Kelly Sutton gets to know her clients as people before designing concepts for their interior spaces.
COUNTLESS INTERIOR DESIGNERS in the luxury space make a name for themselves by picking a type of style and never wavering from its characteristics. If a client wants modern contemporary, that is what they get, no questions asked.
Kelly Sutton simply doesn’t work that way. When she launched Kelly Sutton Design – her full-service interior design, design consulting and product design studio for high-end residential and boutique hospitality properties – three years ago, she aimed to bring together a variety of details from throughout the design spectrum.
“I am known for mixing styles and finishes,” Sutton says. “I typically will bring in vintage pieces to the design to give extra character and depth to a project. It is about creating a unique and customized look.”
Sutton launched Kelly Sutton Design three years ago after working seven years for top international interior design firm Hirsch Bedner & Associates in Los Angeles and Hong Kong. She is originally from Louisiana, where she received a bachelor’s of interior design from Louisiana State University.
Sutton also is certified in California and nationally through the National Council for Interior Design Qualification. She also is a LEED Accredited Professional and an American Society of Interior Designers professional member.
Kelly Sutton Design has completed spaces in the elite Greystone Mansion Showhouse in Beverly Hills, California, and has been featured in events like the Legends of La Cienega and Dwell on Design.
Aside from creating a new look from scratch for every project owner’s space, Sutton also prides herself on being heavily involved in every project herself. That often means visiting job sites and monitoring production of customized pieces to ensure their perfection.
“I am also very hands-on, and the service offered is very personalized,” Sutton says. “I am at the factory making sure something is being made correctly or at the job site monitoring installation. I pay very close attention to the design details and how they get executed because this is what makes or breaks a project.”
Sutton can’t do this alone, however, so the company relies on quality contractors and subcontractors to get the job done, as well.
“Relationships with contractors and subcontractors are key to my business,” Sutton says. “It makes the projects run smoother if everyone works together well and a good rapport has been built.”
Between her attention to detail and a rapport with contractors, Sutton has found a recipe to success that the industry has noticed. In 2015, Kelly Sutton Design was honored with a Best of Houzz Service Award.
Of course, the ones who truly benefit from Kelly Sutton Design’s unflinching attention to detail and relationships with quality contractors are Sutton’s clients. Sutton recently designed a second home for a bachelor purchasing a property in California.
According to Sutton, the house was entirely white at the start, so it had a completely different feel. Sutton and her client decided on a design concept they called “masculine safari.”
To create this concept, Sutton redesigned the fireplace with a gorgeous book-matched, black and white marble slab. The company also used a lot of wallpaper to add texture not only to the walls, but in some spaces up on the ceilings, as well.
“The wallpaper in the living room wraps up onto the ceiling, highlighting the beams and architectural details,” Sutton says. “There is a lot of mixing of styles, which infused an eclectic vibe in the ‘masculine safari’ concept.”
Sutton also designed a custom rug for one of the spaces in the project. She had started working on designs for a rug collection after getting great feedback on the rug Sutton designed for the Greystone Mansion Showhouse.
“I knew we were going to need a pretty large rug for the living room to accommodate the layout, and nothing out there was feeling right with the design,” Sutton says. “So, I decided to go ahead and design something that was specifically for my client but also something that I wanted in the collection.”
The design, according to Sutton, is based off an animal hide with abstracted pops of color. After showing a couple versions of the design to her client, it was a done deal.
“There was just nothing that was going to work as perfectly,” Sutton says. “When we unrolled it at installation, we were all blown away. It is such a statement piece in the room. It is a work of art. I think in this project you can really see his personality come out in the design.”
That kind of reaction is the reason why Sutton loves her work. Through her personalized service and attention to details that clients will love, seeing an owner’s reaction to a space they helped conceptualize is the biggest reward for Kelly Sutton Design.
“There is nothing better than seeing a client ecstatic about their project once it’s complete,” Sutton says. “To be a part of making a house into a home that will represent someone and become a place they can make memories is beyond rewarding.”