022 is trending away from industrious metals and cool grays to a mix of woods, fibers and warm tones. “There is just a richness in using natural materials,” Kurtz says. “There is a warmth to it, and I think that people just want to feel comfortable in their homes.”
A timeless pairing of lighter-washed woods and white creates a solid base that is neutral enough to complement any style and adds a feeling of brightness to a space. And, though it may seem simple, the color white is far more complex than one would expect.
As a color that anchors spaces, Kurtz says the shade of white many use today is far softer and less stark than in years past. “There are thousands of shades of whites alone, but we are choosing warm-tone off-whites paired with the natural stains,” Kurtz says.
While mixing styles is hard to do right, the risk can often pay off by adding a unique, multi-layered look to a space. Kurtz is fully behind this trending approach, applauding the way it can add a bit of personal style to a space. “I love how [the industry is] mixing modern furniture with traditional homes,” she says. “The juxtaposition of it makes the design so much more interesting.”
When blending tradition and trend, it is important to let one style dominate. Kurtz recommends creating balance between the two styles. One way to do this is to allow the traditional features of the home to be the focal point, complimenting with modern furnishings. This ensures the space is well balanced and allows for specific elements such as a light fixture, accent chair or decorative element to shine on their own. “It is definitely not boring, and it adds definition,” Kurtz says about this approach. “There is more personality, and it is not one sided.”