Kitchen & Bath Design News

OCT 2018

Kitchen & Bath Design News is the industry's leading business, design and product resource for the kitchen and bath trade.

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Tom Kelley Design/build pioneer known for cutting-edge business practices Like his father before him, Tom Kelly has long been the driving force behind The Neil Kelly Company, a nationally recog- nized design-build remodeling firm that's established a reputation for award- winning design, cutting-edge business practices and community engagement. In 1979, Tom Kelly assumed the role of company president from his father, Neil B. Kelly, who founded the Portland, OR firm in 1947, and spearheaded its growth into a full-service remodeling firm with a focus on kitchens and baths. Along its 70-year corporate journey, The Neil Kelly Co. pioneered the design/build remodeling process, opened its own cabinet company and distinguished itself by promoting women to key roles in sales, design, drafting and carpentry. The Portland, OR-based company also established a major presence in the Pacific Northwest, expanding to five design centers in Oregon and Washington. Under Tom's leadership, it became one of the first companies of its kind to offer FSC-certified woods and formaldehyde-free cabinets; built the first LEED-certified residence West of the Mississippi; opened a home perfor- mance/energy efficiency/indoor air quality division, and became certified as a B Corp, furthering the company's commitment to social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. Highly acclaimed for his service to the community, Tom Kelly has won numerous personal awards, while The Neil Kelly Co. has been awarded the National Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Business Ethics. Laura Kirar International travels and cultures spark designer's creative talents Laura Kirar, the founder and creative director of Laura Kirar Design in Brook- lyn, NY, is an internationally renowned interior and product designer. Her mission is to foster artistic exploration in all of her endeavors and to inspire others with authentic art, craft and design from around the globe. Under her direction, her team creates elegant interiors and home and lifestyle products that have a timeless sensibility, reflecting her respect for craft, history and authenticity. For almost 20 years, the Laura Kirar Brand has created licensing partner- ships with the design industry's most sought-after companies. Her home products collections range from tile and bath fixtures to seating, lighting, textiles, rugs and decorative accessories for such companies as Ann Sacks, Arteriors Home, Baker Furniture, Boyd Lighting and Kallista Company. In 2013, in the pursuit of her own artistic evolution as well as a desire to both preserve vanishing craft pieces and positively affect the economic future of indigenous artisans, Kirar traveled through Mexico to learn about traditional materials and craft techniques. As a result, she produced home and fashion accessories that she calls "the marriage of modern design and traditional techniques." From her experience, the Laura Kirar Limited Edition Collection was born. The first group launched in San Miguel de Allende at the DOCE18 Concept Store and then later with Kirar's own online shops. Since 1999, Laura Kirar's designs have been profiled in many top print and web publications, including Architectural Digest, Elle Décor, House Beauti- ful, Interior Design and Veranda. Paula Kennedy Industry pro helps designers find, protect creativity It's been over 20 years since Paula Ken- nedy left her job at Microsoft to become a kitchen designer. Like most newcom- ers to the industry, initially she focused on using her creativity to win jobs and satisfy clients. But over time and through her active involvement in her local NKBA chapter, Kennedy grew as a leader and speaker in the industry. Today, beyond being a successful designer with a successful business, Timeless Kitchens, she's found her voice as one of the leading educators within the NKBA. Her speaking involvement grew from a CEU she developed six years ago to help other designers through a common problem: design burnout. Every year since then, she's been hired four or five times to travel to different cities with her message of how to ignite creativity and to nurture it. "Our job is not like most businesses. I tell other designers to get out of their offices to take walks. Start sketching and doodling. Let your brain wander," says Kennedy. "When you are stressed, your brain gets discon- nected. You need to relax to find inspiration." Other topics are now part of her speaking routine. She's written three more CEU-approved classes and has stepped in to work with GE Mono- gram on a series of classes. "Designers take their creativity for granted," she often says. "They don't know how to charge for their time. We say 'yes' too often. We get stretched too thin. We need to know how to protect that talent." Kerrie Kelly Designer brings expertise to multiple platforms When she went full time with her de- sign business, Kerrie Kelly Design Lab, Northern California designer Kerrie Kel- ly, CAPS, FASID, was already wearing several hats within the industry. In addi- tion to being an award-winning design- er, Kelly was writing books and serving as the director of Interior Design at the Art Institute. She has since continued her all-encompassing approach to the industry – she is an author, a product designer, a columnist, a multi-media consultant and a speaker. Kelly's engagement with so many different platforms has made her a top influencer in the design industry and has kept her on the pulse of the latest trends and innovations. Kelly believes the best way to stay current in an ever-evolving industry is to be involved in as many aspects of the industry as possible. She serves as the director at large for the National ASID Board and is also a member of the NKBA. Recently, she accepted an invitation to join the Houzz Pro Advisory Board. Additionally, she is involved in design industry publishing: She is the author of two books ("Home Décor: A Sunset Design Guide" and "My Interior Design Kit"), serves on the Editorial Board for Furniture, Lighting & Décor magazine and also generates content to help brands reach the interior design market. Although Kerrie Kelly Design Lab has begun to focus more on product development in recent years, Kelly continues to craft elegant, tailored designs for residential renovations and model homes. She is a recipient of the Nancy Vincent McClelland award, as well as numerous Houzz and ASID awards. October 2018 • 47

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