Inspirational Design Interview with Hallie Keneda of
DUO Interior Design Group in Atlanta.
I love talking to designers, especially those who present themselves as "real" people. I love designers who talk passionately about design but most importantly they talk passionately about their clients (who they often refer to as their friends). Hallie is one of these designers.
Passionate. Real. Kind. Helpful. Talented.
When did you first become interested in design?
I really thought at first that I would be a fashion designer. I started at a very early age sketching outfits, putting different clothing styles together, I even went to GA Southern and declared Fashion Merchandising as my major. That never lead anywhere since I failed out of Southern. Too much fun, too much family stuff going on at the time for me to be serious about school.
After Southern I came home to work. I found that I was always around interior design work; doing administrative tasks, billing, and checking in accessories for extra money for
Valerie V. Smith Interiors and Locklear Interiors. I would get to go on sight and on presentation days. I loved being around the creativity and fabrics (of course). I started learning about design, Valerie took me under her wing and really started pulling out my talent. She was an amazing mentor and taught me so much. She was the reason I decided to go to school for my degree in design.
That is when I went to the Art Institute of Atlanta and got my BFA in Interior Design with honors. I worked full time and went to school full time at night. It was a great accomplishment for me since I had failed out of school the first time. While there, I really developed a love for the art of design. I grew as a person and knew that I would never wake up dreading going to work because I love what I do. I graduated in 2002 and here I am today.
What is your favorite style?
My personal design style has grown from a shabby chic into an eclectic, industrial style. I would love to live in an older farm house one day. That is what I am most comfortable living in. I love to entertain so a space where people can come in and feel right at home suites me perfectly. I love to mix elements of traditional and transitional. I love antiques and unique finds or finding different uses for common items. I love querky elements that lead to comments or conversations.
BUT.... on the flip side, I love to design a very masculine, clean transitional space. I love the crispness of the clean lines and the simplicity of the space. It is usually in cool colors but has a subtle warmth to it.
What is your favorite room in your house?
My kitchen. As I mentioned before, I love to entertain and everyone always ends up in the kitchen. It is the heart of my home and oddly enough the most finished room in my whole house. (side note - I moved in this house when I was 8 mths pregnant and have not decorated that much due to the little one and not having any time. What is the saying? The shoemaker never has any shoes)!
What has inspired you as a designer?
My inspiration for design - everything, literally everything. Once you develop the talent to see things from a design perspective, you can't turn it off. However the places I get most of my inspiration as of late is of the Atlanta Accessory Market, and some really great blogs; This is Glamorous, Design Sponge, Simply Seleta and Beachbrights. Then I like to see what blogs they list and search those too.
The community Serenbe, here in Atlanta is a self sustaining community and it completely inspires me. I love the idea of a green community supporting the community like the good ol days when you lived in a small town and everyone knew everyone.
The White Hot Truth- by Danielle LaPorte is a great self esteem blog that I read religiously everyday and it inspires me to better myself. I also have one of her books Signature Style. Great stuff, you should check her out.
What is your favorite decorator magazine?
I am still weeping over the decision to close Domino. It was refreshing, unique and my FAVORITE! I also enjoy Veranda, Elle Decor and House Beautiful. When I travel, I always check out all other design magazines.
What type of projects are you currently working on?
I just finished up the first phase of Dominicks an Italian eatery in Buford, GA. My partner and I are also pursuing an online store with crazy beautiful industrial & unique accessories AND developing an online color story box for clients who just want paint colors at a very affordable price. This we would even be able to do for customers that don't live in Atlanta.
Hallie, thank you for being a part of my blog today!
If you live in Atlanta, you're in LUCK! Hallie is an invaluable designer and can assist you with ALL your design needs (big & small). If you live outside of Atlanta, you can contact her for some help with color stories!
To learn more about Hallie, please visit DUO Design Interior Group. Her website spotlights a beautiful portfolio, blog and featured product section.
"Life is too short to live without good design."
*Pictures are from Jobs Completed at Beazer Homes with Hallie's wonderful partner Angie!*