Q&A With Kristina & Diana
Casaza: How did you get your start?
Kristina & Diana: We’ve been in the design industry for a combined 16+ years and our careers began separately before we came together to form Kresswell. Diana has experience with residential decorating and commercial project management while Kristina spent her early years in design renovating and flipping homes with her husband. We met 5 years ago through the world of blogging and became fast friends, working on smaller projects together and in 2017, launched Kresswell Interiors.
C: How would you describe your style?
K & D: Our style is modern but cozy. Diana tends to lean towards eclectic mid-century modern spaces with pops of color while Kristina loves sleek scandinavian spaces that are minimalist but warm. Together we work really well, approaching projects with a very similar mindset and overall style but each bringing our own touches to every job we work on. We’ve been fortunate that the majority of our clients seek us out for our contemporary style.
C: Where do you get new ideas and inspiration?
K & D: Inspiration is everywhere! Any time one of us travels we’re always taking cues from hotels and new shops and cafes. Our city is really growing and good design seems to be more in the forefront of new buildings and restaurants so we’re constantly inspired by new buildings in our own city as well. Right now we’re both also loving the California modern homes we see so much of on Instagram and Pinterest too – social media is a huge resource for us and our clients so it’s impossible to not get inspired every time you open your phone or laptop!
C: Favorite room in the house?
K & D: We love working on kitchens and bathrooms. They’re such important spaces that need to function really well but also give so much opportunity to inject personality and have a bit of fun! There are so many moving parts from the millwork, tile finishes, lighting, fixtures, etc that we love bringing together all of the elements to create beautiful functional spaces that our clients will use every single day.
C: Design rule you don’t subscribe to?
K & D: This is a tough one – there are certain rules that are important guidelines to keep in mind but really, every project is different. We think that a lot of ‘design rules’ can be broken if you know what you’re doing and if it’s right for the particular space + project. (This is where it helps to hire a pro!)
C: Recent project that inspired you?
K & D: Our Oliver Escape project has been a huge source of inspiration for us. Quite often we’re designing bright and airy spaces that have a lot of white and neutrals so to take on a job that was so dramatic and bold was such a breath of fresh air! It was such a change from what we usually work on so when we shared the project and it was so well received it was great to showcase a different kind of project for us.
C: Favorite texture/pattern/color?
K & D: We’re both big fans of all things green. We’ve treated green as a neutral for years and now that all of the earthy, saje-y greens are very on trend we’re loving it! Plus, greens and blues are easy colors for some of our color shy clients to incorporate to bring in some color without being too bold or overwhelming. All things ‘modern organic’ are our favourite right now from tiles that have an organic artisan feel to their finish, earthenware clay ceramics and woven modern art. It’s all about texture!
C: What is “good design” to you?
K & D: A well-designed home should be functional and beautiful but most importantly it needs to be liveable. We design homes for busy professionals and young families so we tend to be very particular about every finish and product we source. We love seeing some of the beautiful homes on Pinterest and Instagram but ultimately if a finish is too high maintenance or something isn’t practical enough to stand up to the daily wear and tear of a busy household it won’t work. We also believe that good design takes time. We encourage our clients to mix new and old, high and low to achieve a collected look that reflects pieces they truly love rather than filling a home with all new furniture that looks like you bought everything all at once.
C: Pack your bag! You’re moving into a famous home. Whose is it?
K & D: Ooh this was easy for us! Haha We’re both beyond obsessed with Mandy Moore’s mid century modern home that Sarah Sherman Samuel designed last year. The mid century modern vibes are gorgeous and we love the pops of color in the bright open space. We’d happily move into her home any day!!
C: What’s your rule when entertaining?
K & D: We’re both pretty casual entertainers and to be honest, the first things that come to mind when planning to entertain don’t actually have anything to do with design! But once you’ve got the food and beverages taken care of a few things to consider are lighting – creating cozy ambiance with layered lighting is always best, seating – make sure to have enough seating for your guests to be comfortable and if you want to add a nice decorative touch that’s so easy and affordable – we’re suckers for fresh flowers always! (Not even fancy ones, pick up a bunch from the grocery store!)
C: Best advice for DIYers?
K & D: Plan ahead! Executing a DIY well can be tricky and it’s such an inconvenience to get halfway through a project only to realize you’re missing a bunch of materials for the job. Plan ahead, make your lists and set aside enough time to get it done. Most of the time we underestimate the amount of time needed for DIYs so set aside more than enough time for your project to make sure you get it done – there’s nothing worse than seeing that half finished project sit in the corner for weeks because you can’t find the time to get it done.
C: Best advice for those hiring a pro?
K & D: Our best advice is to hire a professional early on in your project! We find that so many people will inquire halfway through their renovation or two weeks before their renovation is about to begin and they’re overwhelmed with decisions and selections. It is an investment to bring on a design professional right out of the gate but in the long run you could end up saving on costly errors, delays or if you change your mind. It breaks our heart when we take on a job where our clients made past choices in a renovation that they then regret so we always recommend bringing in a design professional as early along in the process as you can!
C: What is one design trend are you most excited about this season?
K & D: We’re loving the introduction of warmer colors and tones of woods. For so long everyone wanted everything grey and while we love grey still (albeit a warmer grey) we’re loving all of the oak and warmer mid-tone woods we’re seeing. Mustard yellows, terra cottas and blushes are such beautiful warm colors and we’re loving using fabrics and textured pieces to add warmth to our modern spaces!
C: How do you take your coffee?
K & D: We both take our coffee black – no need to mess with a good thing! Haha