The word “modern” isn’t always synonymous with warmth, but Kenneth Brown proves modernity can be cozy. Brown designs his modern interiors with a color palette of exotic woods, mid-century modern pieces, and simple furniture arrangement. Born in Louisiana and based in Los Angeles, Brown pulls off the perfect combination between Southern charm and laid-back California living. He spoke with us about where he draws his inspiration from to create unforgettable designs.
What inspired you to become a designer?
I loved drawing floor plans when I was little and watching old movies just to see the interiors. I would annoy my brother because I liked watching movies on mute so I wasn’t distracted by the dialog.
How would you describe your personal style?
Warm, modern, clean and tailored.
What are three favorite sources of inspiration for your projects?
1. Vacationing in Palm Springs is a huge source of inspiration. Shopping for vintage items while staying in a mid-century home is like stepping back in time to a simple elegant time period.
2. Shelter magazines from 20-30 years ago are great way to see what stands the test of time and provide lots of inspiration.
3. I also often use Pinterest to find inspiration.
Who was the first “creative” to make an impression on you? Why?
My junior year design professor in Manchester England. He encouraged me to think far outside of my comfort zone.
Who inspires you now?
I’m constantly inspired by my peers in the design industry. It is a great group of talent.
What are your three most-prized possessions?
1. I had a hand-me-down chair in my bedroom from my aunt when I was little and everyone called it the ugly chair. I loved it. And it is the only piece of furniture I have taken with me to every house I’ve lived in.
2. Sketches of houses I did in second grade on the back of old computer paper that now hang in my firms’ conference room.
3. Photos of my parents from when they were teenagers.
What is it about antiques that you love?
Antiques have a soul that brings a room to life.
What’s your favorite antique or vintage find, for you or a client? How did you use it?
What’s a staple in your overall design toolkit?
Using men’s suit material for draperies.
Which design blog, website or magazines would you be lost without?
I would be lost without the ability to do an online image search for anything and everything.
What do you like most about The HighBoy?
I love the access to all the variety.
We asked Kenneth Brown to pick out his favorite items from The HighBoy. These were his top picks: