Ken Hoyt Interior Design Interview

Ken Hoyt, from Ken Hoyt Style, has the goal of helping people live fully and beautifully.

And he started at a young age:

It was just a few days before Christmas in 1959. My Mom was surprised to find me asleep under the tree, still clutching my safety scissors. She was even more surprised that I’d painstakingly trimmed all of the tinsel, replacing the asymmetrical naturalistic look with an exacting horizontal line. Misguided? Yes. This is, however, the first recorded expression of my sense of style.

So I thought he would be a great candidate for my series of

Interior Design Interviews

Thanks Ken for taking the time to answer my questions…

Which room is your favourite room to decorate?

I really don’t have a preference. I enjoy working throughout a client’s home. I’m most interested in helping someone make sense of an area that has proven difficult.

Which room is the easiest room to decorate by making only a few changes?

Again that depends upon the client.

However, I’ve noticed that most clients are focused on buying for public rooms, like living rooms. In that case they have a full palette and it’s a matter of correcting details that are jamming up the works, moving furniture, re-hanging art.

What are your favourite paint colours?

Personally I’m wild about golden tones and ambers. But professionally I think that color should respond to the environment.

For instance, here in the Pacific Northwest of America we have many grey days in the winter, which require colors that look sunny (a warm yellow will make a room look sunnier).

In Southern California, and South Africa, the sun shines consistently; so sunny colors would prove redundant. In that case cooler colors will feel more comfortable.

What is your favourite art piece in your home?

I have Mother of God Icon on my nightstand that is both beautiful and comforting.

What is your favourite/best tip for choosing paintings and/or other art?

Make Yourself Happy! Art is a window into our own souls. If you choose something to appear correct it will never have the impact of a piece that delights you.

That said; from a decorating standpoint it’s always better to collect a lot of one style or artist. That way it becomes a collection and/or statement.

A strong stylistic story, like that, can pull together other less cohesive items.

How would you make a bedroom appear larger?

1. Light and Bright

I love creamy colored walls in a bedroom it feels gentle to see a soft color upon waking. I often paint bedroom ceilings a super-soft ethereal blue color (just a hint of blue in white). I frequently match linen or cotton window treatments to the wall color for simplicity.

2. Less is More

Rather than a glut of furniture that is small, try a few pieces that are scaled a little larger. Furniture with legs will seem lighter.

3. Tailor your bed

Avoid over-dressed beds they are visually cluttering. Bed-skirts, especially, make a bed look like a large, heavy block.

Do you have 3 tips for improving the “looks” of a study?

1. Attractive Storage will hide a multitude of clutter-making sins. Whether it’s an expensive credenza or matching boxes you covered with fabric yourself.

2. Beautiful Books. Bookshelves filled with expensive leather volumes make gorgeous libraries.

However, modern libraries are likely to contain many paperbacks (which aren’t as attractive). A simple slipcover made of one color of paper will make the bookshelves look terrific.

3. Good lighting. Overhead lighting isn’t particularly good for reading or computer work.

Use more lamps with low wattage CFL bulbs for a better looking and working room.

What was the last purchase you made for your own home (for design purposes) and why?

I bought a 40″ by 40″ cocktail table for my Family Room.

The table’s top is made of reclaimed floorboards from England, so it’s very rustic.

I like the look, but even more I like that it’s very durable and I don’t care if people put their feet up.

Are there any books you can recommend to help beginners learn interior design?

That changes constantly. I love Alexandra Stoddard’s The Decoration of Houses.

Otherwise, I suggest that you look for books that teach furniture placement, and disciplines like that.

Look to periodicals and websites for more up-to-date style information.

Do you know what the difference between interior decorating and interior design is?

The name designer indicates a college degree; the term decorator indicates natural talent.

What is your favourite shop for design purposes?

I really like to use the best quality for furnishings so that pieces will last a lifetime, so I work directly with upholsterers, and cabinetmakers.

For accessories, I’m as likely to find something beautiful in a Target or K Mart as an exclusive shop.

Thanks again Ken

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