Design Style & Theory

Kellie Toole's Interior Design Methodology

When asked about her personal design style, here is what Kellie Toole had to say, “I'm frequently asked this question. The truth is, it doesn't matter. It's about developing and nurturing YOUR design style. My personal style is constantly evolving, and I get to live vicariously through my clients. When I first graduated from college I was very contemporary and went to work for a contemporary firm. When I moved onto a high end furniture store, I grew to appreciate finely made traditional furnishings. I spent much of my childhood near the Pacific Coast. As I found myself missing it, I toyed with putting sand in my living room vs carpet. Luckily I took a long overdue vacation instead! You many not know your personal style or even what you like, or why you don't like something. I review what you have, narrow in on what makes you happy and build your personal style from there.”

Lets review some examples of different design styles. We will use three round back chairs to illustrate the differences in styles. Traditional Spider Back, to a simpler Transitional feel, to the straight lines of Contemporary.








Traditional vs. Contemporary

Traditional and contemporary are on either end of the spectrum when it comes to style. Contemporary style tends to be a bit more sterile, in the best sense if the word. Clean lines and uncluttered. The modern movement started in the mid 1900's which is why they call it Mid Century Modern. Of course at the time it was just something refreshing with clean lines.

Contemporary Bathroom

Contemporary has evolved over time and come full circle, as Mid Century Modern is claiming its place again in the furniture market, and particularly attractive to those who didn't live it. We loved this retro inspired Stanley chair at High Point Furniture Market fall of 2014.

Mid Century Modern Chair

Mid Century Modern Chair

The Contrast

In contrast, Traditional style tends to be more ornate and busier, again in the best sense of the word. Traditional style is just that, tradition. Different time periods offered drastically different aesthetics, which reflected the culture, technology and style of that particular era.

Traditional Dining Room - Blacklick, Ohio

Escaping Four Walls With Unique Room Composition

The Central Ohio area tends to be very Transitional. This style blends the best of both worlds. Borrowing from both sides can be very helpful in bridging the marital divide when each have differing tastes. As both partners are now becoming more and more active in the selections for their home, Transitional style has taken a firm hold on the market place. This style's popularity may also be reflective of our proximity to Amish country, and their simpler cultural influence. The Amish tend to build simple, clean lines, but the style is very much Shaker Traditional, or Arts and Crafts, which makes the furniture a perfect blend. And then it could also be the influence of major retailers and their ever present mail order catalogs. Whichever, Kellie Toole interior Design, Ltd will create a space uniquely yours.

Living Room with Transitional Interior Design Concepts in Upper Arlington Ohio

Eclectic Design

Eclectic is much like Transitional which borrows from both sides of the design fence but with an edgier twist. Instead of riding the middle and blending the two styles, Eclectic Design tends to swing a bit more dramatically from one end of the design spectrum to the other creating a look that's a bit unexpected.  Eclectic can be very casual, which we are all familiar with the trendy reclaimed look, but it can also be very formal.  For example imagine an antique buffet with an ultra modern work of art above it.  Eclectic can also be casual, very livable, but less trendy to last for many years to come, much like our She Den from the 2011 Decorators' Show House.

"She Den" & "Man Cave" Interior Decorating & Design

"She Den" & "Man Cave" Decorating & Design

Efficient, Yet Elegant Custom Home Projects

From here, design styles become subsets of the above, honing in on a particular design aesthetic, which will more or less follow either Traditional, Contemporary or Transitional, such as Industrial, Art Deco, Country French, or Coastal, just to name a few. Home is the essence of comfort, no matter what your style. Now lets make it even better! Give us a call. With the ever growing options from which to shop, you may be feeling overwhelmed. Or are you tired of seeing the same thing? A few retailers come to mind. Are you afraid of making a costly mistake or just want to “keep up with the Jones's” to protect your property value. This is where professional design services from Kellie Toole Interior Design, Ltd. can save you time and money, by doing it right the first time, with a design tailor made with your lifestyle and budget in mind.


Interior Design Theory by Kellie Toole

Evidence Based Design is a strong influence at Kellie Toole Interior Design, Ltd. As a professional member of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers), continuing education units are required for membership. They keep us current on design influences, strategies, and technologies affecting the health safety and welfare of our clients. What is Evidence Based Design? In a nutshell, we don't make selections and decisions just because they are pretty. Sometimes yes, the aesthetic is all you need. But true design digs deeper into the core of the project. Why is it needed and what is the best way to solve the problem, based on education and continued study?

Home Remodeling for Function & The Future

Aging in Place. Lets face it, no one wants to think about getting old and having mobility and vision issues. But this is a crucial discussion to have, when building a home or remodeling for the long term. No matter how old you are, when remodeling your bathroom, Kellie Toole Interior Design, Ltd will specify blocking in the shower walls to accommodate handrails whether they are being installed now, or in 30 years. This is just one example of ways to keep you in your home longer and safer.

This brings us to Universal Design. If you are in a wheelchair you know how critical wide door ways and hallways are for your mobility. It isn't just about having a first floor master bedroom. Your countertop heights, access to plumbing and appliances are all details Kellie Toole Interior Design, Ltd can navigate for you, so that your independence is protected.

Sustainability, Energy Conservation and Green Design

Green Design has yet to become a hot topic here in central Ohio, but more and more consumers are becoming educated on the benefits of Green Design and its impact on our living environment. It isn't just about recycling and donating those old kitchen cabinets. We are rarely asked to limit the VOC's or carbon footprint on a project. We try to do it when we can, whether requested or not, just because it is smart.

What are VOC's? You already know them as the “smell of fresh paint” or the “smell of new carpet." Even those we like, such as the infamous “new car smell,” are the result of VOC's. Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals used in products that produce off gases we breath. Does a member of your family suffer from asthma or COPD? Specifying no VOC paint will help prevent breathing difficulties when repainting. Even if you are just interested in improving the air quality of your home or work space, we will be glad to show you some options.

Carbon footprint is the amount of energy used to get a product to you. I'm reminded of a friend of mine who works in the trucking industry. She always says, “If you got it, a truck brought it!” This is so true. And those trucks use fuel. By purchasing closer to our area we can reduce not only the effect on the environment but also the cost of transport, which is immediate gratification. Yes, sometimes our products do ship from as far away as California or China. But we here at Kellie Toole Interior Design, Ltd are always conscious of those selections, and have a multitude of options to make the strongest of tree hugger happy.