I’m thrilled to announce that my work with my former firm, Nelson-Plachter Design, is featured in Kravet’s 2012 Women in Design Edition as one of the nation’s up and coming design firms. It is an honor to be selected as one of only four design firms chosen and have our work displayed on the magazine’s cover. The article is featured below, followed by my interview in its entirety:
Kelly Nelson and Michele Plachter of Nelson-Plachter Design in Philadelphia are passionate about bringing a fresh twist to classic design. While most designers dream in color and work in neutrals, this duo works differently. “In theory we like the idea of designing neutral spaces, but in reality we can never resist adding bold color and graphic design.” Clean-lined, elegant spaces that incorporate vintage and have a bit of an edge are the signature of their work. That,and lighting.“Lights are like shoes, says Nelson. “Go big or go home!” Many of their design idols, including Suzanne Kasler, Vicente Wolf and Amanda Nisbet, have mastered the mix of vintage and modern with chic, sophisticated results.
Nelson and Plachter have spent years building relationships with local artists and artisans and know first-hand the importance of quality workmanship. Their advice to anyone entering the design field: seek out good people to work with. The right painter, upholsterer and woodworker makes your work look even better.
My entire interview appears below:
How would you describe the aesthetic of your brand?
We prefer clean-lined spaces that are elegant and classically pretty but also ones that have a bit of an edge. In theory we like the idea of designing neutral spaces, but in reality we can never quite resist adding some bold color and graphic design! We love the energy and tension that adding pops of color and shapes brings to a space. We also always incorporate vintage pieces into any space we design — the more unusual and unique the better. It also adds a touch of authenticity or “soul” to a space which we feel is crucial. We love the idea of using one-of-a-kind, whimsical pieces that are maybe just a little “off” to give a beautiful room an interesting edge. Light fixtures, especially oversized or usual ones are our favorite way of adding whimsy and life to a room. Lights are like shoes, you should go big or go home! Oh, and don’t forget about art — it can make all the difference.
What do you love most about what you do?
In addition to working with clients and building relationships with wonderful people in this industry, we love the creativity and challenge. There’s nothing better than starting a new project with a clean slate and an open mind. Oh the possibilities!
Whose work in this industry do you most admire?
There are so many designers’ whose work excites and inspires us. We love the elegant mix of Suzanne Kasler, the color of Jamie Drake, the focus of Vicente Wolf, the exuberance of Martin Lawrence Bullard, and the femininity of Amanda Nesbit, just to name a few.
Can you share a design tip with our readers?
Invest in good pieces when you can. It doesn’t make sense to ever buy anything that you think you won’t want or won’t last for more than a couple of years. Vintage is a smart way to get more bang for your buck. Why spend more money for a poorly-made imported piece when for less money you can buy a piece that has already stood the test of time? Paint it, reupholster it, put on some great hardware and you have something special for not a lot of money.
What advice would you offer to a woman starting a career in design?
Work hard, learn as much as you can, listen to people who know what they’re talking about, and seek out good people to work with. The right painter, upholsterer, and woodworker makes your work look even better.