Designer Spotlight – Kellie Morrison
I am originally from Rhode Island however I moved to Florida in 1990, mostly for the weather. I am an outdoors person and couldn’t take the cold winters and snow anymore. Although I live in Florida, my roots are still in Rhode Island as most of my family still lives there.
How did you get started in Interior Design?
I started as an assistant to an interior designer 20 years ago. I learned so much from that experience and it taught me to be the person and designer I am now.
How did you get started loving interior design?
I always loved anything artistic and creative. When I came to DU, I was lucky to have been matched up with the designer I worked with as I was able to study under him and learn a lot from him. My parents are very creative and my brother, who has been a graphic artist for many years, is as well.
How did you get started with DU?
I had a mutual friend with the designer I worked for. It was all about timing. Very randomly he was looking for someone to help him, I was looking for something different to try. I have now been with DU for 20 years.
What projects have been the most challenging?
They are all challenging in their own way. I loved the challenge of working long distance on the renovation of two historical properties. One was in Rhode Island and other was in Maine. They were both big projects that each took a few years. The challenges of working long distance come from working with contractors and conditions you haven’t worked with before. As both were built in the 1890’s, it was a challenge to preserve the historical integrity while updating them to function and flow as homes do today. I found these projects very rewarding..
When you work with clients what advice do you give them when you’re starting a project?
Do their homework! Pay attention to the things you love and, more importantly, the things you do not love. What makes you feel good and what makes you smile? I make sure I ask them about their lifestyle, what do they do on a day to day basis, how they live their life. Do they entertain family and friends? If they are spending time away from the home, how much?. During the process you get to know them more and more as time goes on, just like any relationship. They may not always know what they want right away but as I get to know them things evolve.
What is your favorite of the projects you have worked on?
Probably the Rhode Island project because it is close to home – it is where I grew up spending my summers and going to the beach. Having the opportunity to do a project there was just amazing. The project took two years. I traveled there several times and once got stuck due to snow. Preserving it, respecting it, watching it evolve and return to something beautiful was a special experience.
If you designed your own dream home, what is the one thing you would have to have in it?
I would love to have outdoor spaces where I could cook and shower. I am very much an earth person. Coming from the north and shedding the concrete and grey, long winters, I appreciate being able to breathe and be in tune with nature. It’s all about outdoor living for me.
When you are not designing, what are you doing for fun?
I am on the water or with my dog. I rescued her downtown in Northwood and she is my everything. She is a lab that will never grow up, her name is Halo. Like me, she loves the water. We found her a year ago and there is nothing I love more than being with her.