Room for Change
When Kristin Stinson decided that a fresh perspective was in order for her suburban living room and breakfast nook, she made a wish list of things that inspired her. Asian influences, Jonathan Adler chic, texture, punchy color, soul. And then came the short list of what she didn’t want in a room overhaul: Feminine, frilly, fussy.
The number-one item on both lists? A designer who could interpret Stinson’s vision and ultimately achieve an updated look to reflect her young family’s vibrant personality and casually elegant lifestyle.
“The room we spent the most time in was really a mishmash,” says Stinson, referring to the living room that was composed of blues, reds and furniture that wasn’t welcoming.
Enter interior designer Jaclyn Joslin who owns Urban Dwellings in Kansas City’s River Market, an eclectic shop known for seamlessly blending timeless, modern and organic furnishings, accessories, and fabrics with eco-friendly options for clients who match Stinson’s profile. The two met in January 2011 for a consultation, and a cohesive collaboration of wish and solution was born.
Stinson lives in Overland Park with son Grant, husband James, and dachshunds Josephine, Daphne and Zoe. A native of the Boston area, she wasn’t used to the brand-spanking new homes found in Johnson County suburbs.
“They’re just not as familiar to my aesthetic as the older, more traditional homes I grew up with,” says Stinson, who inherited several bulky, large pieces of furniture that didn’t mesh with her style. Those pieces moved in with the Stinsons, and as time went on became more like elephants in the room rather than part of the things that fused with the fabric of the home.
Stinson’s desire to inject a modern sensibility into her home without disregarding Grant and James resonated with Joslin’s design point-of-view.
“I look to create tension in rooms,” says Joslin. “For Kristin, the room redesigns were about the balance of masculine and feminine elements combined with modernity—without feeling out of place in her suburban home.”
Scale was also a concern for Stinson—she didn’t want large, clunky pieces that would impede traffic in the living room, which had both a pass-through to a mudroom and laundry room and a stairway leading to the home’s second level. Because the couple entertains frequently and Grant often has friends over, Stinson wanted creative seating options, and a way to display the plasma television without it overwhelming the room.
Joslin’s signature is designing spaces that are comfortable, beautiful, and livable.
“My design style definitely lacks pretention,” she says. “People who want overly decorated rooms probably shouldn’t hire me.”
Designs and Details
“Kristin came to our first meeting with a defined sense of style,” says Joslin. “In interviewing her I discovered she liked Asian influences and was intrigued with Jonathan Adler’s bold collections that are anything but boring.”
Joslin gathered paint chips, fabric swatches and furniture ideas for the living room and breakfast nook based on the space plan she created following a visit to the Stinsons’ home. The process between client and designer went through several edits, and in August, the stunning two-room transformation was complete. The resulting space offers a seamless flow, continuity of design, statement pieces and the exact look Stinson wanted to achieve: rooms imbued with style and serenity.
“These rooms are a complete representation of our family and how we live,” says Stinson.
And for Joslin, the project fulfilled the original wish list Stinson brought to their first meeting.
“Fresh, creative, timeless,” says Joslin. “This is what a dwelling is all about—to be able to see it from a totally different perspective, and get to that finish line.”
Elements of Design
Jaclyn Joslin of Urban Dwellings frequently works with clients who have a defined style pedigree but don’t necessarily live in a space that accommodates it.
“Often I’ll work with people like Kristin Stinson who live in semi-traditional surroundings,” says Joslin. “I push them forward to a more modern, updated look.”
Here’s a snapshot of Joslin’s urban-meets-suburban room makeover for the Stinson family—a remodel that includes luxe fabric and furniture, without being stuffy or intimidating.
Statement table: “I suggested we interject this cast resin Oly Studio table into the room. It’s modern, timeless—something you can envision in your décor 20 years from now. And it’s certainly an heirloom piece.”
Custom Jonathan Adler rug: “Kristin adores Adler, and this green and gray Greek key pattern from his line was the inspiration for the room’s color scheme. The bold graphic pattern doesn’t overwhelm the room.”
Color: “The walls in the living room are Benjamin Moore Morning Dew—a gray tinted with light green. The walls in the bookshelves are Benjamin Moore Stone. Perfect with the gray sofa.”
Ottoman: “A great seating option or table—you can move it anywhere.”
Leather Parisian-style club chairs: “These are stylish, comfortable and the seat covers match the ottoman. I love mixing it up.”
Corner chair: “This large-scale chain-link print fit perfectly with Kristin’s affinity for bold, graphic style.”
Table lamp: “I’m a huge fan of local designer Barbara Cosgrove’s work. This Turned White Table Lamp adds an artistic flair of sophistication.”
Window treatment: “Manuel Canovas’ Asian Tortuga from his Toiles Collection.”
Accessories: “Shots of color with raised cut velvet orange pillows and a leather tray.”
For the boys: “The wooden hand-carved deer heads are for Grant and James. They work so well in the room.”
Table: “Another gem from Oly Studio—white granite top with a polished aluminum base. Kristin wanted something durable for Grant’s projects and homework.”
Chairs: “Chippendale-style, Jonathan Adler covered with a custom light green woven fabric.”
Color: “Benjamin Moore Creamy Beige tinted with a whisper of orange.”
Print: “One of French engraver, painter and textile artist Paule Marrot’s textiles, framed in acrylic. Is a bold punctuation mark to the room.”
Window treatment: “Allegra Hicks fabric, half-moon design, white and gray.”
Lighting: “Thomas O’Brien simple drum pendant.”
Urban Dwellings will change its name to The Coveted Home in December—Jaclyn Joslin will still offer the same lines and services. For more information on the store in the River Market, visit www.urbandwellingsdesign.com.