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Meet Instant/Space by Burnham Design

I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing Kelly Galvin Robson, Director of Instant/Space by Burnham Design and would love for you to hear what she has to say about the latest extension of Betsy Burnham’s design firm – Instant/Space. You’ll learn what Instant/Space is and more so please take a moment to read the discussion between Kelly and I.

decor8: Hi Kelly! So glad to have you here on decor8 today. Tell me, how long have you been working with the fabulous Betsy Burnham?

KGR: For almost 4 years, and have been lucky enough to work with Instant/Space for the last 2 years.

decor8: What exactly IS Instant/Space? I briefly read a blurb about it in Domino magazine awhile back (Feb ’07)…and it looked really interesting for budget and time conscious girls on the go.

KGR: Instant/Space is an alternative service from Burnham Design and it offers clients a do-it-yourself interior design for a reasonable fee. It is for clients who don’t really want or need Burnham Design’s full range of services, and have an appreciation for the aesthetic. Some clients may want to address only one or two rooms in their house, others may have a limited budget, or want to do their own purchasing based on a design “master plan.” Regardless, all of our clients want to achieve a custom interior design and be active in the design process, so Instant/Space is really the perfect design service for them.

Domino mention of Instant/Space.

decor8: You mentioned the Burnham Design aesthetic. For those who aren’t familiar with what it is can you elaborate please?

KGR: It is a mix of high end and vintage. We prefer a layered, “collected” look that’s at the same time tailored and clean.

decor8:
I know your main office is located in Los Angeles but I heard you are not, where are you?

KGR: My office is on the east coast outside of Philadelphia. However, Betsy and I work together on every Instant/Space project.

decor8: How do you find your clients?

KGR: Many of our clients know Betsy’s work and find us through the Burnham Design site. Others contact us after seeing a press mention.

decor8: Do you see a future in e-consulting as perhaps a new trend in design and if yes, why?

KGR: Absolutely. Our clients lead very busy lives, and offering a service that’s available online is a huge plus in terms of their time. Furthermore it represents a move toward more affordable professional decorating… and in the current economic climate, this is a big advantage.

decor8: I agree! Explain briefly how e-design works? For example let’s say a client has a 10′ x 12′ bedroom that needs to be decorated and I have zero time to do it. How can you help?

KGR: We can provide you with a custom interior design based on your personal design style and individual design challenges. We really think about every client individually — how they will use the space, who will be using the space, etc. Every single box is different and it is important to us that our clients really love their finished design.

decor8: More details, please!

KGR: When a client decides to order Instant/Space, they first send us pictures and dimensions of the room(s). Then, we ask for inspirational images from magazines, websites, etc (to help illustrate the design style that they are trying to achieve), and our completed online questionnaire (to further identify their design preferences and challenges). In four to six weeks, the client receives their completed instant/space box in the mail. Every box includes a personalized design concept board, a detailed schematic furniture plan (drawn to scale), a swatchbook containing all of the furnishings and accessories for the room, an additional swatchbook with samples of the fabric and paint selected for the space, a detailed shopping list, and a step by step explanation of how to pull of these elements together. The rest is up to them!

decor8: Great! What happens if some of the fabric or items you suggest are ‘trade only’, how can a client purchase those?

KGR: If we include “trade only” items in our design, clients have the ability to order these items through Burnham Design. For a small markup, we take care of ordering, tracking and shipping.

decor8: Next scenario… let’s assume that you’ve suggested wallpaper or paint to a client and they have no time to source for these products or locate contractors to do the work. Can you come to the rescue?

KGR: We don’t expect our clients to paint or do difficult installations themselves! Often we’ll ask if they have competent subcontractors for this work, and if they don’t, we’ll do our best to help locate them.

decor8: Excellent. Let’s talk money. What are the fees involved?

KGR: Instant/Space fees vary from $895.00 to $1,495.00 depending on the size and function of the room. All of our pricing may be found on our website.

decor8: You already touched upon it, but what type of client (besides a busy one!) seems to be attracted to this type of service?

KGR: Most are professional people who have an interest in design but seek a professional’s advice. Many have just moved, gotten married, or purchased their first home. Some have just had a baby and need to decorate a nursery. Our clients come from all over the country, cities and suburbs. The one thing they all have in common is that they admire the Burnham Design aesthetic and want our style to be reflected in their space.

decor8: And to wrap things up, on a more personal level, what do you think is the absolute pro of this particular service?

KGR: The best part is the response that we receive from clients. Most clients are surprised that we were able to capture their design style so well without ever meeting them in person, others love the way that Instant/Space allows them to purchase furniture at their own pace. The experience is really fun, and I think that clients appreciate how easy and convenient it is.

decor8: Thank you so much Kelly for sitting in with us today, best wishes on your business (Betsy too!) and to all of the e-decorators out there – you can do it!

Readers: If you are interested in reading more on the topic of e-decorating here is a post from June 2008 that appeared on decor8 (be sure to read the comments on each too!): e-Decorating – Your Thoughts.

Do you have any additional questions that you would like to ask Kelly? If so, please comment below.

(images from burnham design and instant/space.)

Posted in Decorating Tips, designers, interviews on October 29, 2008

John Derian for Target

A package came today from the states (I get excited when mail arrives, I finally understand it when people tell me they love getting mail from America — it’s fun!) and do you want to know who it was from? Becky. The resident Top Design guest blogger here on decor8. And I think her cheeky gift is funny because whenever she sees butterflies she thinks of Mariah Carey (in a bad way) and so she was teasing me about my butterfly on the decor8 logo. So what arrives in the mail today? BUTTERFLY STUFF. How cute is she. Brat.

And it’s from the new John Derian collection for Target. I had this big plan that once I was here in Germany I’d just order what I wanted and have it shipped to my home in New Hampshire, no big deal. Well it is a big deal because Target doesn’t ship any of the JD collection, you can only buy it in stores. And by the time I’m back in America his collection will be gone-zo-la.? ARRR. Another reason why I love Becky’s gift so much, I can enjoy a taste of John’s lovely budget collection. Thank you Becky!

I love the coasters the most, I imagine using mini plate holders and arranging them on a wall. $12.99 for 4 is great deal don’t you think?

And if I could order from this collection I would definitely purchase THIS and THIS. And okay THIS. I’m super jealous of anyone who can. People always ask me what I miss most when I’m not in the states. Target, Newbury Comics (amazing CD, DVD, etc shop), Anthropologie (though you can order from them here but the store experience is why I really shop there), Paper Source, and I miss all the healthy whole foods stuff I can find there. Oh and I really miss Domino magazine because it’s nearly impossible to find here. I haven’t seen an issue since July and I’m starting to feel a little upset about the lack of Domino in Germany. I really don’t get it because we have Real Simple and Martha Stewart Weddings… If I had Target, Antho, and some good stationery shops here… and Domino magazine, I may never go home. I love being in Germany soooo much. :)

Is this collection in your local Target yet? How do you like it? Is it well made? Something you’d own?

(images from holly becker for decor8 and bottom image from target)

Posted in designers on October 07, 2008

Ashley Thomas = Swoon!

Surface pattern designer Ashley Thomas wrote to me last month (I know, I’m a little behind on my email) to tell me about her designs so I vowed to myself that today would be the day that I would share them on decor8. Ashley thank you for your patience with me! :)

Ashley is a freelance designer and illustrator based in England and her work is both feminine and edgy, a combination of hip city and a day in the country wearing a frilly dress. Her work reminds me of a lot of illustrative, graphic styles coming out of Berlin right now. I was quite surprised when I learned that Ashley is in the UK as upon first glance I would have guessed Berlin without question.

I am completely smitten by her wallpaper and pillows… lovely with a capital LOVE! I want Larry and Joey wallpaper in my entryway! :)

(images from ashley thomas)

Posted in designers, textiles, walls on October 06, 2008

I Heart Kelly Hoppen

Hello! My name is Ruth. I am so very glad Holly invited me to guest blog. I love decor8 ? I check out this blog every single day, and sometimes several times in one day! (So I must have done something really good to be here blogging now.) Thank you Holly!

I?ll do a quick introduction and then I?ll write a little about one of my all time favourite designers.

I?m a full-time Singaporean mummy and we?ve just moved China (my husband had a good job opportunity and I?m always up for a chance to experience a new culture! So, ta-da!). I cannot get enough of pretty interiors, pretty home d?cor and pretty things for the house. Which explains why I?m nuts over decor8.

I have a blog too, Chickedee, named after my favourite cookie when I was a pre-teen. I also run a small store on etsy, selling handmade buttons and some craft supplies. So now that you know what I do: go visit my blog and get all your buttons from me. *grin *

Now about one of my all time fave designers: Kelly Hoppen. To me, her designs are plain awesome, and here?s why:

  • Her designs are neat. Literally. In all her interiors and retail products, there is order. No complicated designs, no clutter. She has an amazing eye for symmetry and balance. She?s minimalistic but not austere. To me, Zen living is minimalistic but sometimes a little cold. I like some life in a room, and a Hoppen room does it for me.
  • Kelly is all about luxury. But not over the top, it?s SIMPLE understated luxury for every day living. (I?m one of those who cannot appreciate Versace interiors. I love West Elm but not always Pottery Barn). Luxury is good. Its allows you to enjoy what you have better. Simple is good. Simple keeps me calm. Like aspirin to a headache. So, simple luxury can give you a long, happy stress-free life. At least according to me. :) You see, I believe that your emotional wellbeing is definitely supported by your surroundings. And so I could probably be a much more serene wife and patient mother if Kelly Hoppen designed my home. Hmmmmmmm.
  • She’s concerned with comfort. Her designs are live-able, practical, and enjoyable not just in magazines and books but also in person! I love that in a design. I don?t want couture, I want something I can see my family lounging in comfortably.
  • I also like how she mixes textures – the strong with the light. It adds a unique feel to the room. There is warmth.

Kelly’s flat in London.

Don’t know who Kelly Hoppen is? That’s okay because I’m writing this post to introduce you to her and tell you why I love her designs so much! So here is your quick two minutes on Ms. Hoppen:

  • She was born in South Africa but lives in England.
  • She?s dating one of Britain’s foremost hair stylists, Nicky Clarke (How awesome is that? No more bad hair days ever!)
  • She launched her business at 17 years old. (What the heck was I up to at 17?)
  • Kelly is the first designer to receive the Andrew Martin “International Designer of the Year” award
  • She designed the Beckham?s LA home
  • Know Sienna Miller? She’s her stepmother
  • She designed the first class cabin for British Airways
  • Oh and she also done international works for yachts, ski chalets, a sports centre, hotels and corporate spaces and manages 30 projects around the world at any one time!
  • Kelly has shops in London and Dubai
  • She won’t accept a client job for less then ?300,000 (that’s around $600,000 USD).

But for us common folks, we can still have a bit of Kelly Hoppen in our homes with the Hoppen products: Furniture line at Century, Paints (the range is called Perfect Neutrals), Homeware line, including a Wedgewood collection, Fabrics at Saville Row, Carpets at Wool Classics, and The Kelly Hoppen Design School.

Hotel Murmuri in Barcelona.

Or just read her books. In her latest book, Kelly Hoppen Home: From Concept To Reality, she shares her philosophy, and secrets, and takes the reader from concept to decision making, to implementation. That?s like having her all to yourself, whenever you want, wherever you want, for only $26!

Hotel Murmuri in Barcelona.

Before I go, here?s some of Kelly?s house rules I found on a backdated article in the Telegraph. I think we all can learn from these rules, don’t you?

Kelly’s House Rules:

  • Create balance on mantelpieces and other surfaces by juxtaposing one overscaled object with two or three miniature ones
  • Mix old and new antique and vintage, against the clean lines of stark contemporary pieces
  • Introduce texture as without it, a neutral scheme will look flat and dead.
  • Start with linen as your first choice of fabric: without it, a scheme will never feel quite right.
  • Unblock energy within the home using crystals, colour, candles, music and chainmail curtains made of small metal balls.
  • Create symmetry, if a fireplace is off-centre in a room, make sure you line the sofa up with it.

You can also find more inspirational photos of Hoppen-designed spaces on flickr here: Gaile Guevara.

Please do share your thoughts on Kelly Hoppen. I?d love to hear them!

Thank you again Holly for inviting me, and thank you everyone, for having me!

(images from kelly hoppen)

Posted in designers, guest bloggers on August 27, 2008

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