I was one of those toddlers that loved anything about houses or construction. By age 7, I constantly played Legos and drew the floorplan of most every house I visited. In high school, after discovering the furniture I wanted didn't exist, I got access to a woodshop and constructed my own bed, tables, and shelves. One night, in a great compliment to my new craft (and horror to a teenager), I came home to find my mom and her friends relaxing in my bedroom, enjoying my newly decorated space.
After studying architecture, engineering, and sculpture at the University of Texas, I graduated in 1992 and dabbled in various design-related fields – I knew I wanted to work in design, but hadn’t figured out precisely in what way. My sales and marketing experience landed me a job at Dell Computers, and while working there in various roles - sales, management, marketing, e-commerce, UX/UI, and global business planning - I was continually asked for advice on architectural renovations, color usage, and space planning.
In 2004, John and I responded to a steady stream of encouragement, and formed 2 Blue Chairs. My corporate roles provided extensive experience which compliment my design skills: managing budgets, project and time management, and creative problem-solving. After juggling the corporate world and design work for a couple of years, I left Dell in 2006 to do what I've been preparing for since childhood: evaluating spaces, and re-crafting them to not only look attractive, but also function better, and provide solutions and enhance the lives of the people inhabiting them.
A favorite of Kelly's
I began my study of design in the House of Gloria. Gloria is my mother - one of those people born with a natural design eye (she also happens to share the same birthday with Kelly). It was from her that I developed my style and love of interiors and architecture. I grew up in several homes in Texas, each designed by Gloria; the first, a Spanish Colonial, was featured in The Houston Post. Each decade, Gloria designed another home, and finished her latest in 2012. In each home, I watched and learned as she drew upon and reshaped the trends of the time. Surrounded by artistic expression, each design - from traditional to Modern, vernacular, and contemporary - had a greater impact upon me than the last. Observing the process and actually living in the spaces, I gained a meticulous eye for detail, a bravery in color, and a passion for clean lines and uncluttered spaces.
As a retail buyer, I had the opportunity to develop my design skills with floor layouts and merchandising, developing a keen sense of spatial expression. My own homes soon also became my canvas, where I have continued play with and explore color and space to create flow, warmth and to reflect who I am. The response was universal, and from those, the requests of friends eventually lead to design and the formation of 2 Blue Chairs.
A piece of custom tile
from John's first home.
I believe passionately in the home as an expression of self. The process of designing a space can be overwhelming for clients. And yet, I believe we all know what makes us feel alive when we walk into a space. Our approach is what helps us to discover that, reflecting the client's taste and personality in a way that expresses their aliveness. It’s what makes me love this work. As a strategic partner in 2 Blue Chairs, I’m not involved in its day-to-day designs, but continually engage in the process to refine, customize, and retain our core approach for each client.