A Conversation with Kelsey Colwell


Originally from Nebraska, Kelsey ventured east to earn her B.A. in Theater from Loyola University of Chicago. After graduating, she moved to the mountains and began her career in Summit County as a scenic painter for the Lake Dillon Theater in Silverthorne and the Backstage Theater in Breckenridge. She’s transitioned her love of set design to focus on interiors as a Design Consultant at our Frisco Showroom.

Get to know Kelsey, how she starts her design process, what she’s working on, and how she builds relationships along the way to make any client’s house feel like home.

How did you know you wanted to get into the world of interior design?
I actually began my design career from a unique angle. I’ve not only worked on stage, acting, but also have spent time designing and constructing sets. I love working with different mediums, fabrics, paints, and techniques to create an interesting and functional space for the actors and audience. I’m excited to use these skills to provide clients with stylish and functional design concepts.

How do you describe your job as a designer?
I believe the fundamental job of a designer is to really listen to the client. I always ask a lot of questions to figure out how they use their spaces on a daily basis, as well as their likes and dislikes. Each client is different so every design should be unique and personal to them.

Walk me through the beginning of your design process…
The most important part of getting started with a design project is getting to know my client’s style through inspiration from Houzz or Pinterest. It’s a great way to begin breaking down and understanding their vision. We’ll also spend time looking at paint, fabric or finish samples to get a feel for their detail preferences, too.

From there, I ask questions that will set the parameters of the project; budget, number of rooms, and what the space will be used for.

Once we determine the basic foundation of the design, we can start to elaborate and broaden those ideas. By establishing a great relationship and trust with my clients, we are able to bring their dreams to life, and more.

How important is relationship when designing a client’s home?
Relationship is everything. Having an open, positive and approachable relationship with each client is vital. The more comfortable the client is with expressing his or her preferences and desires, the better the end results.

How do you help clients whose design aesthetic might not be like yours?
I’m a huge believer that interior design should always reflect the client’s style, even if it’s different than that of the designer. I’m here as a guide and to offer up my expertise and provide product options, while making sure the overall design is exclusive to the client’s aesthetic.

How do you make sure your client’s house feels like home?
Making a house feel like a home is all in the details. Some pieces will be new and focused around the overall design concept, but others should be personal items that are important to the client. The key is combining the new and existing pieces in a way that feels natural and deliberate.

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What does a successful project mean to you?
A successful project means I have a happy client. I do my best to encompass all the components and details to give them the most aesthetic and functional design for their space.

It also means that I’ve made a new friendship, and that I not only expanded on their preferences, but I learned to value their style along the way to help them create their perfect space.

And lastly, a successful project means that my client would seek me out for their next projects or future updates. Repeat clients are the ultimate form of flattery.

What spaces are you currently designing?
Right now, I’m working on transitioning the showroom into fall. It is important to showcase different styles that will appeal to different clients and work in various spaces. The flow of the showroom floor is also very important to show clients what our pieces would look like in their homes.

Finish this sentence. Every space needs…
A focal point and to be functional.

What do you like best about your line of work?
I like that it is very fluid, always changing, and that every client brings a new and different design experience.

What made you want to be a part of the Collective team?
Definitely the people. I was instantly welcomed with open arms to the team. They’re such a talented group that really knows how to connect and have fun in their client and colleague relationships.

What are you looking forward to most in your career at Collective?
I can’t wait to grow more as a designer and exceed my clients’ expectations.

Get to know more of our design consultants, Izzy Lynch and Mandy Black, and be sure to stop by the showroom soon to say hello, browse our collection and become inspired.

Collective Design Group is an award-winning interior design firm
serving Vail Valley, Summit County, Winter Park and surrounding areas.

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