Designing Mind

By Ilene Denton October 1, 2009

As vice president, interior design for Robb & Stucky Interiors since 1997, Kris Kolar is at the epicenter of design trends in Florida. She leads a team of hundreds of design professionals here and in Robb & Stucky stores in Texas, Arizona, Nevada and Costa Rica. 

What is the interior design buzzword for 2010, and how does it translate into trends? “Classic” is the best word you can use. Things are cleaner, simpler, and designers are going back to their roots, whether they’re contemporary (the Barcelona chair, for example) or soft contemporary (a sofa with a squared-off arm) or traditional (a cleaned-up 18th- or 19th-century piece). Furniture isn’t as weighty; no more big, fat rolled-arm sofas. The same with accessories? Yes, you have to choose smartly. There aren’t as many things in a room, so every piece counts. It’s partly a function of the economy; money is tight and people are being more careful. And as the baby boomers, who have fueled our business for years, have gotten older, they don’t want to be a slave to their possessions. They want to relax and breathe a little bit, and enjoy family. Nesting is in. Yes. People are entertaining at home more; inviting people over, say, for a simple grill-out. They’re not using formal china, glass and silver the way you used to. Tableware is more casual, fun, hand-painted, mix-and-match. Colors? We’re seeing a lot of linens with accent colors, bright apple green, the blue and white Ralph Lauren made famous. We’re also seeing black and white with brights, and pure white with bright turquoises and greens. All of that is perfect for Florida. And also in Florida, natural, earthy textures—crushed bamboo, cocoa twigs—are very popular. What if a homeowner can only add one great thing? If you,re starting out with a clean designed home, add a shot of a strong, happy color. If your home’s dark and heavy Tuscan, don’t add anything—take some out. A luxury splurge? Some spend it on good wine, good cars. I love beautiful fabrics. It’s a personal choice—if you’re a nut for colored glass, you should buy that. Figure out who you are. A lot of people can take a hint of who they are from their closets. I wear a lot of colors and I live with a lot of color; it’s who I am. What’s exciting at Robb & Stucky in the coming year? We’re debuting the City Place collection in October; it’s a Robb & Stucky exclusive collection designed by John Black. It’s cleaner-lined, soft contemporary, and not every piece is so matchy-matchy. And in 2010 we’ll debut the Monterey collection. It’s coastal chic, a California Michael Taylor kind of thing—big, thick tops of reclaimed pine with gray galvanized steel legs.—Ilene Denton 


Green Report  

Linen,s timeless eco-chic.

It’s a happy marriage of style and social consciousness, says Robb & Stucky’s design ace Kris Kolar: The fabrics of choice today are linens and cottons, which by their very nature are green. Shown here, the Camilla sectional by Verellenis, wrapped in 100 percent Belgian linen, fits beautifully into a coastal cottage or an urban loft. Available at Robb & Stucky Interiors,

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