Designer Spotlight – Kelly Hilberer
Kelly Hilberer is the Lead Interior Designer for Decorators Unlimited Home Collection. We recently sat down with her one-on-one to learn a little more about her role at Decorators Unlimited, her background in Interior Design, and much more!
Where are you from originally?
“I am originally born and raised in the snow belt of Ohio – Chardon, Ohio to be exact. I moved to Florida is 2000 and fell in love with the beauty here. I draw inspiration in a many of things, but our beautiful Florida landscapes are the perfect backdrop to any design.”
How long have you been a part of the Decorators Unlimited team?
“I have been a part of the Decorators Unlimited team for about three and a half years now!”
Tell us a little bit about your role at Decorators Unlimited Home Collection?
“As the Lead Interior Designer for DU Home Collection, I service a diverse client base. Quite often, I will receive requests from previous Decorators Unlimited clients that want to refresh a few rooms in their home. I often receive client referrals as well.I have taken on smaller projects where only two rooms needed to be designed, to entire homes from the pre-construction phase through the completion phase, and various other projects in between.
The goal is to service a variety of clients based upon their needs and goals, and I always tailor the design around that. If asked, I do not have a specific design or signature style. I conform to what my client’s desires are.”
Can you tell us a little more about your background?
“I have a degree in Interior Design and have been an Interior Designer for ten years. I also have a background in Commercial Art. A fun side note is that while still in college, I was a free-lance Art Assistant to Lillian August, who has been a widely celebrated name in furniture, art, and accessory designs for many years. She has been designing exclusively for Hickory White for some time now and has an art line with Wendover Art.
During my time with Lillian August, I gained insight into how furniture designers put together vignettes for High Point Market. Her son, Michael Weiss (furniture designer for Vanguard Furniture), was also part of the process as he was designing his market vignettes at the same time.
As part of the team for our Boutique, this experience guides me in selecting exclusive and important pieces for our Boutique vignettes. An important distinction between DU Home Collection and a retail store is that every piece of furniture, art, and accessories are designed in such a way that you can leave with a suite or room that was professionally curated and not contrived.
I am excited that we will be hard at work over the summer months to bring our loyal clients an entire new look in the fall when they return. What will be unveiled in October for our floor reset will be a collaborative effort and is an exciting endeavor. Our philosophy is not to be “matchy-matchy” in a bedroom suite or any other room setting for that matter. It will be refreshing and carefully selected. I cannot wait for the reveal in October!”
What would you say your favorite design style is?
“I really don’t have a favorite design style, but I like and lean more towards a soft contemporary design. Really beautiful finishes and fabrics, but not traditional or transitional furniture. Keep things light, bright, and airy. Contrasting surfaces, textures, and colors. That’s pretty much my style!”
What inspires you, or, what is one of your favorite inspirational quotes and why?
“I suppose I do not have a favorite quote. In its place, I believe in an honest day of work, for my clients, company and fellow co-workers. The Decorators Unlimited is very much a family, and they all inspire me to be my best at all times, for if I let one down, I let all down. I do my absolute best to avoid this issue.
As to what inspires me about design; I love to put colors, textures, finishes, fabrics, and the finishing pieces (art and accessories) all together for a client and after the presentation, they walk away feeling that I really understood them and their vision for their finished project. To make a client’s vision become a reality is like nothing else.”
What advice do you give clients when working with them?
“I pretty much advise my clients to narrow down exactly what their vision is. I encourage them to send pictures from Houzz or Pinterest, or similar platforms if they can. Any pictures that they want to share or inspiration photos help.
I let them know ahead of time exactly how the process is going to work and how I will be presenting things and relaying information to them to ensure they feel comfortable from the start. I inform them of our processes and procedures and everything that goes into the process so they feel completely comfortable.”
What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?
“Hmmm…I would say that my favorite project was a new construction in Alton. The clients own several businesses and were looking to settle down locally to put more time into one of their businesses. The clients purchased this house that was newly constructed and I had about 6 weeks to get everything designed and delivered, all on a tight budget. It was a fun project and I really enjoyed this specific project because of the clients’ enthusiasm. They were delightful to work with and I got to play around with some color a little more than I normally would get to.”
You are designing your dream home…What is one thing you must have in it?
“My dream home would have to have a really comfortable, casual, and beautiful great room because that’s where we would spend most of our time!”
When you’re not working, what are you doing?
“I have an eight-year-old son, and we spend time together enjoying nature and also “art lessons”, as he loves to color and paint.”
Written by: Caitlin Kader