Art & Design
Individualizing a home might not be everyone’s goal, but chances are the average homeowner doesn’t want their space to look like anyone else’s either. Credit this particular need to an age-old sense of imprinting, or claiming ownership of dwellings and things, a highly personal way of marking our territory. The primal urge to be different, and yet at the same time, in vogue, drives the billion-dollar home furnishing industry and the thousands of interior designers who interpret it.
Customizing a client’s home might also be what drives the two partners at Layers + Lines Home Design; interior designers Kim Blankenburg and Molly Bevan, principals of one of metro Denver’s newest design and decorating firms. Part of the new crop of professionals taking the lead in our city’s megaton growth, they bring a decade of collaboration honed at Denver’s esteemed Janus Capital Group where they worked in the branding and marketing division.
“Together, we ran the creative department,” said Blankenburg. “Although experts in brand strategy, we often found ourselves gravitating to other areas of identity, like lifestyle. We discovered we both had a passion for design and the influences that shape our homes, as well as precisely who we are. In essence, every person has a personal brand. We believed we could help define it through good design.”
Since the company’s inception in the summer of 2016, both women have expanded fully into their roles while juggling the demands of children and family. Fortunately, today’s technology and diverse means of electronic communication give them and their clients the flexibility they need to stay in touch and move a project forward.
“We address every age group; growing families, singles and young couples,” said Blankenburg. “Most of our clients are busy; with day jobs and kids. If they want to look at a proposal at 11:00 p.m. at night on a digital file via computer, they can—with the peace of mind to do so. Our goal is to make the overall experience as easy as possible to get the job done, and not cut into a busy work day or weekend if we don’t have to.”
Perhaps the modality of the firm reflects an overall shift in consumer use of professions and services. Many of today’s Baby Boomers, living with less, have chosen to downsize, preferring to travel and indulge in entertainment and other pleasures instead. They might easily do business by Skype or email. That applies to younger Millennials as well, who reportedly prefer not to be burdened with material things, keeping their lifestyle leaner and simpler. Perhaps savvy members of the sandwich generation, the Gen X group to which Layers+Lines belongs, understands best how to serve the variety of interior design needs today, be it refurbishment, adaptation, uncluttering, or personal identification. “The new generation we’re working with,” Blankenburg added, “mainly wants to create spaces to share with the people they love. They’re looking for personal connection.”
The essential goal of their company, however, is to learn what the client wants and help articulate their vision. Both women consider themselves positive communicators; experts at listening and learning. They believe they can help the most ambiguous client externalize what moves them, what brings them pleasure, and how they really want to live. Then, they launch into action.
With space planning proposals and manufacturer searches, they find not only the right layout and goods, but products that differ from mass-market providers, vendors the clients might have used when they started on their own. They track down the novel and the new, the unique and the memorable; those virtuoso pieces that set a room apart. Not surprisingly, room plans and renderings are accomplished on convenient apps, where images can be formatted and easily sent from one screen to another.
“Above all, we’re committed to our mission,” said Blankenburg with a sparkle in her eyes. “Whether it’s new construction or a single room, we aspire to create aesthetic spaces with clean lines that flow and showcase a client’s art, preferred colors, and accessories, telling their story. We don’t really prefer one style over another, but adhere to the idea that a room is built in layers, working from the floor up, out, and around. Elements balance and complement one another.”
Teammate Bevan, passionate about Mid-century Modern design, has an expert understanding of the era and its parameters. Not exactly a self proclaimed Modernist, it’s the style she most prefers and enjoys executing. “Although we’re new to the field,” explained Bevan, “mastering it is like anything else; everything you undertake comes with challenges and hurdles, and our confidence allows us to move forward and confront those challenges. So far, we have very happy clients. One of the best parts of the partnership is the joy we feel working together since we have clear communication and trust. Customers sense that.”
Recent client Tamara Doi Beck hired the team to make over a home office into a dreamy retreat, a springboard for regeneration. “Last year I presented a challenge to Kim and Molly,” said Beck, “transforming a dark and dated office into a room which inspired me; an oasis where I could get away from the demands of my many roles in daily living. The result exceeded my highest expectations. The room fuels my creativity and I often linger and marvel at the beauty of the design. Simply sitting in the space brings me a sense of peace, relaxation and gratitude. These designers definitely have ‘the cool gene.’ They embody style and a confidence in creative expression and took the time to truly understand what was most important to me. Now, when people visit our home, they think I have the cool gene too!”
Working out of a home office in Park Hill, Layers+Lines is ready to undertake your next project. They look forward to working with home builders, first-time home owners, or anyone in need of a change.
BIO: Corinne Joy Brown writes about design, architecture, travel and things that matter for a variety of local and national magazines. Her fifth book, a novel and a national award winner, was released in 2016.
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